Eric Winslow has been a presence in Late Model racing for the past few years, scoring his first Late Model win back in 2016. This season, he was able to capture his first championship at Wake County Speedway.
Winslow, 30 from Pelham, North Carolina, won three races at Wake County Speedway and led the points throughout the entirety of the 2018 season. For Winslow, a grassroots racer who likes to travel and loves to race but does so on a limited budget, the championship at the quarter-mile bullring in Raleigh meant a lot.
“Wake County sometimes isn’t that friendly of an atmosphere to be in if you’re an outsider and we had weeks to pick whether we even wanted to go back and run for it or just give it up and go somewhere else,” Winslow said. “I literally had to sit and wonder, should I go do this or just walk away. Thankfully, we stuck with it, had good runs and won the championship.”
Winslow is no stranger to controversy, has been nicknamed “The Outlaw” and there were weeks he had to abandon that nickname and focus on the big picture – which he was able to do before finally clinching the championship in October.
“It seemed like it was controversy about every week, but you have to rise above that stuff and focus on driving the car,” Winslow continued. “It’s extremely fulfilling at the end of the year and you’re on top.”
The championship triumph was a special one for Winslow. His mother, Sandra, has been battling breast cancer. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and had other surgeries. Throughout the years, Sandra has been by her son’s side at the track – but was unable to be there for some of his races this season. However, she was able to make it the night he clinched the championship – making it even more meaningful for Winslow.
“It was pretty special to have mom there championship night,” Winslow remarked. “Even though she was on chemo and probably shouldn’t have been there, to wrap it up after not having there for so many weeks was great. We’re looking so forward to having her back by my side for 2019.”
Winslow scored his first career Late Model win at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway in 2016 and has followed that up with more wins. He also races at South Boston Speedway, but he enjoyed taking on the tight confines of Wake County in 2018.
“Wake County is an extremely difficult track to get a hold of, but a ton of fun to race on,” Winslow explained. “The best nights I had was getting to race with Randy Renfrow, who is a legend down there and he’s a clean guy you can race with as well which is tough to do at a quarter-mile bullring. I felt like an outcast there, which is pretty normal, but I look forward to going back and running there a couple more times when the schedule is clear next year.”
Winslow plans to race at Carteret County, South Boston, Wake County and possibly some other venues in 2019.