Gene Wilson envisioned that one day he’d run the mountain motor Pro Stock division. What he didn’t envision was winning a championship and beating Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden’s single-season win record.
Driving Charlie Hunt’s Mercury Cougar, Wilson captured the 2001 championship by winning seven IHRA national event titles. Of the ten events, Wilson was in the finals of eight.
Wilson was a fan of the big motors, and even though he no longer drives he still keeps tabs.
“I got my start running Pro Stock in the IHRA and really enjoyed my time doing it,” Wilson said. “There is something special about the class and the people involved in it. I enjoyed those big motors. I really enjoyed driving those cars. They represented what a man could do with a big engine. I miss driving them. They were super fun to drive.”
Wilson started driving in IHRA Pro Stock in 1998. He ran his first full tour in 1999 and won 8 events.
“That was a great time,” Wilson said. “I have to say that it wasn’t all about me. It was about Charlie Hunt and the team and the guys who worked on the crew. The car worked well. It was a culmination of efforts that I got the most credit for. It was a big deal for us. Plus, I just hated to lose.”
“Everybody on our team put in a 100% effort and it showed. Our team worked hard for that championship. We had camaraderie and it showed.”
“The IHRA and mountain motor class is a great way to compete on a professional level. I always grew up wanting to drive one of those things. I just wanted to hear the motors. I watched guys like Rickie Smith do it and it inspired me. Just to hear the engines run was unbelievable.”
Keep pace of the countdown to #1, by logging onto ALL-TIME LIST.