LOUDON, New Hampshire – It seems forever ago since Young’s Motorsports and their development driver Reid Wilson last competed in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) race.
Thankfully, their nearly month and a half sabbatical will come to an end Saturday afternoon when Wilson steers his No. 66 TruNorth Warranty Programs / MDA Summer Camp Chevrolet around the famed New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS).
Wilson enters this weekend’s race with momentum lingering on his side, since his Andrew Abbott led team have posted two back-to-back top-10 finishes at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and Dominion Raceway respectively.
Since then, the Pro Cup Series graduate has been spending his early summer vacation at Young’s Motorsports headquarters nestled in Mooresville, North Carolina not only continuing to learn the stern mechanical fundamentals of stock car racing, but also working on himself.
“I’ve been trying to do my part and make sure I’m doing my best to stay in shape, both mentally and physically, to make sure I’m on top of my game this weekend at New Hampshire,” said Wilson. “The Young’s Motorsports have been doing their job to bring a competitive No. 66 TruNorth Warranty Programs / MDA Summer Camp Chevrolet to the race track. They need to see the same commitment from me.”
Staying fit and hydrated during the steamy summer months has proved to be beneficial from behind the wheel, but for Wilson, his part-time schedule does not allow him to get in a normal routine, but the North Carolina native says he’s more than prepared to show the same regiment as his full-time K&N competitors.
“New Hampshire is going to be a new experience for me and while I’m anxiously awaiting for it, I know this weekend might be my biggest challenge yet,” added Wilson. “It’s the biggest track I’ve ever competed on in K&N competition and for us, we need to make sure we take advantage of not only all the practice time we get, but the free time too. We’re going for three straight top-10 finishes and boy that would be a great accomplishment for us.”
Scoring a career-best sixth on Easter weekend at Greenville-Pickens, followed by a solid 10th place showing in Virginia, the 20-year old driver knows notching three top-10 runs in four races is well beyond their scope of accomplishments this season, but dreaming of a top-five finish in K&N competition could be a real impact not only for the rookie, but his freshman K&N team too.
“We’re accomplishing our goals, that’s for sure, but there’s nothing wrong with setting new ones in the process,” added Wilson. “My relationship with Young’s Motorsports has been great this season. They have taken me under their wing, shown me a different angle of the sport and we’re building on that. Thanks to TruNorth Warranty Programs and MDA Summer Camp, we’re still out there spreading the word and hoping to find ourselves in position to see that checkered flag first. It could happen. Maybe this weekend, we just have to believe, fight and never give up.”
Team owner and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Tyler Young says New Hampshire Motor Speedway isn’t the easiest track on the circuit, but considering how well his teammate has adapted this season, a huge surprise could be in the making.
“Reid’s done a real good job,” said Young. “He’s not going to New Hampshire completely blindfolded. He’s asked a lot of questions, spent some time on the internet looking at some older races and just doing his due-diligence like any young driver would. All those factors, plus our motivation to pick up where we left off at Dominion could put us in a good position Saturdayafternoon. If we can’t find ourselves in position for a winning run, we’ll refocus and do the best we can for our partners, family and friends. We’re having a lot of fun right now and that’s a huge advantage for us.”
Continuing his support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Wilson will host kids from the Massachusetts and New Hampshire MDA who suffer from neuromuscular diseases.
The United Site Services 70 (70 laps / 70 miles) is the ninth of 14 races on the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. Practice is set for Friday, July 15 from 6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. with a final practice etched in from 6:55 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Group qualifying is set for a short time later at 7:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag the next day, Saturday, July 16 around6:45 p.m. (ET) following the NASCAR XFINITY Series AutoLotto 200. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, July 21 at 11:00 p.m. ET.
Wilson tweets too. Follow him @reidwilson66.
Credit: Rita Wilson