SWANSBORO, NC – William Shawn Wilson is used to racing wide open in go-karts. Now, he’s making the transition and preparing for his Carteret County Speedway debut in a four-cylinder stock car on Saturday night.
Wilson, 37, from Newport, North Carolina will be racing in the U-CAR division, which is one of the two four-cylinder classes at Carteret County Speeway. Already, Wilson has been at the track shaking his car down and trying to adjust his driving style as he moves up to the bigger, heavier cars.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge towards me switching from karts to cars,” Wilson said. “I think, this race, I’ll learn a lot and I’ll learn a lot in practice with weather changes from hot to cold. We might be able to run up front.”
Wilson tested his new car, a Chevrolet Cavalier Z24, at the 4/10-mile track on Monday. In just a short time, he already picked up some key differences in how to approach racing in a U-CAR compared to the smaller, lighter kart.
“Well, running wide open in the kart is a big difference than the car and the weight shift in the corner is a lot different,” Wilson commented. “As far as driving a kart, it’s pretty much simple. You stay in the gas and hope she sticks. In the car, you hope she sticks coming after you come out of the gas. It’s a transitional difference when you get in the corner driving a kart versus driving a car.”
Wilson is also working on getting comfortable in the car and focusing on judging how wide the car is when exiting the corner so he can carry momentum down the straightaway.
“I felt different in the kart,” Wilson explained. “Not that I was safer but I could see everything around me. I think I’ll get used to the car. I’ve driven cars, everybody has a license. But, when you’re racing a car and you’re trying to judge the width of the car coming off the corner not to hit the wall, it’s a lot different than the kart.”
The U-CAR class is a beginner class at Carteret County Speedway. U-CAR stands for “U Can Afford to Race” and the cars are very stock. However, in recent years, more and more drivers have been racing in a Toyota Celica. The Toyota cars have been dominant at every track in Eastern North Carolina, including at Carteret County Speedway.
Wilson says he would like to see more drivers compete in the lower budget U-CARs in hopes of building the division up as an affordable form of racing.
“On these U-CARs, there’s a lot of people talking about the Celicas,” Wilson remarked. “A true U-CAR is a car built from scratch, basically like your backyard. You’ve got to go by rules but it’s literally a car built with low finance budgets, not high end.
“I would hope more cars come out here. If you want to race, get in the U-CAR division, come out to Carteret County Speedway and let’s make this thing happen.”
Wilson will make his debut in Saturday night’s Coca-Cola Race Day on the Crystal Coast in the 30 lap U-CAR feature. The race will also feature Carteret County Speedway’s Late Models, Mini Stocks and Street Stocks.
Tickets are available the day of the race for $15 for adults. Kids five and under will now be admitted for free at Carteret County Speedway for Saturday’s race as well as future events. The green flag will wave at 7pm.
For more information about Carteret County Speedway, visit the track’s official website at www.carteretspeedway.com, “like” Carteret County Speedway on Facebook (www.facebook.com/carteretcoswy) or follow @carteretcoswy on Twitter (www.twitter.com/carteretcoswy).