Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Red Farmer, Kyle Bush, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Ryan Wilson.
Wait a minute – Ryan Wilson? Who is that?
Wilson is a 12-year-old from Margaret who is a seventh-grade student at Odenville Middle School. His name might not be up there with these NASCAR greats yet – but he believes it will be maybe in another 12 years.
And Wilson is well on his way as recently, he won two national races in Daytona, Fla. in quarter-midget racing. These midget race cars will travel 40-to-50 mph, and Wilson has two of them.
Wilson has been racing the past five years. Last July, he won one of his first major races in Indianapolis, Ind. that was called the Battle of the Brickyard. He won against 30 in his division and there were a total of 500 racers who competed.
With the win, Wilson became the second driver ever from Alabama, and third driver from the Southeast to win Battle of the Brickyard.
“It feels amazing to be a national champion,” Wilson said. “I can’t wait until I am on the NASCAR circuit racing.”
Kyle Bush is his favorite NASCAR superstar, and he had the chance to meet former NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon and Ty Dillon while in Daytona.
Ryan is the son of Jason and Candi Wilson. He has a younger brother named Riley. His next big race is in Phoenix, Az. in April. After Phoenix comes a big race in Texas before heading back to Indianapolis. From there it is own to Pocono, Penn. He has raced at Talladega before.
Jason Wilson said his son started racing at the age of 7 at the Talladega Short Track.
“He got his love for racing from myself and his grandfather, Danny Peoples,” Wilson said. “These quarter midget cars have multiple-sized engines in them. Some have a Honda GX 120 while others have a Honda GX 160. Some have a couple of different Briggs & Stratton. It is multiple different classes and they go by weight and age divisions. Ryan is in an unlimited age division that goes by weight. The class that Ryan drives in, the driver has to weigh a minimum of 100 pounds. He weighs 106. He actually runs two different classes and drives a different
Ryan’s family and many in Margaret believe he will become a superstar in NASCAR.
“That’s our goal,” said his dad. “We are all so very proud of him.”
Reach Gary Hanner at email@example.com