After a three-win and near championship-winning season in 2014, signs pointed towards Donnie Wilson continuing those winning ways into 2015 on the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco. Through the first 10 races of the year, however, those signs were turned in different directions than victory lane.
Wilson, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, changed all that and got back to his winning ways Saturday when he scored his first Southern Super Series victory of 2015 in the Lee Fields Memorial at Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway.
Wilson qualified second and started fourth following a re-draw, but got back to the runner-up spot by the race’s halfway point. He then worked past Kyle Grissom for the lead on lap 79 that he would not relinquish en route to ending a 17-race Southern Super Series winless drought.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Wilson in victory lane. “We just haven’t been as good this year, but it finally came together tonight.”
While Wilson was in command under green flag conditions, several late-race restarts set Wilson up for duels with Augie Grill, with whom he battled and collided with in July’s SSS event at Five Flags Speedway.
When the green flag flew for the final time with four laps to go Saturday night, space became tight between Wilson and Grill once again. Grill got his right side tires off the pavement on the backstretch at Mobile, but was able to gather his car back up to finish second while Wilson drove his No. 82 to victory lane.
“I squeezed him at Pensacola and I admitted I did that,” said Wilson. “Tonight, it was a restart and he was on the high side. The high side here just takes you up automatically. He was at my quarters, kind of the same deal, but it was just one of those deals. I didn’t do anything on purpose. He thought I squeezed him again, that’s all there is to it.”
Wilson and Grill exchanged their side of the incident with one another during post-race ceremonies.
“We’re fine, he’s just upset,” added Wilson. “He races hard and he wants to win just like the rest of us. He’s just upset and thought I didn’t give him enough room. I thought we did and it’s all good.”
Behind Wilson and Grill, 15-year-old Garrett Jones scored a career-best Southern Super Series finish with his third-place result. 2014 SSS champion Bubba Pollard was fourth, while current series point leader Casey Smith finished fifth. Smith has yet to finish outside the top 10 in the 11 Southern Super Series races this season.
The Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco will be back in action on Saturday, September 13 in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.
For more on the Southern Super Series, visit www.southernsuperseries.com, follow @SoSuperSeries on Twitter and “Like” Southern Super Series on Facebook.
To replay the live Trackside Now coverage of the Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile, click this link.
– 51 Sports/Southern Super Series press release
– Photo credit: Speed51.com