CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Another example of that ever-growing talent pool in South Texas is now making his mark on our sport. For 15-year-old rising star Nathan Titzman, the local dirt ovals are a place to show his skills. In 2022, he earned eight wins, 31 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes in 44 starts.
While the EMod division was his primary focus (he earned the points title at South Texas Race Ranch), Titzman also tested the waters in Limited Modifieds. With a win there already under his belt, it's clear as a bell where his future is headed. Yet this humble young racer credits others for his success.
“If it wasn't for my grandfather, Lawrence Mikulencak, and my father, none of this would be possible,” Titzman said. “I also have Joe Aramendia and James Cole on my side; they help me out a lot. So it's the great people behind me who are responsible for my wins and that EMod points title.
“My grandfather helps me a lot with setups on the car, and a whole lot more,” Titzman explained. “He teaches me lessons about life, as well. He's done a lot for me and my Dad, and I'm very grateful.”
As Titzman advances his young career with a foray into Limiteds, he's quick to praise the EMods.
“I feel the EMod division is a great place to learn,” he explained. “It teaches you how to handle a real race car, but with limits on shocks, tires and horsepower. I battled with Gilbert Perez III for the championship all year, and he was fast. That was big fun, and we raced clean all season long.
“When I made the jump up to Limiteds, I quickly realized how much tougher it is there. You can't be off on your setup, or your out of the ballpark. I got one win there, but know the next ones will be hard. That's a very competitive class, that's why we stepped into it to get me prepared for down the road.”
Now wrapping up his fifth year of racing, Titzman competes primarily at South Texas Race Ranch, Texana Raceway Park and at I-37 Speedway. A graduate of Karts, he truly has racing in his blood.
“I got my start in Karting back in 2018,” he said. “The first time my grandfather built a track for Karts, it was just me and my brother running on it,” Titzman explained. “Then he built one at the entrance to his practice track, and opened it up to the public.
“Ever since then, racing at his L-87 Speedway has been really fun. It's given me a lot of experience on how to race with respect, how to pass people in a clean way. Those skills translated to the full-size cars I drive now, which really helps. Karting at L-87 was a great training ground and very fun atmosphere.”
Splitting his time between two different cars this year was a challenge for Titzman, yet he was up for it.
“The EMod I drive was built by my Grandfather back around 2010,” he explained. “He ran it in the Limited division when it was new. My Limited Mod is a 2014 BMF chassis, powered by an engine built by my Dad. I was very lucky to be able to wheel them both this season.”
As you can see, this gifted young driver gets the most out of older race cars. And along with his raw natural talent behind the wheel, Titzman has some great partners and rock-solid people in his corner.
“I want to thank Ace Transmission, Oil Field Engine & Equipment; On Demand Shirts, All In Designs and Vinco Plumbing,” he said. “I also need to thank Brad Titzman, Lawrence Mikulencak, Marcus Mikulencak, Joe Aramendia and James Cole. I appreciate what they all do for me, and couldn't race without them.”
On December 8-10, Titzman will close out his successful year in the Shootout at South Texas Race Ranch. With big money on the line at his home track, it's a chance to set the tone for a strong 2023.
“We're gearing up right now in fact to be ready for the Shootout,” he said. “That's the biggest race of the year in this area, and they're paying a big purse. I'd love to end the year with another win and set a strong tone for 2023.
“As of right now, I plan to run the Limited Mod around here full time next year. I want to get as many wins as I can, and maybe earn a points championship. I want to try and earn one or two wins at each of the tracks we run. Hopefully, with a little help, we can find the speed and consistency to get it done.”
Story by Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer
Photo by Rachel Plant/Cotton Bowl Speedway