Riding the Back Roads: My Life in Sprint Car


Manage episode 331125852 series 3346937
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Tim Coffeen Talks Indy car and Racing History is part of the Sports History Network - The Headquarters For Sports Yesteryear.


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It sounds like a nightmare…

When your race car transport truck stops for gas, you hop out for a moment only to return and find the truck gone! In the days before cell phones, you’re left without your wallet, your shirt, and no visible means of catching up with the truck. What do you do?

Before he traveled around the world in a style befitting a championship Indy Car team, Tim Coffeen worked his way up through a never-ending trail of dirt tracks, tough competition, and a lack of hotel accommodations on the Sprint Car circuit. Usually sleeping on floors or in his truck, Tim pursued his auto racing dreams as both a driver and a mechanic in Sprint Car competition.

In this episode of “Tim Coffeen Talks Indy Car and Racing History,” Tim recalls the hardships and determination that this lifestyle required of a young man…but it was all necessary if he expected to move up in the auto racing universe.

He'll discuss the personalities that he met along the way, including his mentors Bubby Jones and Jan Opperman, explain how he was accidentally abandoned at that long ago rest stop, and who helped him accrue the funds needed to purchase his first race car. Sprint drivers were accustomed to driving all night to reach the weekend races and Tim Coffeen will never forget the generous gesture made by his friend Robin Miller when Tim was offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel early in his career.

Among the other topics discussed in this program are:

The locations of the dirt tracks he frequented during those early years.

His own success as a driver before his first big break as a crew member.

The best and worst times he experienced as a Sprint Car driver.

How Sprint Cars (and their drivers) were financed.

How his Sprint Car team helped prepare Tim for his future career in Indy Car.

Why some of Tim’s favorite Sprint Car drivers remain so special to him personally.

Finally, Tim shares (as only he can), some of his favorite stories from behind the scenes of his Sprint Car days.



Tim Coffeen - the man with the stories

Joe Ziemba - host and interviewer

Ross Blilie - intro/trailer production


Tim Coffeen, the host of “Tim Coffeen Talks Indy car and Racing History,” will share stories and memories from his long career with top Indy car teams. As a winner of seven championship rings, Tim not only understands the history of open-wheel racing, he has lived it!