Paul Thimm Jr.’s house and racing garage are only a couple miles from Maple Grove Raceway. The local economy will surely benefit from the Mohnton, Pa., racer winning Sunday’s $10,000 first prize in the Spring Footbrake Nationals.
In the final, he beat Old Bridge Raceway Park regular James Young (Parsippany, N.J.) in a very close call. Both drivers jumped the start too quickly, but it was Young who got the red light and the foul because his reaction time was a mere .004 quicker.
Moving through the ladder, Thimm’s ’27 Roadster faced some stiff competition, but he received the benefit of some itchy trigger fingers.
In the fifth round, he advanced when Andrew Bracuto (South Plainfield, N.J.) jumped by .005. The quarterfinals featured a potentially tough match-up with Martin Flegal (Ephrata, Pa.), but the fellow MGR regular left .008 seconds too early.
Thimm then had a bye in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Young and his ’85 Cutlass had to beat the double-entered ’70 Duster of Nick Bowman (Export, Pa.) twice to make the final.
In the quarters, he survived a double-breakout pass by going 10.468 seconds at 128.18 mph, just .028 under his dial-in. Bowman was a little quicker at 11.177 at 116.02, which was .027 under.
It was easier in the semifinals as Bowman fouled at the start, allowing Young to cruise down the track.
Racers will get another chance at 10 grand later in the year with the Fall Footbrake Nationals on Oct. 19.
Local racers will be out in full force next Saturday with the initial race of the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. Series on Saturday. High school racers will then take the track on Sunday for the Universal Technical Institute High School Challenge.