CONCORD, N.C. — Tim Fuller has new life on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
Capping a whirlwind week that began with his decision to part ways with John Wight’s Gypsum Express team, Fuller announced Monday that he has put together his own dirt late model effort with primary sponsorship assistance from Chad Sinon’s North Wales, Pa.-based BPG Inc. and will enter this weekend’s WoO LMS doubleheader at Hartford (Mich.) Motor Speedway and Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, Ky.
“This is a new chapter for me,” said Fuller, who switched his emphasis from DIRTcar big-block modified competition to dirt late models in 2007 and won the WoO LMS Rookie of the Year award. “I’m back to being a car owner again.”
Fuller, 43, of Watertown, N.Y., had his 2011 plans to follow the WoO LMS for a fifth consecutive season thrown into disarray in March when Wight, who owns New York’s Brewerton and Fulton speedways in addition to a fleet of modifieds and dirt late models, could not come to an agreement with World Racing Group officials to continue DIRTcar sanctioning of his tracks. The impasse between Wight and the WRG, which also operates the WoO LMS, ultimately prompted Wight to prohibit Fuller from entering Gypsum Express equipment in World of Outlaws events beyond the scheduled Illini 100 April 1-2 at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway.
Fuller sought other options to remain a tour regular. He found his savior in Sinon, a longtime owner of big-block and 358 modifieds that compete at tracks in eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.
“Chad was the key guy to allow me to buy a car and keep going on my own,” Fuller said of Sinon, who flirted with making a foray into dirt-late-model racing in the past (including some sponsorship conversations with Fuller a few years ago). “All I can say is that he made my 2011 a lot more promising than it was looking. I really had nowhere to turn until he called.
“He told me he just wanted to keep me going. He said that after a year like we had in 2009 (seven WoO LMS wins, including a record-tying four in a row), I shouldn’t be struggling and running at the back of the pack.”
Indeed, Sinon desires to see Fuller regain the form that led him to a career-best finish of fourth in the ’09 WoO LMS standings. Fuller slipped to eighth in the 2010 points race.
“I just wanted to help Tim get back on the track as quick as possible,” said Sinon, who serves as president of BPG Inc., a family-owned and -operated specialty distributor with over 30 years of expertise in mechanical and electro-mechanical component sourcing and application design. “He made a commitment to run with the World of Outlaws and wants to keep it, and I’m happy to help him do that. I’ve always liked and respected Tim and I just decided that getting involved with him was something different that I wanted to try.
“I’m really looking forward to this. It’s a break from the open-wheel deal, a cool opportunity. I’ve never seen a World of Outlaws Late Model show in person, but I know how popular the series is and I’m excited to try and get out and see a few of Tim’s races this year. It’s going to be fun — just two old Modified guys getting together to try to run with the World of Outlaws.”
Of course, Fuller heads into this weekend’s WoO LMS action with a bare-bones program: a single black front-end Rocket car along with assorted spare parts, tires and wheels that he purchased from Wight.
“John did me right on the deal to get me going,” he said.
Fuller is thankful that he now has a chance to follow the WoO LMS as he had planned. His morale has risen dramatically since landing Sinon as a sponsor.
“I was at rock bottom until he called,” said Fuller, whose car will continue to sport his familiar No. 19. “I just didn’t know what to do. If I couldn’t run with the Outlaws I was gonna have to just pick-and-choose whatever (dirt late model) races were closest to my place — races that are six, seven, eight hours away.”