Wilson Impresses Veterans His First Time Driving A Pavement Sprint Car CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., Nov. 9 - Sixteen-year-old USAC Kenyon midget driver Jacob Wilson of Crawfordsville, Ind., took a step towards motorsports' big leagues recently when he...
Wilson Impresses Veterans His First Time Driving A Pavement Sprint Car
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind., Nov. 9 - Sixteen-year-old USAC Kenyon midget driver Jacob Wilson of Crawfordsville, Ind., took a step towards motorsports' big leagues recently when he tested the Walker-Guiducci Racing No. 11D pavement sprint car at the quarter-mile, high-banked Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind.
The 800-horsepower car is normally driven on the USAC national sprint car circuit by USAC legend Dave Darland.
Wilson's test with car owner Jeff Walker was arranged by veteran car owner and crew chief Jack French. Both men were impressed with Wilson, a junior at North Montgomery High School in Crawfordsville, Ind., and a seven-time World Karting Association national champion.
Although the test marked the first time that Wilson has driven a sprint car, Walker noted that his throttle control was excellent right from the start. After a chassis adjustment his lap times started to come down to competitive numbers and he was getting more comfortable each lap. After his tires warmed up he ran eight very consistent laps in a row below the 11.6-second mark, which was exactly what French had hoped to see.
"Jacob has proven he can drive one of these things for sure," Walker said. "I think he has a future in sprint cars."
Wilson, who started racing go-karts at age 6, said the whole experience was a dream come true. "It was so neat to drive a car that one of my heroes, Dave Darland, has won races in. It's just like a dream."
Since Wilson achieved his goal so quickly, there was enough time left in the session to allow USAC dirt sprint car rookie Dustin Morgan and Wilson's younger brother, Clinton, to record some laps too.
The latter was all smiles when he unbuckled the safety harnesses. "Man, that thing has some power!" said the 14-year-old, who like his older brother has been racing USAC Kenyon midgets this year.
Both Wilson brothers are exploring every opportunity available to them for the 2007 season.
"I just want to see what's available and try to find the best fit for me as a driver," Jacob Wilson said. "I want to thank Jack, Jeff and Dave for letting me drive Dave's car. I loved it, and hopefully this will open some doors for me."
Wilson plans to compete in the Fort Wayne Rumble, a national USAC indoor midget race, at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. Dec. 29-30. He will drive his family's black No. 07 midget. He won his first USAC national midget heat at that event last year and finished an impressive tenth in the feature, won by NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart.