WATERLOO – Dale Wilson entered Saturday’s Ontario Pro Challenge race at Flamboro Speedway intent on earning his first win of the season aboard the AW Millwrights/Rite Way Mechanical No.3. Unfortunately for the Waterloo, Ont. driver, his season went up in smoke when his engine failed during the feature.
Dale and his team, led by his father Stephen Wilson, planned on a top-three finish with a well-prepared racecar.
“We put on new tires in practice and coming out for the heat I was confident,” said Dale. “The car was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better setup.”
“We thought it was our night,” said Stephen Wilson.
Dale entered the night in the top-five in the championship standings after four top-five finishes on the year. The position in the standings placed Dale in the faster of two heats, but his draw position placed him last on the starting grid. The track position didn’t hinder Dale at all as he marched to the front of the field during the 10-lap heat race to earn the victory.
The victory in heat race action placed Dale on the pole for the 30-lap feature event and gave him his best opportunity of the year to visit victory lane.
In the opening laps, Dale battled hard with defending series champion Dennis Thomson (No.02) and Kyle Batty (No.38). The fun ended for the Wilsons on lap 10 when the team’s only power plant went up in smoke on the frontstretch without warning.
The car billowed smoke heavily as Dale nursed it to pit lane. Dale inhaled plenty of smoke as a result, but was okay after being examined by paramedics.
“I was a little rough on Sunday,” said Dale. “There was a lot of smoke, especially as I got to the pits. I’m fine today.”
The damage to the engine ends the season for the Wilson team. The series has only four races remaining. Dale was only scheduled to race in one on August 23 before returning to Ottawa, Ont. to continue his studies in Law at Carleton University. The team originally planned to put Lucas Oil Can-Am Midget driver Mack DeMan or former car owner Ken Nicholson in the seat for three races in September.
“It’s really unfortunate it had to end this way,” said Dale.
The team had multiple offers from fellow competitors to loan an engine for the remainder of the season, but the Wilsons declined.
“When we blew up in the 2012 season (and borrowed an engine), a few bad things happened,” said Dale. “Were just trying to avoid the risk of damaging someone else’s property.” “It’s a lot of time and work this close to when I have to go back to school as well.”
The Wilsons thanked loyal and dedicated sponsors AW Millwrights and Rite Way Mechanical for the support that made their championship effort possible in 2014.
“Greg from Rite Way Mechanical and Warren from AW Millwrights were a major help getting us back on the track this season,” said Dale. “We weren’t even sure we were going to run in the first place.”
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the support from AW Millwrights and Rite Way Mechanical,” added Stephen.
The team has not yet set any plans for a return in 2014, but will look in to options the next racing season. — Dale Wilson’s 2014 racing season is supported by Warren Leis of AW Millwrights and Greg Toneguzzo of Rite Way Mechanical. The entire Wilson Motorsports team would like to thank the sponsors for their continued support.
Follow Dale Wilson’s 2014 season with the Ontario Pro Challenge tour on Twitter, @dale_wilson3.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia) // email@example.com