Ryan Wilson Blends To A Career Best ARCA Finish At Toledo Speedway
Topics: Ryan Wilson, Federated Car Care 200
Ryan Wilson Motorsports
Knight Motorsports Management
October 18, 2011
TOLEDO, Ohio (October 18, 2011) - - With points not a major concern for Lakeville, Minnesota-based Win-Tron Racing, It was all about Ryan Wilson as the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards closed out their 2011 season this past Sunday with the running of the Federated Car Care 200 at Toledo Speedway.
Wilson, making his second consecutive start for Win-Tron Racing and fourth of the season behind the wheel of the No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry, the team was anxious to get their rookie driver on the track. Knowing that their prior success with rookies at the half-mile oval had offered a boastful point, the team still had to make sure that their Randleman, North Carolina native was comfortable behind the wheel.
It didn’t take long for Wilson to show his comfort zone at Toledo Speedway as he quickly wrestled his No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry around the track and instantly showcased as one of the strongest cars in the field by posting the third quickest lap overall by the conclusion of first practice. In happy hour, the final practice session leading up to qualifying, the team’s attempt at a qualifying run would be halted due to lap traffic, but the veteran ARCA team still showcased the 11th fastest lap.
Turning their efforts to qualifying, the NASCAR Whelen-All American Series (NWAAS) amateur took to the Northern Ohio racetrack contesting to make his fifth career start overall. Picking up the pace from his quickest lap in practice, Wilson overall maneuvered the 14th best lap after 42 cars took an attempt to make the season finale.
“I’m beating myself up right now,” said Wilson. “The Win-Tron Racing guys have given me a real fast car and I messed up a little bit in qualifying. I plan to make it up to them, Champion Brands and Southern Pharmacy Services during the race.”
Unfortunately, teams returned to the ARCA-owned racetrack on Sunday under gloomy skies and consistent rain showers. Ultimately, the start of the contest would be pushed-back nearly two hours before the command to fire engines was given. ARCA would choose to utilize the 35-car starting field to finish the track drying process throwing both the green and yellow flags simultaneously for the first 40 circuits of the contest. With the yellow flag retracted and the green “officially” given to the field, Wilson was anxious to get the front and he didn’t hide it.
Quickly moving in the 13th position by lap 45, Wilson set his sights on the strong group of lead cars ahead of him. Just six laps later, Wilson found himself inside the top-10 and posting lap times comparable to the leaders.
Normal short track racing consists of typical beating and banging and Wilson had demonstrated that fact by lap 58 as contact while racing to inch up the leader board would cause a tire rub and ultimately force a trip down pit road during an early race caution where crew chief Mike Chaffee advised his team to change right side tires and pull the fender from the No. 32 Champion Brands Toyota Camry before sending their driver back into competition.
Finding himself deep in a lead lap group, Wilson restarted 18th but quickly began making progress and found himself in 13th by lap 92. Moving into 12th by lap 121, another yellow flag waived allowing Chaffee to bring his driver down pit lane for two left side tires and a splash of fuel. The strategy call would pay off and move the winner of last Fall’s Richard Petty Driver Search II back into the top-10 in ninth on lap 124.
Tight racing would see Wilson shift in the running order over the next 25 laps slipping to as low as 11th before climbing into eighth on lap 144. With 50 laps remaining, Wilson would make a pass by the No. 68 of Will Kimmel for seventh and the two late model drivers would duke it out for that position for many laps before eventual contact was made sending Kimmel into the outside wall and Wilson barely escaping unscathed.
Trying to shake off the incident and re-focus on the job at hand, Wilson continued to move forward and had lifted into the sixth position by 178. Wilson hovered in sixth coming to the white flag only to see the yellow flag raise just seconds later throwing the field into overtime and also rising the 19-year old to fifth after the leaders collided in turn two.
On the restart, Wilson would find himself in a torrid battle with the No. 36 of Grant Enfinger where the two would hash it out the entire final lap with the No. 36 pulling ahead of the No. 32 by inches at the checkered flag with Wilson delivering a sixth place finish, accelerating past his prior ARCA best of ninth at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway earlier this season.
Upon conclusion of the race, Wilson unbuckled himself from his automobile and personally found Will Kimmel to apologize about the incident near the end of the race. After the two conversed, Wilson then digested the afternoon’s race with the members of his team.
“First, I hate what happened to Will (Kimmel),” Wilson said. “We were racing real hard and it was completely unintentional. Second, I’d like to thank the Win-Tron Racing team for giving me such a good racecar. It was a blast to drive this thing. We were able to come from the back to the front and stay there. The battle on the last lap was intense, but we (Grant Enfinger) raced each other as clean as we could and he just got us by a hare.”
He added, “This was my fourth race with Champion Brands as a sponsor and I was proud to represent them. We were excited to have Southern Pharmacy Services on-board for Toledo and we’re hoping to put some stuff together during the off-season that will see us back on track together in 2012.”
Nate Thiesse, co-car owner of Win-Tron Racing offered his sentiments on the Federated Car Care 200. “We’re impressed, especially with Ryan never seeing Toledo Speedway before arriving on Friday night. He’s an incredible person with a wealth of talent. He did an amazing job during the race and showed that he has the ability to race with the best of the best in ARCA. We’re proud to end the year with a positive finish, just like we started the year and to have been associated with Ryan and his group this season. We’re going to work hard towards trying to keep him in this seat for 2012.”
Wilson has five career ARCA Racing Series starts to his credit. In those five outings, he has maneuvered two top-10s, four top-15s and a career-best qualifying effort of fifth at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Wilson has also controlled the ARCA field once for three laps at Kansas Speedway.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is the 2011 championship banquet which is set for Saturday, December 10th at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati. The top-20 drivers and top-10 owners and drivers will be recognized for their participation in the series this year.
Further information including driver opportunities with Win-Tron Racing is available by visiting win-tronracing.com or contacting Nate Thiesse at 612.306.1641
For more on Champion Brands LLC and their extensive line of products, please log on to championbrands.com or championsusechampion.com.
Additional input on Ryan Wilson is available by logging on the web at RyanWilsonMotorsports.com.
RYAN WILSON CONTACT:
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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