Stanton: Gene Wilson race report

Wilson Falls In The First Round To Former World Champion Chris Holbrook STANTON, Mi. -Recently a television ad appeared that depicted Hades as frozen over because a tightwad friend finally bought a round of drinks. There's a sneaking suspicion...

Wilson Falls In The First Round To Former World Champion Chris Holbrook

STANTON, Mi. -Recently a television ad appeared that depicted Hades as frozen over because a tightwad friend finally bought a round of drinks. There's a sneaking suspicion that the Fahrenheit dropped a little lower after the first round of eliminations at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals, hosted by the Mid-Michigan Motorplex in Stanton, Michigan. Points leader Gene Wilson proved that he was human after all by losing in the first round to former World Champion Chris Holbrook.

His woes began on the starting line as Wilson encountered staging problems and rolled in for a deep-stage. As he was adjusting to the situation, the tree flashed and Holbrook left with a .498. Wilson reacted with an uncharacteristic .853 light. By the time he went through the motions of going down the track, the four-time winner in 2001 didn't have enough with a 6.833, 194.80.

"No one ever wants to lose like that," explained Wilson, whose final round streak of five national events ended with the loss. "This is a tough class and you can never lose your focus, not even for a second. This is a minor setback and we will rebound from it."

Headed into qualifications, Wilson looked anything but like a first round runner-up. He had warned the Pro Stock fraternity time and time again, that his work is far from finished. The 28-year old, machine shop owner from Canton, Ga., ascended to the peak of the class on his first run with a 6.619, 210.37. With the sun bearing down on the track, Wilson tackled the right lane for his second qualifying attempt. His 6.630, 209.88 demoralized the troops after the first day and insured his completion of the day on the top of the qualifying list.

It became painfully evident if Pro Stock were to turn into a bracket class; Wilson would have a leg up on the competition. The current points leader reproduced his Friday best with a 6.619, with a slightly faster mile per hour of 210.44. The spectrum turned around as he produced his worst in the final session with a 6.654, 209.14.

He'll have time to regroup as the tour rolls into Norwalk, Ohio for the IHRA Mopar Parts World Nationals next month. Complete results of the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals will be available in Monday evening's debut of the latest issue of www.competitionplus.com.

-SC-

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