Peters and GMS together for Martinsville

Peters and GMS together for Martinsville

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Peters and GMS together for Martinsville

Timothy Peters will ride again with GMS Racing for the Camping World Truck Series race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

The Texas Roadhouse 200 (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1) will be Peters fourth race with the team. An opportunity presented to the 38-year-old after his victory Oct. 13 at Talladega. Peters will drive the No. 23 Chevrolet and the GMS Xfinity Series group will be Peters team.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Peters told RACER. “Definitely confidence is up, for sure. The competition is tough, but I feel like I’m going to battle with the best in the business. My track record is decent, and I’m humble at the shot to go. From the first time I walked across the track to run a late model back in ’97, things just clicked as far as the racetrack and myself, and how my driving style fits that place. Had a lot of success there.

“Got my first truck win there (in 2009) and won a couple of late model races there, so with the win from Talladega and everybody involved at GMS Racing and Fabrication, the confidence and momentum going into that race are definitely going to be high. I can’t wait.”

Building a sixth entry for the race – Peters makes five GMS trucks and the No. 52 of Stewart Friesen is a GMS alliance member – was made possible through GMS Fabrication. The organization has a fabrication shop on its campus in Statesville, North Carolina.

“Ever since I started at GMS Racing, having a complete fabrication and body shop on our campus was always my goal,” said GMS president Mike Beam. “I am thankful for our owner, Maury Gallagher, that allowed me to start and build GMS Fabrication into what it is today. You don’t see many small teams that have a complete fabrication shop on their campus.

“I feel like it gives us an advantage over the competitors and it also allows us to be creative and try new things without having to ship the chassis back to the body shop if something isn’t correct. Barry Swift runs the operations and does a great job organizing our trucks as well as other clients to build championship caliber trucks.”

Being a Danville, Virginia, native, Peters is as grateful to compete at his home track as he is just to be racing. A full-time Truck Series competitor from 2009-’16, Peters was a consistent championship contender. Finishing top five in points in five of those eight seasons, Peters also won 10 races.

Then Red Horse Racing shut its doors in May 2017, and Peters has been in a state of flux. Last year, he competed in just eight races — three following the close of Red Horse. Peters ran for Ricky Benton at Martinsville earlier this year buth then had been absent until GMS needed a driver to fill the No. 25 after a split with Dalton Sargeant and Spencer Gallagher, who was going to drive it, got hurt.

“I’m 38. Am I young guy? No, but I feel like I’m 18 and I do feel like I can get the job done,” Peters said. “Was it an audition? OK, yeah, I’ll go ahead and give you that, but also I wanted to do the best I could to show [GMS] and other folks, hey, I can still do it. Getting to go to Martinsville is a blessing they created for me, and I can’t thank them enough. But I hope something comes of it. If not, wow, it’s been incredible.”

Peters celebrates at Talladega. (Image by John Harrelson/NKP/LAT)

Talladega was Peters’ last scheduled start with the team. Winning the race was not only emotional on that front, but because it kept Peters in the conversation of drivers available as he wants to be back in the series.

“Oh, I want to be back; I want it more than ever,” Peters said. “And again, when you are out of sight, out of mind there are some questions that — we’re all human — we all ask ourselves. Not really doubt, but questions a racer goes through.”

Peters said his three-race stint at Canada, Las Vegas, and Talladega with solid runs each time out rejuvenated him.

“It gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “I’ve always been a confident person in my ability, but this just kind of backed it up for me. I never want to stop racing. The first still burns heavily in me to be out there, and I want to be out there, and be with a good team. Who knows? The good Lord has a plan and if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.”

GMS Racing has developed into an elite Truck Series organization in recent years. The arrival of Johnny Sauter in 2016 led to a first championship for both parties. This year, GMS has won with three different drivers, as it also did a year ago. Sauter and Justin Haley are still championship eligible as the Round of 6 kicks off this weekend.

Asked what he’s seen and learned of GMS and its success in his short time there, Peters mentioned Gallagher and Beam putting the right people together and the pairing of crew chiefs and drivers.

“It’s commitment,” Peters said.

One more race in hand, Peters feels ready to deliver another good day.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself — anybody you ask in the garage, where do you want to win at? They’ll tell you they want to win at home. Martinsville is home for me. It’s where our late model is based out of. I’ve had a lot of success there.

“At the end of the day, if we can go there and stay out of trouble — because even though I love Martinsville, I consider it a place you can be involved in something not of your doing that can take you out of the race, potentially. If we can run there top five like I know we can, stay out of trouble and execute, when it gets down to pay dirt, I think if we’re in the top five, I think a win is not out of the question.”

Said Beam, “We are very excited to have Timothy behind the wheel of our No. 23 entry at Martinsville this coming weekend. Peters won at Talladega for us, and after speaking to Maury, we felt like it was a good opportunity for Peters and GMs to have him run Martinsville for us. Everyone is pulling together to build this truck to its maximum performance With the help of our Xfinity team and GMS Fabrication; I feel like we will be able to build him a truck that has a really good chance to take another trip to victory lane.”

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