"Some people think they're old and want to sit in a chair. I want to sit in a chair, but it just happens to be in a race car."
Tommy Archer's passion for racing started at an early age. Tommy flew through racing school because he "was so good" and proved so as he won his first-ever IIRA race. Young Tommy continued to be successful as he went on to win seven National IIRA championships between 1972-1987. His achievements continue today at the age of 60 and he has no plans of stopping, "I don't feel like 60, I feel more like 40," Tommy said.
I asked Tommy, "How do you win so often, how are you so good? Is it the car, the drivers [your] skills, what?" Tommy laughed a belly laugh and said,
"The car talks through your (ahem).. butt. Somehow your brain calculates that feeling and you then can make adjustments to the car based on the feel that comes through your seat. Some people can feel it and some people cannot? I have been blessed with very sensitive feelings that way and can feel more car translations than some."
Tommy also compared it to dancing with a woman. If the woman (car) does not want to dance (race), then the dance will not work. "If you try and force a woman to dance, she most definitely will not be very receptive of you," Tommy said, "When it all comes together it is almost magical how the two of you are now in unison with each other. This allows you and the car to produce faster laps around the racetrack which is the whole purpose of racing."
Today, Tommy and his crew are getting cars tuned up for the TA2 series. For those who don’t know, the TA2 (Trans Am) class are muscle cars; the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger. The "Oldies but Goodies" with ,modern adaptations. In the TA3 class, one will find American and European engineered cars. The BMW's, Porsches, and the like.
The first race took place in Sebring, FL, in March, where Tommy placed overall fourth. Tommy was more than OK with that,
"We were happy...We wanted the world to see what we were doing, knowing full well that Tommy Archer was going to go to the Mayo Clinic and get taken apart and put back together again; the old Humpty Dumpty story."
Oh, did I forget to mention that part? Yep, Tommy Archer is 60 and is recovering from cancer. After the race in Sebring, Tommy had surgery but now is back at it and feeling better than before the surgery. "I wouldn’t be racing if I didn’t think I had a chance to win," Tommy said, "I'm only there to do that [win]."
Tommy missed four races in the series, but he is back for the last seven, hoping to win a minimum of one race which he says "is definitely possible."
Tommy is always top five in every race he's ever been in. "If we're not fast, we'll find a way to be fast. I enjoy beating people; my home is pole position," Tommy Smiles as he says, "That's even the name of my boat."
"There's no pressure to win three or four; too many things come into play," Tommy said, "but the remainder of this season will be to get Archer Racing in championship contention, so we can start next March going for the 2016 championship."
The next race will be in Brainerd during the fourth of July weekend. Be on the lookout for in this race Tommy will debut a brand new car; a blue Camero. A racecar, that at the time of this interview, was not at the shop yet, yikes! No worries though, Tommy is excited for a race at 'home' during a big weekend! Two other cars will be racing that weekend with Tommy. Nate Stokey will be in a Chevy Camaro in the TA2 class and Tom Atherton will be in a Dodge Viper in the TA3 class. And besides the races, there will be live music, fireworks, and camping. There's also a (GOOD) possibility that the races will be broadcast on TV.
Tag(s): Stock Car Racing