GRAND FORKS, ND – The famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio is Greg Wilson’s home track and while the historic oval is near the top of his list of venues he enjoys racing at, one track trumps even Eldora for him. That track is River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Wilson cites the high-banked bullring as his favorite track in the entire country. And he’s seen quite a few as he travels from coast-to-coast with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
The Ohio native will return to River Cities Speedway this weekend for the 2nd Leg of the Northern Tour Presented by American Tire Service Inc. on Friday, August 18. The event will mark the second and final stop of the season for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway.
“We always get an awesome race track at Grand Forks,” said Wilson. “It’s really wide and very racy. The fans up there are great, which is very similar to home. I just absolutely love going there. It’s great that we get to go up there a couple of times a year. Grand Forks is a great race track to go to.”
Wilson finished among the top-10 in the 1st Leg of the Northern Tour at River Cities Speedway back in June. He worked his way from the 15th starting spot to a 10th-place finish on a track that was very fast and heavy due to rain earlier that evening, which led to a lengthy rain delay, just a few laps into the 40-lap main event. In August of 2016 at River Cities Speedway, Wilson also worked his way forward, coming from the 19th starting spot to finish 11th.
“Like any place, anymore, you have to get those first two laps in and qualify decent,” he shared of what it takes to be in contention at River Cities Speedway. “The neat thing about Grand Forks is that is always gets wide and racy. Even if you may not time very good you can still pass race cars. Last time the rain kind of goofed us up. Hopefully this time the weather cooperates and the track gets wide like it usually does.”
In just a handful of races with the Outlaws at River Cities Speedway in his career, the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner has a pair of top-10 finishes. Wilson made his first trip to Grand Forks in 2012 and returned the next year as well. Since he embarked on the full World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour for the first time in his career last year he has made three more starts at the track. With 40 laps as the distance in the main event at River Cities Speedway, traffic will certainly come into play.
“It’s super important to have a car that will maneuver at Grand Forks,” Wilson noted. “We sometimes struggle, because where we come from is usually dry/slick. The track there stays decent and races really wide. We have a tendency to get our race car too tight. The last couple of times we have been there, we have left some stagger on the car and made it to where it was maneuverable and we’ve had better runs. That’s real key when you go to a place like that. The experience is important as well, going back to places for the third, fourth and fifth time. That’s definitely starting to help our program.”
Prior to heading to the track on race day, Wilson will be on-hand at American Tire Service Inc. at their location on Gateway Drive across from the race track for a Meet & Greet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A ticket giveaway will be part of the festivities. Wilson, who drives the Hercules Tires No. w20, makes numerous appearances each season for the brand, with American Tire Service Inc., being a Hercules dealer.
“American Tire has been affiliated with us every time we have gone up to Grand Forks,” he stated. “Curt (Scheevel, owner) and the gang there are great people. We love going and doing an event there. They go to the race track every week. I asked him one time, ‘Curt, what you do guys do up here in Grand Fork?’ He said, ‘We drink beer and go to the races at Grand Forks and in the winter-time we drink beer and go watch hockey.’ These dealer visits are a great time to go and meet fans. Like I said, they have great fans up in Grand Forks.”
When it comes to competing full-time with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, the constant travel is one of the toughest challenges that drivers and crews face. Especially, those who have families. For Wilson, his family travels the circuit with him in their toterhome. Having his wife and two girls on the road with him makes all the miles and hours on the road a lot more manageable and more importantly, enjoyable.
“With my deal in particular, if my wife and kids couldn’t be out here, I probably wouldn’t be doing it with the tour,” explained Wilson. “I am a pretty a family-oriented guy. With the struggles that come with being out here on the road, my wife and kids are the ones that keep me going when we aren’t running so good. It’s awesome to have my family with me out here and to be involved with so many great people.”
Tickets for the 2nd Leg of the Northern Tour Presented by American Tire on Friday, August 18 can be purchased online at slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling 815-344-2023. Tickets can also be purchased at the River Cities Speedway track office, area ticket outlets and at the track on race day.
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