After a scary incident Friday night at Five Flags Speedway (FL), Jo Jo Wilkinson is resting and recovering at home from injuries suffered in the wreck, while also looking ahead to her return to Pro Late Model racing.
The incident took place on lap 27 of the Allen Turner Hyundai Pro Late Models season opener at Five Flags Speedway, as Wilkinson spun exiting turn four before being hit in the drivers’ side door by Blaise Rutherford.
In the incident, Wilkinson suffered a concussion, a broken ankle, and had stitches for further injuries in her ankle and elbow.
Despite the physical injuries, Wilkinson’s spirit has not been deterred. Wilkinson joined Speed51’s “The Morning Bullring” to discuss the incident and the outpouring of support she has received since Friday night.
“It’s been pretty difficult,” Wilkinson said. “Knowing all the support, and all my friends and family that have come by and helped me, my sisters and dad helped me all day since the wreck has happened. I’m definitely very thankful.
“It means everything to me, because this is why I do it,” she added. “The friends, the fans, the family showing their support. Just wanting me to do the best I can, so I’m just trying to prove I can be the best I can be. It makes me want to drive harder and push harder.”
Wilkinson shared her recollections of the crash and its aftermath, acknowledging she remembers much of the build-up but very little of what took place afterwards.
“All I remember is spinning out,” Wilkinson explained. “I know I got hit, I remember that, but I don’t remember anything after that. The ambulance person asked me where I was and who my dad was. I remember saying that’s my dad and I’m at the track, but that’s really all I remember about the wreck.”
Wilkinson also commiserated with Rutherford’s role in the incident, stating there was little the fellow racer could do to avoid her.
“There was really nothing that Blaise [Rutherford] could do, to be honest,” she said. “There was so much smoke, and it all happened so fast. It’s just a racing thing. We were at the wrong spot at the wrong time.”
Already thinking ahead, Wilkinson was speaking in terms of weeks rather than months as her timetable for returning to the race car.
“As soon as my foot gets better, we get a car together and everything. I’m just hoping as soon as I can.”
That toughness was already on display entering Friday night. Prior to Friday's crash, Wilkinson also spent time in the hospital last week after breaking her left foot in an incident involving a car lift.
In her eyes, it was important for Wilkinson to push on beyond the original injury and compete Friday night.
“It was definitely difficult,” Wilkinson stated. “But as I was sitting in the car, I knew I had so much support, it made me want to push harder and drive harder. I definitely did that, tried to make my dad happy and prove to him that I was okay and able to drive the car.”
Fans who missed “The Morning Bullring” and wish to see the show and Wilkinson’s interview in its entirety can click here for the on-demand replay of the broadcast. Fans can also visit the Speed 51 Five Star Bodies Facebook Feed to watch the replay of the broadcast.
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-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo