Jimmy Wilson Returns To Race Toyota/AMA National Arenacross SeriesTuesday, November 22, 2005 | 8:11 AM
Back from a gnarly accident in Phoenix last year, Michigan’s
Wilson makes a return to Arenacross as “racer/coach,” beginning with
Rockford (Dec. 2-3)
AURORA, Ill., (Nov. 21, 2005) – Former AMA Supercross Series racer Jimmy Wilson announced today that he is making a comeback to racing – beginning with the Round Four of the 2005-06 Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series at Rockford’s (Ill.) Metrocentre (Dec. 2-3).
Wilson, 27, who’s best known for winning an incredible eight consecutive Racer X Gas Cards – a record that may never be broken - is still on the mend from a badly broken leg suffered in supercross competition at Phoenix last year. Back on a bike this past September, Wilson has put together a team with longtime friend/tuner Rob Watkins and first-year pro racer Jamie Powers, 19, from Manchester, Mich., to contest both Arenacross and the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series this year.
“Jamie approached me and said he wanted to experience racing like I have – jump what I jump, race with the same speed that I’ve worked hard to achieve,” said Wilson. “So I’m going to actually be racing and coaching at the same time, getting my career back on the move and, along the way, helping my buddy Jamie out. Rob will guide the ship, dealing with everything a team manager has to handle.”
As for the Racer X Gas Card legend, Wilson replied with a chuckle: “Pretty much the moral of my story.”
With some outside-the-industry help brought in on Powers’ end, Wilson looked to longtime sponsor SoCal Decal to help with costs associated with putting a two-man team on the road for the remaining seven Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series rounds, then chase the AMA Supercross Lites (formerly 125 class) beginning with St. Louis (Feb. 18). In addition, Wilson and Powers will run Hondas provided by Nicholson’s of Ann Arbor (Mich.), Wilson running the 450 and Powers on the 250 for Arenacross.
As for Wilson’s leg, which had to be removed from the wheel of another bike that he got tied up with at Phoenix, the veteran racer said in typical motocrosser fashion: “It’s still there...and some days I can even feel it.”
The jones for racing has never left Wilson. He got back on his bike in September after spending the better part of eight months in and out of casts and in rehab. Admittedly not up to speed yet, Wilson says that he’s been spending some time putting in laps at Pro Source – and indoor track in Tecumseh, Mich., a place where he and Powers met.
“I was pretty much ready to call it a career before I started riding with Jamie,” said Wilson. “But the racer hasn’t just left me yet. My endurance is a little off, but I’ve been working myself back into it. Realistically? I think some top 5-6 place finishes would be cool.”
As for Powers, Wilson says he’s a ‘Work in progress.’
“It’s kind of funny because at 19, the kid’s been racing the District 14 vintage class at places like Dutch, Log Road and RedBud,” said Wilson. “He rides some crappy old Honda Elsinore with dual shocks on the back. But he’s got potential. Our immediate goal is to get him into the night program. I know he can do it, it’s just a matter of me helping him get his confidence level up. The speed’s definitely there.”
Wilson’s actually won an AMA Arenacross 125 class overall - Wooster, Mass., in 2000. At his last AMA Arenacross race – Rockford in 2003 – Wilson has a couple top ten finishes in what’s now called the AMA Arenacross class (formerly 250 class).
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the starting gate, seeing where I’m at in Rockford,” said Wilson. “I miss it. Thought I’d just be able to step away from the competition side of the sport and move on with things. But now that this opportunity has arisen, I’m excited to get involved again, while at the same time helping another racer learn the ropes.”
Tickets are available online at www.arenacross.com, www.ticketmaster.com, www.tickets.com (Guthrie and Green Bay only), and www.centreevents.com (Rockford only).
For more information on the Toyota AMA National Arenacross Series log on to www.arenacross.com.