In its 34 previous runnings, the All American 400 has gained a reputation as one of the most demanding Late Model races in the country. With 400 laps at the fast and demanding Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN), it is a strain on a team to run a single car. Come the weekend of November 2 and 3, Donnie Wilson is ready to go all in with a fleet of three Super Late Models.
Once again fielding Casey Roderick in the No. 22, along with former Maritime Pro Stock champion Cole Butcher in the No. 53, and Wilson himself in the No. 2. It has put a lot on Wilson’s plate as the Oklahoma owner/driver will also field three cars one month later at the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
“I got three cars going in the shop, going to run Nashville and the Derby. We’ll have Cole and Casey running the other two cars," Wilson told Speed51. "Always look forward to Nashville. We got cars that are ready to go. We are going to be good, all of us. I’ve run well there in the past, Casey has done very well with all his wins. Cole the last time we were there, he had good practice and qualifying speeds. Feel good with all of them."
This is the third season that Butcher has teamed with the Wilson team, with the two forming a formidable duo of youth and experience. Roderick on the other hand brings another set of experience to the team, so much that Wilson has given Roderick leeway since the now two-time Southern Super Series champion saddled up with the team after parting ways with Ronnie Sanders Racing at summer’s end.
“It’s gone well with Casey. I kind of let him do his own thing," Wilson said. "Obviously he’s got tons of experience, plenty of wins under his belt. He knows what he needs out of a car, I have no problem with him. We ran good at Indy, when we went to Pensacola we had some tire issues, everyone had trouble with stagger, it was out of our control. But I think we got that remedied.”
Wilson’s latest escapade in the driver’s seat came at the Winchester 400 less than two weeks ago, with a promising start to the weekend being derailed by an early tire issue. Despite the subpar result, Wilson was encouraged by what he had seen, believing that it is a good omen for Nashville.
“We were fast, a top two car I think. We sent the tire back to Hoosier to see what’s going on, but I think we just had one faulty tire. It went to the cords halfway across, all the way around. No one else had that problem, I didn’t have any other problems the rest of the day. We made two laps up under green. We had a fast car, it was just a terrible deal. But, we know we’re bringing fast race cars to the track that can go 400 laps.”
In fact, Wilson was so encouraged that if certain circumstances fall into the hands of himself and his teammates, that he thinks they might have a shot at making some history.
“I’m hoping for a one-two-three finish; that’s what I’d really like. I feel like all three of us can run really well. That’s the deal I’ve put together. Everyone works well as a team and that’s working out really well so far.”
Race fans unable to make it to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville to watch the Wilson Motorsports trio chase an All American 400 victory will be able to watch the race via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com