GAS CITY, Ind. — In a pleasant surprise Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway, Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson was on hand to take in night seven of USAC Indiana Midget Week.
Wilson, who has overseen the TRD driver development ladder for many years, was spotted in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports pit as the team’s six drivers went to work at the quarter-mile dirt oval.
The Virginia Tech graduate is a passionate supporter of dirt-track racing, particularly at the grassroots level, and bore a wide smile as he spoke about his reasons for fitting two Indiana Midget Week events into his busy schedule.
“I’ll tell you what, of all the things that we (Toyota) do on the race track across the country, racing on dirt with midgets is truly my favorite,” Wilson said. “I love Indiana Midget Week. I usually try and get two or three nights in and, obviously, I missed it last year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), so I really wanted to get back out here this week and be a part of it for a few days.
“I’m just so happy to breathe in some dirt, to get my Jack Purcells a little dirty … it just feels right.”
Wilson tipped that he believes “the future is very bright” for Toyota’s driving prospects, a group that includes five drivers — Buddy Kofoid, Daison Pursley, Brenham Crouch, Bryant Wiedeman and Jonathan Shafer — under the age of 20 within the KKM stable alone.
“The level of competition right now across the ranks of USAC at the national level is about as stout as I’ve ever seen it,” Wilson said. “The drivers in our program with TRD are a big part of that, but there is no lock on this championship and it’s really terrific for the sport to see so much talent at the race track every single night.
“It’s a pleasure to be here and to get a chance to take in the excitement firsthand again.”
A resident of Newport Beach, Calif., Wilson has been involved with TRD for more than three decades.
Prior to joining TRD in 1989, Wilson was employed by Johnson & Johnson and was an officer in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Parachutist’s Badge and the Air Assault Badge.
“I’ve had a lot of great moments and I’m blessed to be where I am in life,” Wilson said.