Daulton Wilson encouraged by recent performance but still wanting more

Daulton Wilson

Those who have been paying attention to the Dirt Late Model racing scene of late have likely noticed that Daulton Wilson has been steadily, although quietly, working his way up the running order on week by week basis. The driver of the Ratliff Racing No. 18D Longhorn Chassis posted very strong results during the recent North-South 100 weekend at Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky when he came home 2nd in Friday night’s Group A preliminary feature then 5th in the 100-lap main event held on Saturday evening.

The 25-year-old racer from Fayetteville, NC won an XR Super Series preliminary feature race at Nebraska’s Off Road Speedway that included Ricky Thornton Jr. and Hudson O’Neal on July 24th. That was one of six top-5 and nine top-10 results for Wilson since the weekend of the Silver Dollar Nationals held at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD back in late July.

“We’ve been running pretty good,” Wilson declared in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “I think we’ve had speed most of the year and we’re just getting out and racing and building on it each and every night. We’re continuing to get better and better and I’m getting better as a driver and my crew, we’re working good together. We’re all learning together and I think we’re just going to keep building on it and getting better and better.”

Wilson currently ranks 7th in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings with a total of 10 top-five and 15 top-ten finishes over the course of the entire season on that tour. He was 8th in the the final series rundown of 2022.

He also stands 7th in the current XR Super Series standings. Running those two series combined with starts on the Castrol FloRacing Night in America schedule and the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series have made for a very busy year through the part of the slate run so far in 2023. As a matter of fact, Wilson has already entered 79 events to this point.

How is it that Wilson and his team are able to enter so many races?

“It’s just a product of me having really good guys behind me and great car owners that give us everything we need to do it,” he explained. “We’ve got guys who bust their butts to make sure we’ve got a good race car on the track every night. As long as we keep doing that, the more racing we can get in the better. It’s just a good team deal and I think that’s helping us a lot right now.”

Part of the reason for Wilson’s improved performance of late is the fact that he now has experience on some tracks he had never seen before last season. Second and third visits to speedways help to know which adjustments will work and which won’t. All of those types of factors are leading toward the ultimate goal.

“Having that notebook to go back to has been beneficial and having the right pieces in place to be able to benefit from racing this much has been huge,” Wilson pointed out. “My goal is to get better every night and I think we’re definitely continuing to grow our program. The results are starting to show.”

Daulton Wilson in the No. 18D Ratliff Racing Longhorn

When asked if the close calls were frustrating or encouraging, Wilson took a philosophical view in pointing out that the level of competition is quite strong.

“This deal is really hard and you’ve got to have a lot of luck and a good race car to be able to put the whole night together. For us to run second like we have been is really good. We want to win and I think the wins will come but you’ve got to be in position to capitalize on it and we’re starting to be there more and more often.”

Wilson will have his next chance at a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win this weekend when that tour rolls into the Batesville(AR) Motor Speedway for the Topless 100.

Please consider also reading:

Photos from the North-South 100

Respond to this post on Twitter by following @RichardAllenIDR and @MichaelRMoats or by liking the InsideDirtRacing.com Facebook page.

Also, NASCAR and pavement racing fans can check out InsideCircleTrack.com

Comments are closed.