By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo By: Rachel Plant
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — With over 50 feature wins to his credit in nearly a decade of racing across central Texas, he's considered a threat to win every time he unloads. While he may not have the years of experience under his belt that some of his rivals possess, his skills are just as finely-honed.
For 41-year-old Tim Homeyer, the new season is off to a slow start. The 2019-20 Factory Stock points runner-up at Cotton Bowl Speedway has just one top-10 finish in three starts, but it won't be long until he's back in Victory Lane.
Last year, Homeyer had five wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at CBS, narrowly missing the title by a scant three markers to Adam Haugh. While he isn't focused on chasing points right now, the goal of winning races is front and center for this intelligent man with 20 years in the electrical field.
“It's been a lot slower start this year than I'm used to,” Homeyer said. “The first two nights I had engine trouble. Last Saturday night, I got involved in a wreck on lap one of the Heat race. We worked our butts off to get it put back together, started the feature in 24th and made it up to 10th by the finish.
“I haven't stated off this season very well at all. I normally have a win in the first three races, but I'm far from it right now. I'll definitely get there, but it's not easy. I was expecting to be in contention last week but it didn't pan out. The wreck damaged tie rods, my spindle, and broke my brake caliper. It was bad.”
You may think with his impressive resume of wins and titles that Homeyer has been at this game forever. I made the mistake of assuming that myself, yet the man isn't really one of those long-timers.
“I just started in 2011, running in the old Pure Stock division,” Homeyer explained. “In 2014, I won the Stock car championship at Cotton Bowl. That was right before they merged over to Factory Stock. I had set out that year to win a title, and fortunately, it worked out for us.
“In 2016, I won the Factory Stock championship at Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas. That was what I considered my home track. The class was just getting off the ground, like Pure Stocks mixed in and rules to accommodate various cars. I had an advantage at times, but earning that title was a challenge.”
Among his many career highlights is a race in which he pulled off an amazing feat, one few can match.
“I'd have to say one of my biggest career highlights came last year when I unlapped myself under green,” Homeyer added. “Shortly after that, the caution flag waved, and on the restart I started at the tail and drove by everybody to win the feature. It was an amzing night, one I may not ever repeat.”
Always one to run good equipment, Homeyer is wheeling a brand new machine for 2021. It's quite a machine, one he hopes will carry him into Victory Lane on a regular basis.
“I have a brand new Predator chassis this year from Eric Martin,” he explained. “I took delivery of it as a bare chassis and finished building it myself from the ground up. There aren't many around, I believe I have chassis No. 8 in my possession.”
As far as horsepower under the hood, the hands-on driver gathers the finest components and handles the actual assembly himself. He's connected with all the right people from which to get the good stuff.
“I do all of my own bottom-end assembly, and get my cams and heads from Pat Foreman at Foreman Racing Heads,” Homeyer said. “I have to get parts machined of course, but enjoy assembling my own engines. I've had good luck for the most part and get guidance from Pat whenever an issue pops up.”
In his years of competing in this wild world of Factory Stock, Homeyer has witnessed an evolution of rules, and now, as we've all seen, an absolute explosion in car counts as everybody hops on board.
“It actually started out as Pure Stocks back in the day,” he explained. “But in time, we saw what they were doing up in the ArkLaTex area with these Factory Stocks. They were getting 50-100 cars for their big races. We were doing good at our year-end races to have 25 cars show up.
“I was getting on the Houston area promoters to adopt the Factory Stock rules. I told them it was the next big thing, and it has turned out to be all that and more. The growth we're seeing now is unreal.”
It's neat to see where the highly-popular division got its start, and to ponder where it may be headed.
“It started out as a budget-minded class. Gene Boyter, who owns ArkLaTex Speedway, was the guy who started this class. He went with affordable Hoosier F45 pull-offs, stock engines, no aluminum bodies and you couldn't gut the cars out. It was really close to what the Pure Stock class used to be.”
Yet racers will be racers, and we've all seen rules packages intended to save money evolve over time.
“Each year, people started asking for more and more flexibility. They asked for better shocks, better suspension, they complained that stock steel body panels were getting hard to find and asked to go with aluminum panels, so now we use those. It started getting out of hand. It will eventually outgrow itself.
“I'm afraid that some day, the high costs will force it to evolve into another class. One of the reasons I built a new car this year is the fact you need the best out there to win races. Two years ago, I rolled a brand-new car over on opening day at Cotton Bowl. It was totaled. Last year, I ran a 2017 car that Westin Abbey used to drive. It was a big step up, but I needed a new, top-of-the-line car for 2021.”
Along with his immense natural talent behind the wheel, Homeyer also has several key people working behind the scenes to ensure his racing program stays on track.
“I'm very blessed to have some incredibly good people in my corner,” he said. “I need to thank Don Wilde, who is my primary sponsor. I can't thank him enough for his support of my racing program. I also need to thank Pat Foreman, who has tons of knowledge and keeps me up to speed.
“I also want to thank John Hobbs, owner of Gunslinger Ammo and a huge supporter at CBS, for offering the $200 Quick Draw Fast Time Award at every race for the Factory Stock class. That is a great incentive. I only have a few sponsors, but most importantly, they are my friends. I also want to offer a special thanks to Stephen Matula for helping me at the track every weekend in the pits. I appreciate him a ton.”
We all know it takes wheelbarrows full of cash to do this, as well, not just good people in your corner.
“Those dear friends combine to keep me competitive, support from great companies like Don Wilde Racecraft, Pat Foreman Racing Heads, Gunslinger Ammo and Homeyer Fabrication are what allows me to do this.”
As the meat of the season arrives and busy weekends become a blur, Homeyer's focus remains clear.
“For this year, I'm going after as many wins as possoible,” he concluded. If we can win some races and string together some top fives, the points will take care of themselves. If I see we are in contention late in the year, I may go after the title. But for now, our focus is on getting this new car in Victory Lane.”