Wilson Plots Putnamville Edge
by Tony Veneziano, PUTNAMVILLE, Ind. (June 6, 2016) – Only one driver competing full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series this season has raced both a winged and non-wing sprint car at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. That driver is rookie contender Greg Wilson.
The Ohio native will return to the high-banked bullring in Indiana on Wednesday, June 8, as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series visits the track for the first time since 1988 and just the third time ever. The event will be the final stop of the season for the series in the state of Indiana.
Wilson made his most recent visit to Lincoln Park Speedway in 2006 with the former National Sprint Tour (NST), which was the last time that winged sprint cars raced at the venue. He just missed qualifying for the feature in that event. Wilson last raced a non-wing sprint car at Lincoln Park Speedway in 1998, during Indiana Sprint Week with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series. In that event, which featured a stacked 55-car field, Wilson finished second in his heat race to earn a spot in the main event.
“I hope that having been there and having some laps helps,” said Wilson. “Even though we have been to Lincoln Park (Speedway) it will still be a little bit different, but we are hoping some of that experience pays off. We had some really good runs there when I was younger in the non-wing car. We were there for the NST race as well. It’s a really cool place and I am excited to get back to another track in Indiana with this Hercules Tires/Ohio Logistics car.”
With Lincoln Park being more of a “set-up” track versus just brute horsepower, Wilson looks for the information shared between driver and crew to be paramount, in regards to finding the right balance. In the past few years more non-wing drivers have been crossing over and competing more in winged races.
“Running the non-wing car is a lot different than the winged car,” explained Wilson. “The non-wing car have a tendency to slip and slide around and bicycle. In the winged car, you want to get them to rotate and run them absolutely as hard as you can. At a place like Putnamville, I can see non-wing guys that run there, putting a wing on and running well for the way the track is shaped and how you run the corners. I think the wing will play a little less effect there and it will be more of a suspension (set-up) track, where the wing does not play as big of a part.”
The 2016 season has certainly not been easy thus far for Wilson, who is a two-time champion with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions. He does have one victory, though, with that coming at the Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 27. Showing the extremes of the sport, he missed the feature both the race prior to and after his victory. Wilson has seven top-10 finishes thus far in 2016, with three of those being top-five performances, including last Friday night at Fremont Speedway in Ohio. He is currently 11th in the series point standings.
“Every situation this year is new for us,” explained Wilson. “We have gone with the attitude this year of trying to stay in the middle. As exciting as Charlotte was, I tried to stay calmed down, because if you let yourself get too high or too down in this sport, it will eat you up. This year we have gone in with the attitude that are going to learn and build our team.
“At the end of the year we’ll reflect back on the good nights and try to work on the things we need to do better on the bad nights. During the season, we are trying to slide through the middle. We are realistic and these guys are the best of the best and we need to capitalize on the situations where we put ourselves in spots to do well. The nights that aren’t good, we have to try to not get down and just try to learn, build and move forward. Staying positive is the main key.”
Wilson is excited for fans that are used to seeing non-wing sprint cars that will get to see the winged warriors for a night at Lincoln Park Speedway. It has been 10 years since the last winged sprint car race at the track and nearly 20 since the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series last visited the high-banked bullring.
“There is a lot more speed with the winged cars,” said Wilson of the difference between the two disciplines of sprinters. “Hopefully we’ll have a lot of wheel-to-wheel action like the non-wing cars have there. If the track slicks off, there should be some pretty good slide jobs. I can see it being multi-grooved and it usually gets a nice little cushion around the top and a real nice bottom. Being multi-grooved is what has made the tracks in Indiana so famous. We don’t get in the area very often, so the fans are in for a treat when the World of Outlaws come to town.”
Advance tickets for the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series return to Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana on Wednesday, June 8 and can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com. The ticket booth will open at 4 p.m. on race day.
Discount General Admission tickets are also available for purchase at local participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Each General Admission ticket purchased at an O’Reilly Auto Parts location will feature a special $5 discount. Tickets buyers will exchange their O’Reilly receipt for tickets at the Main Grandstand ticket booth on race day.