Norwalk: Gene Wilson preview

NORWALK, Ohio - Gene Wilson can accept getting outdriven every once in a while, but when it is parts breakage that has accounted for his only losses this season, he doesn't fare with that notion too well. The 28-year old, machine shop owner and ...

NORWALK, Ohio - Gene Wilson can accept getting outdriven every once in a while, but when it is parts breakage that has accounted for his only losses this season, he doesn't fare with that notion too well. The 28-year old, machine shop owner and driver of Charlie Hunt's Pro Stock Mercury has freshened everything up and is ready to capture his first-ever IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals Pro Stock title in Norwalk.

For Wilson of Canton, Ga., it's all about winning the "Norwalk Experience."

"I think this is the ultimate race to win if you race Pro Stock," explained Wilson who has reached the final round five times this season and won four. "Since we started running Pro Stock, winning this race has been at the top of my list of goals. There's a lot at stake this weekend with the Sunoco Race Pro Stock Showdown. Let's not forget that this weekend is a pivotal race when it comes to finalizing our championship run."

Wilson currently leads the points standings in the "special-race-within-a-race" program better known as the Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock Showdown. The program, which pits the eight top points earners in a special battle for $40,000, is one that every Pro Stock racer aspires to win. Wilson is matched opposite of Chevrolet front-runner John Montecalvo in the first round of the event to be contested on Saturday.

The son of famous fisherman Orlando Wilson has been on a tear this season. He opened the first event of the season by defeating Tom Lee on a holeshot in the finals of the Holley Spring Nationals. Making Wilson's holeshot even more incredible, Lee recorded the best elapsed time in the history of the class, Wilson repeated the scenario a few weeks later at the ACDelco Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Part, located outside of Richmond, Va.

The driver of the most potent Mercury Cougar in Pro Stock carried his assault across the border into Canada and made a clean sweep of the Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals. This time he didn't have to win on quicker reactions, he was the quickest and fastest car in the field. He appeared to be on his way to adding another crown to his shelf one race later when an unexpected clutch explosion cost him a final round match at the Amalie Oil Summer Nationals.

Wilson shook off the potentially dangerous mechanical failure and returned in Leicester, NY., to claim his fourth victory of the season at the CARQUEST Empire Nationals.

The last event, a broken line-loc proved to be the culprit for his early departure at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals in Stanton, Mi.

Wilson takes it all in stride.

"Parts break and that's a part of racing," Wilson explained. "But, it sure is a good feeling to know the only reason I have lost is because of parts breakage. That has to say something right there."

-HC

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Series Drag
Drivers Gene Wilson , John Montecalvo