With each passing day, more Super Late Model drivers in the Southeast and across the country are adding Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) to their calendars for Saturday, February 3. The second Greenville Meltdown is shaping up to feature a star-studded field for the $10,000-to-win Super Late Model race. The latest championship driver to throw his name into the mix is 2016 Southern Super Series champion Donnie Wilson.
Though Wilson hails from Oklahoma, his team shop is located not too far from the old South Carolina oval. Despite the proximity, it will be the first time that Wilson will make an appearance at the famed short track.
“It’s somewhere different, so we’re going to see. It’s close to the shop over there, an hour and a half away; t’s paying decent money to go run, so we’ll give it our best shot trying to start the year off right,” Wilson explained.
Wilson joins the expanding entry list that includes fellow Southern Super Series champion Bubba Pollard and young gun Chase Purdy. Wilson has made a habit of going west this time of year, but the scheduling of such a high-paying event close to the shop made him decide to try something new in 2018.
“When you are paying ten grand to win, you’re going to get a lot of heavy heavy-hitters there,” Wilson began. “A lot of us, including Bubba and myself, have been going out there the last couple of years, but it cost so much to go out there. This race here, he’s paying $10,000 to win so it’s a better deal for us.”
While a number of Super Late Model teams will race for the first time in 2018 the Sunday prior at CRA SpeedFest in Cordele, Georgia, the Greenville Meltdown will be the first outing for the No. 2W team this season. Despite the challenge of a new track to start the season off, Wilson is hoping previous success which includes three wins at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Alabama will provide the team with a good baseline setup for Greenville.
“It’s going to be our first race of the year, then the Rattler after that, so that’s our first two races. I’m looking forward to going somewhere new, that’s one thing that’s pretty cool for us,” Wilsons said. “I know they repaved both ends of the race track, there’s a lot more grip, so that will be interesting. I want to say it’s like Montgomery but I don’t know for sure since I haven’t been there, but from the looks of the pictures you can probably take what we’ve run at Montgomery, where we’ve run really well at, so I’m hoping to have the same outcome.”
Wilson will also be flying solo at the Greenville Meltdown after running a team car late in 2017 with Cole Butcher.
“It’s just going to be me. We have no plans the first part of the year for any other team stuff, so you’ll just be seeing me for the first half of the year unless something comes up. We can concentrate on our stuff and running better.”
Naturally the goal February 3 will be to win, but Wilson will be going in with his usual “one step at a time” approach.
“It’s a new year, new stuff, we just need to get off to a good start; that’s the main thing. No DNF’s. Like I always say, if you are in the top five with 20 to go, you got a shot at it. We won twice last year so we’re hoping to improve on that number.”
Stay with Speed51.com for more news on the 2018 Greenville Meltdown.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com