GET TO KNOW YOUR CHAMPIONS, PART 3: Milan Dragway is highlighting its 2022 McCormack Racing E.T. Bracket Series Sunday class champions. Our Super Pro champ led the points for the entire season, wire to wire. Here’s more about our Insurance Man Super Pro champion.
SUPER PRO CHAMPION: Tim Buckley
HOMETOWN: Rossford, Ohio
CAR: 2019 Diamond Dragster
2022 WINS AT MILAN: 2
DAY JOB: Retired diesel mechanic
HOW MANY YEARS RACING: Almost 40 years
FIRST RACE CAR: The first car Buckley ever had of his own was a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, which he bought brand new. Over time, it morphed into a race car.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN RACING?: “I was just a car guy, forever. I worked with some guys who raced a little bit and … I got some parts from them. One thing led to another and here we are.”
WHAT MADE THIS CHAMPIONSHIP SPECIAL? This is Buckley’s third championship at Milan. He said it was special to win during Milan’s first year back open. He also won the first super pro race of the year.
“Winning the opening night with new owners was way cool,” Buckley said. “Because they really went through something. Those guys really had bad luck – they had a lightning strike that week and there were no pit lights, we had to go to the tower to get our ticket and the place was packed … But everything worked my way and we put it all together that night.”
MOST MEMORABLE CAREER WIN?: Buckley’s most meaningful victory wasn’t a big money race or a championship – it came on a regular weekend race this year at Muncie Dragway.
It was a big night for the Buckley family. Not only did Tim Buckley win in super pro, but his son, Wes Buckley, won in pro. The father and son have raced together for years, but this was the first time they won on the same night at the same track.
“We’ve both been in the final, probably three or four times, but only one of us won,” Buckley said. “On a whim one weekend, there was nothing else going on, so we ran down to Muncie. He ended up winning pro and I ended up winning super pro, which was kind of the highlight of the year for me. It’s just really cool to do something like that.”
ADVICE TO COMPETITORS: “You know, we’ve trained a lot of assassins. The thing is, just concentrate on your own program. Don’t worry about what this guy’s doing or what that guy’s doing. Learn from everybody, of course,” Buckley said. “But find something that works for you. You’ve just got to focus.
“It isn’t like it was 25 or 30 years ago where the knowledge (came from) ‘your buddies,’ and maybe you had the right circle of friends. Now, (the information) is out there … It doesn’t matter where you go, there are no lightweights anywhere … It’s basically right down to the package. That’s what wins races or not, anymore. You’ve got to focus on keeping a tight package, if you can.”