2023 GNG’s Gift recipient Bobby Timmons, right, of Windham, stands with last year’s winner Garrett Lamb on Saturday afternoon at the 34th Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center. Travis Barrett/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — John Peters sat inside the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday afternoon, rattling off qualities which best described his late father.

Fiery. Emotional. Hard-nosed. Passionate. Fiercely competitive.

Only Peters wasn’t talking about Greg Peters, he was talking about Bobby Timmons.

Timmons, a Supermodified driver from Windham, was named the recipient of the 2023 GNG’s Gift award during the 34th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo. GNG’s Gift — a memorial auto racing sponsorship now awarded annually — is presented by Peters’ family to an under-30 race car driver from New England who best exemplifies the attributes of “Grand National Greg” Peters, as he was best known at Maine race tracks. Peters was best described as committed to success and dedicated to short track racing, with a work ethic second to none.

The amount of the sponsorship is for $5,000.09, with the 09 representing the car number that Peters himself raced during decades as a driver, crew chief and mentor in the state’s racing circles.

Peters passed away in July of 2021 following an illness.


“Unique is one of the things that sticks out,” Peters said of Timmons, noting the similarities to his younger father. “There’s also an element of being truly genuine and real.”

Timmons, who turns 30 on Monday, represents two incarnations of “Grand National Greg.”

There’s the teenaged Timmons, who by his own admission was too often angry, defiant and stubborn. And then there’s the adult version of Timmons, who finished second in the final Supermodified standings at Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire, in 2022.

“I just really leaned on how hard I worked, not only on my race program, but on myself as a person,” Timmons said. “About a year ago, I sought therapy. I went to three or four counseling sessions to try and learn to enjoy the sport more. I didn’t need to get so wound up, so angry, about everything everybody else was doing. You can only control what you can control.

“You can only put 110 percent effort into your own car, and it will go as good as you want it to go. I think all of that paid off.”

John Peters said that self-realization was one of the deciding factors in Timmons earning GNG’s Gift this year.


“He’s some things that my dad didn’t get to until much later in life,” Peters said. “He’s developed aspects of being considerate, well-spoken, and things like that.”

Like John Peters, Timmons followed in the footsteps of his father. Bob Timmons made his mark as a Supermodified driver, though Bobby graduated from kart racing to Super Late Models at tracks such as the now-defunct Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

Several years ago, Timmons decided to continue the family tradition in the winged, open-wheeled Supermodifieds.

“To quote Aaron Rodgers, ‘I’m probably closer to hole 18 than I am to hole 1,’ but I really like what we’re doing,” said Timmons, who plans on racing across the nation this summer, from Wiscasset, Maine to Berlin, Michigan. “We build everything in-house, me and dad. We just built a new car a year ago, and we’ll just keep running that. The Supermodifieds are dying, especially the big blocks, they’re going away. We’ll enjoy it while it’s still a little good and keep racing until it’s not fun anymore.”

Timmons edged out co-finalists Kate Re, of Harrison, and Nette Humphrey of Cornish. Like Timmons, Humphrey races small-block Supermodifieds. Re is a Super Late Model driver with the Pro All Stars Series. More than two dozen applications for GNG’s Gift were received, each including 2023 racing plans, budget information and an essay.

Timmons revealed he did not apply for the inaugural GNG’s Gift in 2022, won by fellow Windham resident Garrett Lamb. Lamb, who currently attends Southern New Hampshire University, won the Pro All Stars Series Modified championship last season.

“The way my season ended (in 2021), it didn’t feel right to apply,” Timmons said. “It didn’t feel like Greg would have supported that. I ended up getting escorted out of Star Speedway, flipping people off. I worked on myself, and I think this season it showed. I probably had the best year I’ve ever had as a driver and I think it was reflected in my application.

“I certainly feel like I’m much more mature and more of an adult versus the days of when I was a spoiled 19-year-old driving Scott Mulkern’s cars.”

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