Leicester: Gene Wilson race notes

LEICESTER, N.Y. - You were fresh out of luck if you thought the fisherman's son from Canton, Ga., was done in his assault on the Pro Stock field. Gene Wilson, 28 of Canton, Ga., could do no wrong as he not only scored his fourth Sunoco Pro Stock...

LEICESTER, N.Y. - You were fresh out of luck if you thought the fisherman's son from Canton, Ga., was done in his assault on the Pro Stock field. Gene Wilson, 28 of Canton, Ga., could do no wrong as he not only scored his fourth Sunoco Pro Stock title at the IHRA CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, N.Y., but also reached his fifth consecutive final round.

For Wilson, who defeated Tim Nabors in the final round, the win was a testimony to the hard work of his team. He also pushed aside the memories of the clutch explosion in the final round at Cordova.

"When I got up to the starting line, I just wanted to stay focused," explained Wilson. "When something like that happens to you, it is hard to keep your focus and drive. I knew that if we could ever get over that hump that we'd be fine. I knew that if I did my job, then my crew would have my car ready. That's how much confidence I have in them."

He started eliminations from the pole position with a 6.614, 210.05 in Charlie Hunt's, Don Smith Ford-sponsored Mercury Cougar. He was on a mission as he used a bye run in the first round when Bob Holzer failed to make the first round call. He then rolled to the line and scored an easy win as Brian Gahm fouled. He advanced to the final round by outreacting and outrunning Ron Miller, the defending event champion.

In the finals, he nailed Nabors to the tree and went on for yet another victory.

Wilson smiles when he gives a big "I told you so." The son of famous fisherman Orlando Wilson warned the rest of the class to not start a party when his winning streak was broken in Cordova.

"The party is not over yet," explained Wilson. "I'll tell you what, it's a testimony to my crew. In my opinion, they are the best out here. They do an excellent job and they give it a hundred percent every time I come to the starting line. That lets me focus a lot better on the job that I have to do."

-IHRA

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Series Drag
Drivers Gene Wilson