Right after rocketing to championships in NMCA Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center and Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series Chevrolet Performance Stock in 2017, Jesse Wilson turned his focus to backing them up in 2018.
He set out by sailing to a 10.02 to set the pace in qualifying in his father-in-law Kelly Pierce’s Camaro and advancing to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle with a 10.18 over Haley Burkhammer and her Camaro at the season-opening 16th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
He proceeded to pound out a 10.09 and 10.06 to lead qualifying and win over Burkhammer at the 10th Annual NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway, a 10.16 and 10.20 to lead qualifying and win over Burkhammer at the 17th Annual Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals in May at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky and a 10.11 and 10.21 to lead qualifying and win over Scott Brown and his Camaro at the 13th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing in July at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois.
Never wavering, the inspiring Indiana-based driver who works for RPM Transmissions wound up with a 10.29 and a win over Burkhammer at the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals in August at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio and a 10.17 and a win over Burkhammer at the final race of the season, the NMCA World Street Finals in September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana.
With that, he had indeed backed up his 2017 championships and was crowned the 2018 NMCA Chevrolet Performance Stock presented by Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center and Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series Chevrolet Performance Stock champion.
“It really was unbelievable,” said Wilson, who races alongside his wife, Jenna Pierce Wilson, and father-in-law, Kelly Pierce. “We had a tremendous amount of luck along the way. From having a coil go bad in Bradenton, to still having the win light come on when I made mistakes and missed on the tune up for a few particular rounds, it seemed like the car would make up for my shortcomings, and there were times where I would cut a decent light and cover for the car being slightly off. I never dreamed I would win one NMCA national event, let alone win for an entire season.”
Wilson and his accomplishments will be celebrated at the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals presented by E3 Spark Plugs Awards Ceremony presented by Aerospace Components, Dec. 7 at the Indiana Convention Center.
“I’ve personally achieved every racing dream I could ever think of, but it’s not about my personal accomplishments,” said Wilson. “This season is for the friends and family who have helped with this program. I’m very fortunate to have some amazing talent and sponsors behind me who believe in me and let me go out here and play race-car. It’s been an amazing year for sure. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but if I never win another race, I can at least say that I did okay for the 2018 season.”
(Please watch for stories on all champions to be posted on the website and in Fastest Street Car in the days to come)