On Friday, an agreement between KB Racing and Wilson Manifolds was reached, confirming Rob Mansfield as driver of the third KB/Summit Racing Pro Stocker at the forthcoming NHRA Charlotte inaugural. The car will be prepared in the same Wilson/Summit Racing livery presented during its recent debut at the 54th NHRA US Indy Nationals.
At Indianapolis, Wilson’s full-time manifold staff distinguished themselves by pitting their collective drag racing skills against the best of NHRA’s Pro Stock’s seasoned veterans. They came within .003 (three thousandth of a second) of qualifying.
Relations between NHRA and NASCAR have rarely been closer than those of this coming weekend. NASCAR fans still regard 39 year old Jason Line, the 2006 NHRA Pro Stock champion, as one of their own. Before joining with Greg Anderson in 2003, Line had served NASCAR for five years in Charlotte, bringing Winston Cup Championship victories to Bobby Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002) while engaged with the Joe Gibbs Racing Team.
Keith Wilson’s induction reputation was formed in NASCAR racing. His influence on the NASCAR scene, notably his pioneering advances in both restrictor-plate and open manifold designs has been at the forefront since 1985. Wilson’s friendship with Line was formed when the two were engaged in developing NASCAR intake systems for Joe Gibbs Racing in the late nineties.
The Wilson team will continue to work closely with KB Racing, exploring opportunities for a full NHRA Pro Stock program in 2009.