Getting To Know Tim Burgess
I want to do a Q&A with different racers at the track leading up to the Flats to give the readers some more information on each racer, and to match a face with the names in the race reports. I am going to add pics just as soon as I figure out how to 🙂
I started with Tim Burgess for a couple reasons. He has an extensive slot car racing back round with some good stories to go with it, and plus I had his phone number.
I would describe Tim as an old school guy that is able to adapt to change, and different ways of doing things. Timmy races everything from the Friday night stock car class all the way to 1/24 Eurosport. Some of the nicest paint schemes you will see in slot car racing have been designed by Tim, as his bodies have won numerous concours awards from all over the country. Chassis and motor building is another area where he excels.
For a couple years during the Summer months we would drive together over to another track in Central Washington for some mid week racing. I heard some great stories that all started the same way “Back in the 70’s….”. Often times these stories had nothing to do at all with slot car racing.
I have always admired Tim’s willingness to help other racers at anytime. He will literally stop what he is doing to give you a hand. He has helped me dozens and dozens of times. His willingness to help when needed has played a big part in making racing at PSCR so successful.
I came up with a handful of questions for Tim to answer.
Q. When and where did you start racing?
A. In ’64 was the first time I visited a commercial raceway. I can’t remember the name of the track, but it was on the corner of HWY 99 and 200th St. I used to go with Jim Bowes. We would either get a ride to the track from his Grandma, or my Grandpa.
Q. What is the most memorable race or event you have been in?
A. The event that stands out to me the most was a race called the West Coast Championships in the mid 80’s. The race was sanctioned by the USRA and had somewhere around 40 racers. The race was held in Northern California I believe. I won my first concours award at a major event that weekend. I also finished second in Group 7 behind a guy named John “Torre” Anderson.
Q. Who are some racers you have enjoyed racing with over the years?
A. Jim Bowes and I grew up racing slot cars. We built cars together as kids and would spend most of our free time at the track. I raced a lot with Tom Hanson as well. We used to race at the West Seattle track, and Empire Speedway. I have always enjoyed racing with Rick Dodge as well.
Q. Every racer that I have ever been around builds so that they can race.
Sometimes I think you race so that you can build. What do you enjoy most?
A. I enjoy both really. The challenge of finding something different that no one else is doing is enjoyable for me. I am always searching for ways to be faster the next week.
Q. Do you have a slot car story that stands out in your mind?
A. I remember flying to Chicago for a race. It was myself, Tom Hanson, and Lee Gilbert on a flight from Seattle. We were headed to the Chicago 500 which was a warm up race for the wing car nats happening a few months later.
Once we landed, Lee rented a car and we were able to continue on to the raceway. We get done racing for the weekend, and it’s time to catch our flight home. Lee manages to miss the exit 3 times in a row for the airport. Not only did we miss our exit 3 times, but we had to go over the toll bridge 3 times because of missing our exit. We missed our scheduled flight home as well! It all worked out in the end as we were able to book another flight that day. We even had free drinks on the way home from Chicago!!