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Dawson man’s street car makes racing premiere in Florida
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Dawson County resident Timothy Blythe drove his 5.3 LS-powered 1964 Triumph Spitfire in Florida’s “Sick Week,” a five-day street car racing event. Photo courtesy of 1320 Video.

As he revved his 1964 Triumph Spitfire through Dawsonville’s downtown roundabout, Timothy Blythe had no idea whether his car would make it to Florida for the “Sick Week” street car event in early February, let alone succeed. 

However, by the end of that week, his Spitfire had clocked in at 10.92 seconds going 122 mph on a quarter-mile track at Bradenton Motorsports Park.  

“I had no idea what would happen…I didn’t start getting excited until we got back to Bradenton, and the pressure was off of us because we finished the drive,” he said of the event’s fifth day. “I was finally confident and not worried about it anymore.”

From Feb. 7-11, 350 of the nation’s fastest cars made stops at four of the country’s fastest race tracks as part of “Sick Week.” Blythe, 349 others and 200 additional vehicles visited Bradenton Motorsports Park, Orlando Speed World, Gainesville Raceway and then South Georgia Motorsports Park before going back to Bradenton.

Blythe and others raced mid-morning to mid-afternoon before going on afternoon drives and visiting various pit stops and shows.

This past fall, DCN interviewed Blythe about his four-year stint thus far with drag racing and journey learning about car repairs. He has Facebook and Youtube pages under the name “BlytheLife Racing” to showcase his progress. 

Blythe explained that while his car’s body, particularly the exposed engine components, may have looked shocking to some, his vehicle had the necessary safety standards in mind.

“The majority of people loved the car, which surprised me,” Blythe said. “We were in the hotel lobby [one night], and a random guy, who was just staying there for work, came in, asked if I was traveling with Sick Week, shook my hand and said it (the car) was awesome.” 

“I would say the number one thing people would say was [about] having a road sign as part of the roof,” Blythe said, adding that it’s also popular to use such signs to patch up floor pans. 

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The Triumph Spitfire’s roof was one of its more popular features. The road sign came from his employer’s welding garage. Photo submitted to DCN.

Before installing the sign, he had to frame a roof similar to how one would for a convertible. When it came time to add the top, he wasn’t able to find a sheet of steel in stock. 

Fortunately, there was an old “Trucks Entering/Leaving Highway” construction sign that was laying around in his employer’s welding garage, where he’s been storing the car. 

Blythe described his street car’s performance overall as mostly “flawless,” save some small hang-ups with brakes, the turbo and seals. He made a pass at every single track and made it all the way through the bracket rankings with the Spitfire. The car ended up in about 33rd place in a class of 100 or so cars. 

During the first day of competitions in Bradenton, he even got to race against David Freitberger from the car television show “Roadkill” when an episode was being filmed, though he didn’t know it at the time. 

Blythe made the pass, outperforming Freitberger and clocking in at 108 mph for 11.18 seconds. 

Later on, Blythe saw Freitberger in south Georgia and got him to sign the Spitfire’s dashboard. 

“Anybody important that the car beats, I’m going to see if I can get them to sign the dash,” Blythe said on his vlog about “Sick Week.” 

Now, he’s looking forward to building his drag racing network and competing in more events, whether it’s with the Triumph Spitfire or his Datsun 240z. 

“[It’s] just trying to get out and do as much racing as we can this year,” he said in his vlog, “and try to have some fun with it.”

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Timothy’s Blythe’s wife, Kaitlyn, was his travel companion during “Sick Week.” Photo submitted to DCN.

He elaborated that he and his wife, Kaitlyn, particularly enjoyed the week once the street car made it past the first day. Kaitlyn traveled with him for the whole 850-mile trip, serving as both navigator and moral support.

“We talked about it at the end, and it’s the most fun we’ve ever had doing anything, and we got to do it together,” Blythe said.