Wil Herrington: A career on the rise

Wil Herrington

Wil Herrington has shown himself to be an accomplished Crate Late Model racer having earned dozens of feature wins in that division along with the 2020 Crate Racin’ USA championship. Lately, however, the 26-year-old from Hawkinsville, Georgia has been gaining more experience in the Super Late Model ranks.

In June of 2022, Herrington earned his first Super victories when he made a clean sweep of the Comp Cams Super Dirt Series-sanctioned ‘Clash at the Mag’ at the Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Mississippi taking a Friday night preliminary race that doled out $5,000 then going on to capture the Saturday night main event to secure a $12,000 payday.

Now teamed with Alabama-based JCM Motorsports, the young driver has already achieved a win this season when he steered his Rocket Chassis into Schaeffer’s Oil Spring Nationals victory lane at Georgia’s Senoia Raceway collecting $10,053 in the process.

In an interview conducted prior to the running of the XR Super Series event at the Volunteer Speedway, Herrington described the path that led him to where he is now in the sport of Dirt Late Model racing.

“We come from not a whole lot of backing,” he told InsideDirtRacing.com. “I’ve been racing for 14 years and 12 of those have been just trying to make due and get to the race track every week. In 2020 we had a really good year, we won about 15 races and the Crate Racin’ USA championship. In ’21 we started Super racing just a little bit and ran some Crate stuff. In 2022, I got with JCM Motorsports and it’s pretty much been full-time Supers from there on. We don’t run as much Crate as we used to. It’s been a lot of hard work and I am blessed to be here right now.”

Primarily a Super Late Model pilot now, Herrington explained that there are significant differences between the two types of racing machines. That was demonstrated in a recent $10,000-to-win Crate Racin’ USA event held on a very familiar track. After getting off to a shaky start, he ultimately rebounded to finish sixth behind eventual winner Kyle Bronson.

“A few weeks ago, they had a $10,000 race at Cochran(Motor Speedway) and I’ve got millions of laps there,” Herrington recalled. “I won the B-main and that was the first time I had been in a Crate car in probably over a year. Getting back to it, I think a lot of it was our setup we’re so used to with our Super stuff, so when we tried to get back into a Crate, we weren’t even close. It took us all night to get our car back to where it’s supposed to be. There’s a lot of difference in driving them, the speed, how the motors react, and how the car reacts to the motor. It’s a lot different.”

Herrington’s opportunity to drive the JCM Motorsports car came about somewhat by chance.

“They went to run SpeedWeeks at the first of 2021 and they had Jason Hiett driving and I think he wanted to go a different route,” the driver explained. “I was just kind of joking around with them and said, ‘Why don’t you let me drive that thing?’. They ended up calling me and we went to 411 and Duck River then we went to an Iron-Man race at Smoky Mountain the next week and we ran pretty good all three races and I’ve pretty much just been here ever since. They let me keep in Hawkinsville which makes it really easy on me and my family. We just had a baby so it makes it easy being at home and being with her while she’s growing up. It’s been a good deal so far. I’m just trying to get some more experience and get some more wins.”

Wil Herrington in the JCM Motorsports Rocket Chassis

The experience of branching out to new venues has been an enjoyable one. It has proven to be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“It’s been super fun,” Herrington declared. “My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is race. I mean, I played sports as a kid but my dad raced so that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. We were actually talking on the way up here last night about how in ’06 my dad ran the FasTrak Series and we came to Bulls Gap and I remember being here as a kid watching it. I’ve only been here one other time myself. I’ve just been blessed to be able to do what I love to do.”

Going up against the level of competition he now faces on a regular basis is not only thrilling for the young driver but it also comes with its challenges.

“All my folks work a day job and that part makes it a little tough racing against these guys that do it for a living but it’s still just a blessing to be able to come race against people that you grew up watching,” he explained. “It’s cool. We’ll keep working on it and one day we make a career out of it.”

Taking on the likes of Davenport, Overton, Madden and McDowell each time he rolls onto the track is in fact challenging and a bit awe inspiring as well.

“It’s like, you look around and you think, ‘Dang, I’ve been watching these folks since I was a kid’. And now you’ve got to try to outrun them and they got way more experience. But you’ve just got to do the best you can. They’re human and they make mistakes so you can outrun them. You’ve just got to put your head down and work hard and try to do what you’re supposed to do. That’s what it takes.”

Please consider also reading:

Turn 2 Blog: Regional drivers winning national races & A weekly Super Late Model class

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