ASHEBORO, North Carolina (July 7, 2011) - - Ryan Wilson, driver of the No. 12 Randolph Bank Toyota Camry racked up his seventh top-10 finish of the season in Wednesday night’s Daggett Shuler Attorneys At Law Rusty Harpe Memorial 250 at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway.
Decked out in a new patriotic paint scheme courtesy of a recent contest between Ryan Wilson Motorsports (RWM) and Randolph Bank, Wilson’s race car flowed with a symbolic American flag design created by 11-year old Nathan Harris of Ramseur, North Carolina.
Practice and qualifying set the early race tone for Wilson and his team Tuesday. After solid practice results, Wilson landed in the eighth position for the ninth race of the season at the historic short track.
Not fizzled by his starting position, Wilson, the winner of Fall’s Richard Petty Driver Search II maintained his collective and playful demeanor leading to climbing behind the wheel of his No. 12 Randolph Bank Toyota Camry for a slam-banging 250-lap shootout.
Mother Nature though would have other plans as heavy rain drenched the race track causing nearly a two-hour rain delay with the stars and cars taking to the track shortly before 10:00 p.m.
Utilizing the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) automobiles as a final waive of track dryers, the field circled the track for 10 laps under green and yellow conditions. Regular racing resumed with Wilson quickly moving into the seventh position.
His charge would be stalled just two laps at full speed as two cars collided on the frontstretch bringing out an extensive caution flag. With Wilson quiet on the headset, it was obvious that the Randleman, North Carolina native was focused.
Bringing the green flag back to rotation approaching lap 20, Wilson hunkered down and hovering inside the top-10 during the race’s first 125 circuits.
The yellow flag waived for a routine competition caution at lap 125 allowing a 10-minute break, permitting the RWM team to change two right side tires, fuel.
Restarting in the seventh position, Wilson would shoot himself into sixth on the restart before finding himself in a torrid battle with Ty Dillon. Wilson would win the battle sliding Dillon back into the seventh position.
With the field spreading out, Wilson found himself solidly in the top-10 but unable to make any gains on his competition. Cheerleading from crew chief Kirk Bryant on lap 180 for Wilson to “hit his marks” kept the ARCA-bound driver hard in the throttle, while turning respectable and consistent lap times.
Throughout the final 50 laps, Wilson was able to hunker down and keep his nose clean and take the checkered flag in the sixth position, completing all 250 laps.
“I can’t say I’m happy with our finish,” said Wilson. “I mean, anytime you finish in the top-10, it should be a good night, but it was just an off-night for the Ryan Wilson Motorsports team. I really can’t explain it. We thought the car was going to be good and it’s possible that the drastic weather changes hurt our chances, but we kept our focus and did the best we could.”
He added, “I’m upset that we couldn’t give Randolph Bank and Nathan (Harris) a better finish. The car was amazing looking and grabbed a lot of attention. I’m glad we were able to keep it one piece, who knows we might just run this paint scheme in another race this season. It definitely catches your attention.”
Actions resumes for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Saturday, July 16 at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway.
Visit Ryan Wilson Motorsports website online at RyanWilsonMotorsports.com.
Visit Randolph Bank, the home of extra-mile banking at Randolphbank.com.