By early 2008, Tim Simmons of Ruskin, Florida had cut back on his racing, making only an occasional start in his flat kart.
At the age of 22, Tim had already won many races, including four track championships in the Central Florida area (2003 Stock Lite Championship at Desoto Super Speedway, 2004 Stock Lite Title at East Bay, 2006 Stock Lite and Stock Medium Titles at Auburndale Speedway).
On Tuesday night, May 20, 2008, Tim signed onto http://www.4cycle.com to read the latest karting news and noticed that a Private Message was waiting for him.
A person whom he had never met was looking for a driver to race a champ kart that weekend, on the 3/8 mile high-banked Desoto Super Speedway in Bradenton.
Tim later recalled that he almost declined the offer, since he had never met the kart owner, and he was hesitant to drive someone elses equipment for fear of crashing it. However, he decided to take a chance.
When Tim arrived at the track on May 24, 2008, and saw his ride, noone would have blamed him if he had changed his mind. It was a 12-year old champ kart that was visibly bent, with no adjustable camber or caster in it’s design. The kart was towed to the track by a tiny open 4′x8′ trailer, behind a small 4-cylinder truck.
As the kart owner Mike Portman said later, “I had finally realized that it was time for me to give up the driving, and try someone else in my kart. I made a list of potential drivers, and the name that my brother and I kept coming back to was Tim Simmons. We had watched him race several times, and knew he was talented.
When he walked into the pits that night and saw my little trailer and old champ kart, and he didn’t blink, I knew I had found a driver.”
That night, Tim fell back to tenth spot early in the feature. Then, he began to roll. When the checkered flag flew, Tim had finished third in his very first race in a champ kart (Below is the video from that first race)
On Sept. 19, Tim won his fifth career championship, as the SECKS Track Points Champion at Charlotte County Motorsports Park in Punta Gorda.
When Tim isn’t racing with SECKS or working at his family’s Tropical Fish farm, he can be found spending time with his girlfriend Tracy, and working as the flagman at Ambassador Racing School in Balm, Florida, during their weekly Tuesday night kart racing programs.