Shreveport: Gene Wilson post-race notes

Gene Wilson Ties Bob Glidden's single-season record with 8th national event win in Shreveport SHREVEPORT, La. - Being mentioned in the same sentence makes him feel a sense of pride that he just can't explain. That's exactly how newly crowned ...

Gene Wilson Ties Bob Glidden's single-season record with 8th national event win in Shreveport

SHREVEPORT, La. - Being mentioned in the same sentence makes him feel a sense of pride that he just can't explain. That's exactly how newly crowned 2001 Pro Stock World Champion Gene Wilson feels when he's mentioned in the same sentence with legendary icon Bob Glidden. The 28-year old, driver from Canton, Ga., insured himself a place in the IHRA record books as he claimed his eighth national event at the Mopar Parts World Finals, hosted by Red River Raceway in Shreveport, La.

Wilson's latest victory came at the expense of Ron Miller in the final round.

"This is probably the most important race that I have ever raced," explained Wilson, who drives the Charlie Hunt Mercury Cougar tuned by Gary Henry. "I've made a lot of passes down different dragstrips in my life, but that final round was the most important one. This one was what all the others were in preparation for. I know I've said it before, but Bob Glidden is nothing short of a legend in my eyes. I can' tell you how much it means to me to be mentioned in the same sentence, much less share a record with him."

This was anything but an easy win for Wilson, even though he made it look that way. His willingness to help a fellow racer, who wounded their motor, proved to be an obstacle en route to the winner's circle. IHRA rules mandate that once an engine qualifies in a car, it cannot be removed and put it into another.

That proved to be a major hurdle when the team hurt their lone motor on the first day of qualifying. The damage was so serious that the team opted to skip the third qualifying session. Wilson still claimed the top spot in the program with a 6.571.

Wilson never flinched, and in the first round laid down a 6.548 to easily surpass Jerry Yeoman. He maintained his torrid pace as he blasted by Jason Collins and then the potent Chevrolet of John Montecalvo.

In the final round, Wilson blew Ron Miller away out of the gate and led him to the finish line with a 6.579, 212.36.

Wilson concludes his finest season ever with eight wins and one runner-up and an elapsed time record. The impressive part of Wilson's performance in 2001 is that he had never won a national event before in his career.

-HC-

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Series Drag
Drivers Bob Glidden , Gene Wilson , John Montecalvo