In 2019, Donnie Wilson’s Super Late Models have not been difficult to find on race track, but it has been rare to see the “Oklahoma Bandit” behind the wheel thus far. That will change next Monday, June 10 when Wilson gets back in the driver’s seat to chase $20,000 in the 3rd Annual Money in the Bank 150 at Berlin Raceway
Wilson’s biggest hurdle to overcome may be the track itself, however. The 2016 Southern Super Series champion has only competed at the half-mile Berlin Raceway once in his career. That came in the 2015 Battle at Berlin 251, and while one of his race cars cracked the top five at night’s end, Wilson was not the driver who did it.
“It’s only going to be my second time there, so I’m looking forward to it,” Wilson told Speed51.com. “I didn’t really do well the first time I went, so we’re looking to do better. I can’t really tell you too much about the place. We went back in 2015 to the Battle at Berlin. We had two cars, one with me and one with Ross Kenseth that night. Ross did really well in the top five, but I didn’t do no good.”
In 2019, Wilson has only driven in Super Late Model competition twice; once in February in the Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway (CA) and most recently at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in the North-South Super Late Model Challenge a month ago. Not only is he eager to drive, but he’s also itching to get back in his new Rowdy Manufacturing car after a second-place finish at Nashville.
“I’m excited to go back racing some more. We ran Trevor Noles in one of my cars this past weekend at Bristol, and then I’ve only run twice at Kern and at Nashville. We got two new cars done, one of them ran second at Nashville with me, the other one with Trevor we just didn’t get enough time to work on it, but he still finished ninth.”
In just its third year of existence, the Money in the Bank 150 has become a staple on the schedule for many Super Late Model drivers, and Wilson is ready to get his shot at it.
“That’s turned into being a pretty big race, obviously for money reasons, it pays a lot to win,” he stated. “It’s the weekend of the Michigan Cup race, so you get those fans to come over there and get to see a bunch of racing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You’ve had Kyle Busch do it one year, Erik Jones too. Of course, the man to beat is Bubba Pollard obviously. But, we’ll see if we can’t be competitive and outrun those guys.”
His most important reason for making the trip to Marne, Michigan comes down to the almighty dollar.
“Heck yeah! That’s the biggest reason why we’re going, it’s the lucrative thing,” Wilson said. “I know they have a lot of quality cars on the entry list. For us, we made a plan to attend all of those big money races this year, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
Berlin is just the start of an ever bigger week and month for Wilson and his team, with plans to run the upcoming ARCA Midwest Tour special at the Milwaukee Mile (WI) on June 16, followed by a dash down south to Five Flags Speedway (FL) for the first time in 2019.
“We’re planning on doing that race, then doing the Milwaukee Mile race that following Sunday. So we’re going to make it a two-for-one trip. We got a big month going. We’re also going to the Blizzard race at Five Flags later in the month, so we’re pretty much racing every week. A little tough stretch going, but we’re excited to get to it.”
Race fans unable to make it to Berlin Raceway next Monday night will be able to watch a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Live video tickets can be purchased today for $19.99 by clicking here.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com