CONCORD, N.C. — It’s been nearly a decade since Tim Shaffer was last a regular with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and a lot has changed since then.
What hasn’t changed is his hunger to win, which is one of the big reasons Shaffer and team owner Jeff Rudzik have signed on to contest the full World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series schedule this year in the No. 49x entry.
“It’s not that big of a deal for us. We’re going to try it, you know what I mean? We’ve been racing good. I’m getting up in age and it’s a chance to go back out on the road,” Shaffer said Tuesday.
Shaffer, who won the Knoxville Nationals in 2010, is a four-time Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car champion and the winner of 25 World of Outlaws and 60 All Star events. Shaffer, who won two WoO races in limited duty last season, hopes he’ll be able to add to those numbers this year, but he acknowledges it won’t be an easy task.
With a schedule that features nearly 100 races, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series is one of the most demanding schedules in all of racing. Shaffer knows it’ll be a challenge for his small Deyman-Rudzik Racing team.
Are they up for it? Shaffer hopes so.
“We’re just going to try to run as long as we can,” Shaffer said. “I don’t know if we can make it all year but we’re going to try to. It’s a long shot deal to be honest with you for us to do a full year. You never know if you’ll get some backing and you can get some help to do it. Hopefully we can stick it out and get the full season in.”
Shaffer admitted that a lot of his concerns would be taken off the table if the team acquired some corporate sponsorship. That would allow the team to get things he thinks they need – like a few additional crew members and a better tow rig.
“Really at the end of the day, it would be to get some money behind us. Today it takes corporate money to do this right,” Shaffer said. “We would need more help, manpower, really. A different truck and trailer. What we’ve got will work, but it’s going to make it harder on all of us.
“In our situation, we’ve got to run good to keep it rolling,” Shaffer continued. “I’d love to do it and I’m glad my guys gave me a chance. I know it’s a long shot. I know it’s not the right way that we need to be doing it, but I’m 50 years old. How much longer can I do this and be competitive? Our goal is to keep this going and be competitive. I don’t want to go out there and just ride around either.”