Even though the most recent X-1R Pro Cup Series race for Reid Wilson (@reidwilson66) didn’t pan out as planned, the Reid Wilson Racing (RWR) team looks to put that effort in the rear-view mirror and travel back to the Motor Mile this weekend on a strict agenda.
On the heels of a career-best finish at Tri-County (N.C.) Motor Speedway last month, Wilson and his family-owned team headed to the Summertime Showdown 200 at Orange County (N.C.) hoping to capitalize on the momentum with Wilson’s first career win.
Unfortunately, the team had some struggles in the seventh race of the season. After posting decent times during their practice runs in his No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits Chevrolet, the team missed the opportunity to deliver in qualifying and lined up 10th.
During the race, Wilson, quickly drove his No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits Chevrolet to fifth by the time the caution flew for the half-time break.
Redrawing third to kick-off the second-half of the Summertime Showdown 200, Wilson drifted back momentarily once the green flag flew, but as the end of the race neared, Wilson began his charge back towards the lead pack, finding himself fifth and closing on fourth, when the distributor rotor gave way four laps from the finish, pedaling back the No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits Chevrolet to a seventh place finish.
With a short roller coaster ride full of emotions, Wilson turns his focus towards Saturday night’s Food County 200 presented by KOMA Unwind, hoping to end up in victory lane.
“Up and down it seems for us over the last couple of races,” Reid Wilson joked. “Orange County was the first race where we came to the track and were lacking consistent speed all day. We made great strides from qualifying to the race and I felt we were going to have a good finish, but sometimes you can’t control mechanical gremlins. In our eyes, it could have been a lot worse. Now, it’s time to go back to the Motor Mile and see what we can do.”
But, it’s more than about getting to victory lane for RWR. It’s also about redemption.
Earlier this year at Motor Mile, the No. 66 Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits Chevrolet posted the fastest lap during practice by nearly four-tenths of a second over the next competitor, but soon after, the team’s promising hopes were dashed and they found themselves in the garage by Lap 11 with a rear-end failure.
Now, two months later, Wilson heads back to the 0.416-mile paved oval a man on a mission and rightfully so.
“I feel like we let one get away when we were there in June,” Wilson explained. “But now, we’re going back with a similar setup and we feel confident that we won’t have the same issue with the rear end again and we can focus on getting ourselves to victory lane.
“I know we seem to keep talking about it, but I can’t tell you how thirsty we are for it. Winning would be a big deal for me, for this team and Bojangles’. Everyone deserves it. We’re going to keep fighting hard and hope that when the checkered flag is near on Saturday night, we’re the ones contending for it.
“Motor Mile is such a cool track. It’s a short track with a lot of speed and where track position could be crucial. We’re going to stay on our toes and just focus on doing what we do best, race.”
In the race for the X-1R Pro Cup Series championship, Wilson continues to secure third in the standings, now just seven points behind second-place runner J.P. Morgan and 34 markers behind leader Caleb Holman. Saturday night’s anticipated slugfest is the final race in regular season exhibition.
“We left some points on the track at Orange County, but we’re still right there in the championship hunt,” added Wilson, a native of Huntersville, North Carolina. “Motor Mile is the final race of the regular season, before the four championship races count. In my eyes, those are the races we have to be flawless. The pressure is building, that’s for sure, so we just need to show that we can handle it like champions.”
Reid Wilson PR