At the age of 15, JoJo Wilkinson has proven she has the drive and determination to compete against the best Late Model racers in the Southeast. This weekend at her home track of Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL), the Hueytown, Alabama driver will have the opportunity to do just that during the 55th Annual Alabama 200.
Wilkinson enters this weekend’s event as the 2018 Show Me the Money Series Pro Late Model Rookie of the Year at the track. On her way to the rookie crown one year ago, she battled veterans like Augie Grill, Perry Patino and Casey Roderick.
This weekend, she’ll compete against all of those drivers as well as other strong invaders such as Bubba Pollard. But she’s not letting her age, nor the fact that she’s a female competing in a male-dominated sport, deter her determination to succeed.
“It doesn’t really matter if you’re a girl or a guy or however old you are, if you want to do something you can be dedicated to do it and work hard at it to be able to do it,” Wilkinson told Speed51.com.
Though JoJo is so young, she has developed a big appreciation for the history of racing. This is evidenced by the throwback paint scheme her Late Model will adorn this year as a tribute to fellow Hueytown racer and NASCAR Hall of Famer Davey Allison.
“My dad and I wanted to do something special, not only for me and my family but for all of the Hueytown community,” Wilkinson said. “Since he had just been honored into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it was a really big deal in Hueytown. We had just seen Davey’s name all over town and thought it would be really cool to do a throwback scheme on our Late Model. We had done plenty of throwback schemes for Davey, Bobby, and others when we were in go karts so we just thought it would be nice to honor Davey this weekend.”
When asked if she felt any pressure going into the weekend, JoJo couldn’t help but crack a smile. For her, it’s just another race at her home track.
“Whenever I go out there on the track I try to run my best and just show what we do, what we work on every day and night, and have the best of the best stuff with the little bit of money we do have,” she continued. “So we just try to work with what we have. I think we have done pretty well so far. Last year was my learning year. We were still there to win and we were competitive. But we’re definitely going to go into this weekend working harder and hopefully get a couple wins this year.”
Fans who want to watch JoJo Wilkinson and the stars of the Pro Late Model ranks at Montgomery Motor Speedway this Saturday can watch the race with a monthly or yearly subscription to the Speed51 Network. If you’re not already subscribed, click here to sign up today.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo credit: John Wilkinson