Ryan Wilson on pit road at Martinsville Speedway. (Andy Marquis photo)

MARTINSVILLE, VA – Ryan Wilson has two top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway and he’s hoping to be in contention again during Saturday night’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

Wilson has battled through adversity in recent years.  He has not won a race since 2017, though he has had promising runs at Motor Mile Speedway.  He has not had a strong run at Martinsville since 2015 and has failed to make the show in two of the last three Martinsville races, and he has battled through injury this season.  However, after last Thursday’s test, despite all that, he’s feeling pretty confident.

“We were pretty good from the time we unloaded,” Wilson told Race22 after last week’s test session.  “Generally you can tell right off the truck if it’s going to be an easy day or a hard day.  Right off the truck, we were really good.  We sat P1 for a few minutes.  Obviously, everyone kept getting faster and faster.  We went out, went a little bit faster again, but we were on old tires.  We put our other set of stickers and ran a 20.21 which was like P5 at the time which we were very, very happy with.  I think we’ve got a really good car.  I think we’ve got a car that can compete for the qualifying top-10 next week and hopefully compete for the win.  It’s the best car I’ve had in a long time.”

The Randleman, North Carolina driver, a former Caraway Speedway track champion, has been frustrated by his recent performances in recent years.  In 2012, he finished fourth and then finished 10th in 2015.  However, he failed to qualify in 2016 and 2018, and finished in the last place position in 2017.

“Obviously, the last few years, we’ve really struggled here,” Wilson explained.  “To be honest, we just ran like shit lately.  There’s no other way to put it.  But we’ve made this change here and, man, it definitely paid off so far this weekend.  These TORP guys have busted their tails and it was a collaboration between the TORP Palace cars, their guys.  We’ve also got my guys here.  I think we’ve got a really good shot.  I’m extremely happy with how today has gone.”

While the past few seasons have been a struggle, Wilson has had better performances in 2019 – predominantly at Motor Mile Speedway.

“We ran second at Motor Mile this year,” Wilson stated.  “Came within like two laps of winning one out there.  Mike Looney got past us.  So, we have had really good runs here.  We were passing for second last race up there and got in a wreck.  Since we made this change this year, I feel like we’ve really stepped up our program.  I feel like it’s only a matter of time, whether it be this week or next year before we finally get back to victory lane.”

Earlier this season, Wilson was injured in an accident at Motor Mile Speedway.

During a race at Motor Mile Speedway on August 24th, Wilson hit the wall hard when he got loose battling with Kres VanDyke for position.  He immediately fell to the ground after getting out of his car with pain in his left foot.  A couple of months after the incident, Wilson says he is up for the challenge.

Ryan Wilson (12) slammed the inside wall on the front stretch at Motor Mile Speedway on August 24, 2019 before veering back into traffic and slamming the outside wall. The crash left him with a left foot injury and finished his season at Motor Mile. (Branden Horton photo)

“I’m healed as far as in the car and walking,” Wilson remarked.  “I can put some pressure on my left foot a certain way and it still hurts a little bit.  It’s got a pretty good gash.  The gas pedal actually stabbed into my foot as well, so I had a gash as well as being severely bruised.  The doctor said it was not broken which really surprised me because I struggled a lot for a few days but, as of right now, the foot’s no problem at all.”

During last Thursday’s test session, Wilson had already been anticipating that it would be cooler on race weekend.  He said it was something they kept in mind during the test session.

This weekend, he heads back hoping not just to have a good run, but to take the grandfather clock back to Randleman, North Carolina.

“I think we have as good a car as I’ve had since the year we ran top-five up here.  We ran really well that year, first year that I actually ever came here.  We qualified in the top-20, didn’t have to run a heat race and we had a couple of good years, finished fourth in 2012.  This is by far the best car I’ve had since then.”

Wilson will get that chance on Saturday in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.  Qualifying will take place on Friday night, heat races on Saturday afternoon, and the feature race will go green at 7pm.  Race22 will have Solid Rock Carriers RACEDAY LIVE coverage on Friday and Saturday.  Additionally, the race will be broadcast on MRN Radio and streamed live on FansChoice.tv.

Ryan Wilson on track during test night at Martinsville Speedway. (Andy Marquis photo)