Austin Wilson has shown throughout his young life that he’s adept at overcoming adversity.
So it should have come as no surprise that Wilson wasn’t going to let some early-race trouble keep him out of Victory Lane on Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park.
The 14-year old, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 7 and just finished chemotherapy treatment three months ago, bounced back from a Lap 6 wreck to win the 25-lap Mini Stock main event.
Wilson, the pole-sitter, was leading the race when, just after the completion of Lap 5, he was hooked hard from behind by Damien Leininger and had to go to the pits to have repairs done because of the spin-inducing contact.
Driving a damaged car, Wilson restarted in fourth and quickly worked his way back to the lead.
From there he pulled away from the field, beating runner-up Destiny Joplin to the checkered flag by 3.932 seconds. Matt Surber was third, followed by Brock Melo and Leininger.
“I wasn’t sure I could pull that off,” an excited Wilson said.
Tyler Bannister dominated the 30-lap INEX Legend feature.
Bannister led the entire way in garnering his first career Legend feature win at KCRP.
“We put in a lot of hours in the garage putting this car together,” Bannister said.
Luis Tyrrell took second place. Eddie Garone finished third. Brayden Rodgers was fourth and Garrett Fine came home in fifth.
Bannister was third on the starting grid but made his way to the front of the seven-car field before the completion of the first circuit around the quarter-mile oval.
He doggedly held onto the top spot all the way despite being shadowed throughout the race by Tyrrell and others.
“I kept seeing (the other cars) in the mirror,” Bannister said. “I was like, ‘I hope I don’t mess up.’ I guess I ran a fast 30 laps.”
Dustin Hoffman won a wild and exciting Super Moto Open Pro feature.
The 12-lap race saw several riders take turns leading, only to have their chances at winning thwarted because of slip-ups. Hoffman was fast enough to overcome a early-race spill and claim the victory.
Christian Payne was second, followed by Josh Jackson, Steven Davies and John Lyles.
“That was a pretty slick corner,” Hoffman said. “After I (went down), Josh (Jackson) did it the next lap. I just cruised through. I was not going to throw it away there again.”
-Kern County Raceway Park Press Release & Photo