Quick List By: RACE PRO WEEKLY – CLIFTON SPRINGS, NY – Gary Tomkins, hailing from Clifton Springs, NY, is a former DIRTcar Series Champion with 23 career Modified feature event wins. Last season, he visited victory lane on two occasions, picking up a win at the Brewerton Speedway on July 14th and at Rolling Wheels on August 10th when he took home the Summer Broiler 75.
Now, on to “The Quick List”…
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is the real Gary Tomkins?
Just a guy who’s the son of a former farmer. Ask me a question and I’ll give you a straight answer, no sugarcoating for me.
What was your favorite car, of all time, that you’ve had the chance to race?
My favorite car would probably be the 2008 BRP car that had the first rubber floor in it. We got it in the Spring and ran it once at Albany Saratoga with a small block in it and didn’t run that well. We put a big block in it late in the Summer and got a 3rd at the SDS race at Brewerton, won the SDS race at Can Am, and won the SDS race at Cornwall all in one weekend. We never finished out of the top 5 for the rest of the year in any race we ran it except for ESW where we finished 6th after having a flat tire on lap 105. That car won a lot of money over the years with Dale Planck and Danny Johnson also driving it.
Was 2017 a good year in your eyes?
In 2017 we only won twice, so for me it wasn’t a good year. We had some mechanical issues that I think kept us from winning more though, because we had speed in the 3 teams I drove for. Hopefully we can have a little better luck in 2018 with that.
What did you do to make it successful?
Well we were fast for the most part. We missed the setup a few times, but were never really too slow. We will be working this Winter to find ways to get more speed and be more consistent and hopefully get more wins.
Where do you feel you could have improved?
We had some issues with motors in 2017, hopefully we can take care of that for 2018. We need to get better on slick tracks. We have been working on changing that for 2018.
How long have you been behind the wheel of a racecar?
I started driving when I was 15 in 1981 in a street stock. I’ve been driving most every year since then. I consider myself lucky to be able to drive a race car and be successful at it for that long!
What made you interested in the sport?
I’ve wanted to be a race car driver ever since I can remember. My parents were fans and got to be friends with some of the drivers when I was little. All I could ever think of was how cool it would be to drive a race car.
How important is family to your racing?
My family is very important to my racing, I couldn’t do it without them. Twice I got a chance to go to Australia to race and both times I took my wife and son. It meant a lot to me to be able to do that. Currently I take care of the Darren Kendrick cars I drive and my dad often comes to the shop and helps out. I also had a chance to work with my brother again at SDW this year which was nice.
Do you like to travel or stick close to home with your racing? Which makes you a stronger driver?
I love to travel to race whenever I get a chance. I’m hoping I can find a ride to compete on the SDS again. You’re definitely a better driver the more you race especially if you race at numerous tracks.
What are your goals for 2018?
My goal in 2018 is the same goal I have every year. Win as much as I can and be consistently fast!!