Wilson Executes Top-10 Finish For Win-Tron Racing
LONG POND, PA - Randleman, North Carolina native Ryan Wilson executed his career-best finish in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Sunday morning by posting a ninth place finish in the postponed Pennsylvania ARCA 125 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
￼Wilson, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) superstar made his debut with the potent Win-Tron Racing last week at Lucas Oil Raceway. Not originally scheduled to drive in this event, the team phoned Wilson earlier in the week and asked him to wheel the No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry. With humbleness, Wilson accepted the invitation and rightfully became excited for his speedway debut.
Arriving at the track on Friday, Wilson was eager to climb into the seat and take to the track. A lone practice session Friday afternoon allowed the rookie to impressively nail the seventh quickest time. The team led by wizard crew chief Mike Chaffee consulted with his driver where they both agreed to make some slight changes to their Japanese nameplate in time for qualifying.
After drawing the final qualifying spot earlier in the day, Wilson maneuvered a lap of 54.290 seconds at 163.144 miles per hour. The one-lap effort was nearly a second faster than his practice results. Wilson’s impressive lap would land him in the fifth position, a career-best for Wilson in his Pocono (Pa.) Raceway debut.
Pleased with his No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry, the team returned to the racetrack on Saturday ready to do battle. Unfortunately, Mother Nature would have alternative plans, as rain soaked the Long Pond racetrack ultimately forcing officials to postpone the race until Sunday morning following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series shootout.
Sunday greeted the teams with overcast skies when the engines fired shortly after 10:00 a.m. Wilson wouldn’t have a chance to bolt towards the leaders as the caution flag quickly waived just after the completion of lap one when several racecars tangled entering turn one.
A lengthy caution period kept Wilson antsy, as he was ready to resume racing. Green flag racing resumed on lap 13 with Wilson hovering comfortably in the top-seven.
As the race pressed on, Wilson’s machine developed a tight condition but the pilot wasn’t complaining as he was just focused on learning and keeping his automobile solidly in the top-10.
The caution waived again near the halfway point of the 50-lap shootout which allowed Chaffee to bring the Late Model ace to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to loosen up his machine.
Restarting ninth, Wilson would slip back on the ensuing restart, losing a couple positions before the caution waived again for an incident involving the No. 08. With advice and coaching from his team, Wilson was determined to re-enter his No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry into the top-10.
With just under 20 laps remaining when the field returned to racing, Wilson quietly began picking off his competitors. Quickly making work of Will Kimmel, Wilson moved into 11th and eyed ninth and 10th held by Sean Corr and Frank Kimmel. Wilson was easily able to make work of them and found himself hoisting ninth with the laps dwindling down.
￼Able to see eighth place runner Robb Brent with just three laps remaining, Wilson tried to reel himself in to battle his fellow Toyota racer, but the checkered flag was thrown before Wilson could complete the pass. His ninth place finish was the 19-year old’s best finish in three ARCA races. Previously, Wilson finished 14th in his ARCA debut at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway last October in a car fielded by Richard Petty.
“I’m happy, but yet disappointed at the same time,” offered Wilson after the race. “The Win-Tron Racing team gave me another good racecar. I thought for my first time here, we did well all things considered. The biggest thing I am going to work on between now and my next race is my restarts. I think that hurt us a little, but I was still satisfied to bring home a top-10 finish for Win-Tron Racing, Champion Brands and the Trinity Children’s Foundation.”
Nate Thiesse co-car owner offered his sentiments on Wilson’s outing. “We could not have asked for anything more out of Ryan this weekend, especially at a place he’s never been too. His feedback for Pocono was incredible and his strength in qualifying surprised us all. We’re exceptionally pleased overall with how he performed in the race. It really was a good weekend for us. We’re looking forward to having Ryan back in the seat real soon.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the first of two dirt races of the season. The 14th race of the year steers the teams to Illinois before landing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) for the running of the Allen Crowe 100 set for Sunday, August 21.