Epping: Gene Wilson race report

EPPING, NH. - Gene Wilson sings the same old song and dance when it comes to winning on the IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock scene. The 27-year old, points leader from Canton, Ga., nabbed his sixth national event title at the Amalie Oil North American ...

EPPING, NH. - Gene Wilson sings the same old song and dance when it comes to winning on the IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock scene. The 27-year old, points leader from Canton, Ga., nabbed his sixth national event title at the Amalie Oil North American Nationals in Epping, NH.

The latest victory comes at the expense of John Montecalvo.

"We have got a good car and it is really consistent and that means everything," explained Wilson, who is two wins away from the eight-win mark established by Bob Glidden. "That is a testimony to Gary Henry and Toby Johnson. We are just trying to remain consistent on raceday."

Winning never gets boring for Wilson, the son of pro bass fisherman Orlando Wilson.

"Absolutely, it never gets boring," he answered. "No one person can dominate forever and we're just trying to grab as many as I can. Somewhere down the line, someone is going to step up and take it. I'm just not going to make it easy for them."

Wilson has developed a reputation of marking his territory right of the bat in qualifying. In his first trek down the quarter-mile, he emerged with a less than spectacular performance. The Mercury Cougar got up on the tires, encountered tire shake and coasted to a 15.882. The problem was traced to a faulty fuel pump switch. Not one to stay down, Wilson rebounded with the New England Dragway track record, a 6.602, 211.36. He paces the field headed into Sunday.

Saturday dawned for Wilson and unfortunately for the competition, he had not fallen off of his determined pace. The Canton, Ga.-based driver of Charlie Hunt's Mercury Cougar failed to improve on Friday's 6.602, 211.36, with his 6.617, 211.30 during the first session. That didn't bode too well for the points leader as he stormed to a 6.581, 212.31 to not only establish the top spot, but a new track record as well. Due to only 15-cars making the show at Epping, Wilson earned received a competition bye in the first round.

On his solo run, he posted an astounding 6.590, 211.73 to advance to the quarter-finals.

In his second round match against Ron Miller, he overcame a quicker reaction, but snaked out the victory at the finish with a 6.607, 211.46.

The torrid pace continued in the semis as Wilson outreacted and outran Steve Spiess with a 6.597, 211.53.

Matched up against the front-running Chevrolet of John Montecalvo, Wilson knew that he was going to have a tough battle to the winner's circle. Montecalvo was quicker on the reaction, but it only proved to prolong the inevitable as Wilson stormed by for a 6.650, 210.05.

-gwr

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Series Drag
Drivers Bob Glidden , Gene Wilson , John Montecalvo