Friday, April 20, 2012

Sara and Timothy Peters' Love Story

Sara and Timothy Peters at the NASCAR banquet in November.
As Timothy Peters just took over the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead, I was already scheduled to chat with his wife Sara. Coincidence or not, I say it was perfect timing.

Sara Haskins came from a non-racing lifestyle before marrying Peters. A college student at the time of their meeting, racing was outside the realm of her experience.

"I didn't know much about racing at all when we started dating," Peters admits. "I liked racing as a kid, I had an aunt and uncle who would attend races at Martinsville and take me with along when I was about 8, 9 and 10. I pretty much knew nothing about it when Timothy and I started dating."

The start of the love story: 

The story of how their first date came about had my girly side saying “aww.” While Sara worked at a local car dealership as a receptionist, Timothy had a friend who worked at the same dealership. Visits to his friend became more frequent.

“Finally one Saturday he came in. He was kinda shy and I was really shy but I could tell he wanted to ask me out but was afraid. He left. The phone starting ringing a while later, it was my job to answer it so I did, and someone hung up on it. Same thing happened a few minutes later. A few minutes later someone called and it was him, he finally worked up the nerve to ask me about that night. I did come to find out later it was him that kept hanging up because he was afraid.”

Together ever since that first date, Timothy proposed to Sara on Valentine’s Day of 2002. The couple made the decision for an extended engagement; Sara was still in college and Timothy was trying to get his career launched at that point. Married on May 19, 2007 the couple will soon be celebrating their five year anniversary.

Life on the road:

During the week Sara is a medical sales rep, a job that allows her to set her hours and be free to travel with Timothy every weekend. And while Sara is at the track, she always faithfully tweets updates to her Twitter page and Timothy’s Facebook page.

When I asked Sara if she ever imagined herself packing up weekly, traveling race to race,  she said “Not in a million years. I knew when I met Timothy this was his dream and all he ever wanted to do but it is so difficult to actually break into this sport and be successful with it. It’s not that I never believed in him and that he could make it to this level, but it’s just almost unreal to think that I am one of those NASCAR wives.”

Dreams coming true before her very eyes:

Timothy’s NASCAR career got off the ground in 2005, starting a part-time deal with Bobby Hamilton Racing. Sara recounted his career for us.

“He did okay for a rookie but then he moved on to RCR (Richard Childress Racing) towards the end of 2006. We thought ‘this is it, this is your big break and you are going to be on the upswing now.’ It didn’t go as we thought it was going to,” Peters recalled with noticeable sadness in her voice. “We just hit rock bottom, we got married the next year, in May of 2007 and we were newlyweds. On July 4th of that year he was released from RCR. At that point in the sport, it was hard to race without money behind you, it still is that way to a point. We didn’t have money, here I was without a job and we had a brand new house and we struggled; it was tough for months.”

Later that year Timothy sat Sara down to plan out his next move. Determined to make it in NASCAR but without a ride, the only option was to start his own team. One year later Tom DeLoach would be their saving grace. DeLoach owns Red Horse Racing, of which Timothy has now been a team member since 2009.

“It is like home to him and to us, it is such a great team and they treat him so well,” Peters said of the long path it took them to find their racing home.

The first victory lane photo of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Peters.
Credit: Rhonda Greer Photography
“The fall of that year when he won the Martinsville race, I could not stop crying. I was like ‘he did this, he did this.’ Nobody knows the struggles that we went through and everything that he has gone through working day and night on his own team just to make ends meet. I was just a big mess, I kept sobbing and kept telling everyone I do not know what is wrong with me, I couldn’t stop crying. It felt like a dream, somebody needed to pinch me because he did it! He succeeded. Worked hard and set out on what he said he was gone to do…it was a big day for us.”

Peters' voice cracked with emotion as I asked her about her perspective as a wife, to see her husband’s dream come true that day.

“It was amazing! I do not think people knew when he won that day what it meant to us, you just cannot describe it. I just felt like that was the best day of our lives! And now here we are today with him as the points leader. It’s all due to his hard work! It’s been great. I hope it continues this way!”

Getting the scoop on Timothy:

Drivers pre-race rituals are intriguing. From eating specific foods to putting on their clothes a certain way, those habits intrigue me. Timothy doesn't have a particular ritual but what Sara said he does was a bit surprising and educational at the same time.

“He maybe eats a banana before and if it is hot out he’ll drink Pedialyte to stay hydrated.” (I reacted with a bit of shock on that one!) “Whenever we go somewhere that is hot, he drinks Pedialyte a couple of days before the race to stay hydrated and will continue drinking it all weekend.” (Hello sponsorship possibility?)

Timothy’s pet peeve? “He is a neat freak! He is an organized person and does not like things out of place. He likes things clean and organized, I will send him in my pantry and cabinets because he lines everything up neatly.”

In closing I asked Sara one thing fans should know about Timothy.

Timothy, Sara and dogs Dover, Blue and Indy.
Photo courtesy of Timothy Peters Official Facebook Page
“He is your hometown, down-to-earth guy. When we’re not racing he is at home mowing the grass and he is not into the whole “celebrity” thing. He is just your average guy next door.”

This weekend Timothy and Sara both head to Kansas Speedway with a pep in their step, as Timothy's career has finally come full circle. From despair just years ago to their home now at Red Horse Racing, Peters now leads the points battle.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Sara Peters for a wonderful chat. It was truly a pleasure to speak with you! 

0 comments :

Post a Comment