Price is right for June’s ‘Hot Shot’ contest award
Posted on June 20, 2008 at 10:36:49 am
ARLINGTON, Texas (June 18) – Willis Price’s previous career highlight was a hard heat race fight for first with Jerry West in an IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock a couple seasons back.
Now a rookie in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division, he now ranks winning this month’s Woody’s Hot Shot of the Month contest atop the list.
“This is the biggest thing that’s happened to me since I started racing,” said Price, certainly among the happiest drivers to be notified of their selection. “This is even bigger than beating Jerry.”
A Saturday night regular at Kennedale Speedway Park, Price will receive four congratulatory decals, 12 window decals and a dozen custom T-shirts from Woody’s Signs. He’ll also be entered in the overall Hot Shot contest for 2008.
Price had 20 years of drag racing experience under his belt when he moved to Arlington. He was still unloading the truck when he heard neighbor Alan Hossler start his Modified up.
The two became fast friends and Price would eventually crew for Hossler.
Hossler put him in his first race car and also introduced him to fellow hotshoe Darryl Campbell.
Campbell, in turn, helped Price get his start in the sanctioned Hobby Stocks. After a handful of outings in 2004 at Kennedale, Price took 2005 off before getting in six races at Boyd in 2006 and joining the weekly grind at KSP the following year.
Price, who is black, campaigned in a Hobby Stock with a paint scheme paying tribute to Wendell Scott, the only black driver to win a race in what is now the Sprint Cup Series.
“That wasn’t my motivation to race. I race because I love racing,” he said. “I don’t do it because it’s an ethnic thing. It’s not a black thing or a white thing. The track officials, wrecker crews, fans and drivers in every class have been great. I’ve never had a problem with racism. I race for me, no ifs, ands or buts.”
“I’ve been a NASCAR fan since I was a kid and I had uncles who raced in California,” Price added. “Now I get to race with some of the toughest guys in the nation. Who could ask for anything more? A young lady by the name of Tasha McNeil, a Stock Car driver, told me once, ‘I’m a girl, and if I can do this, so can you.’ Fellow drivers in all classes inspire me to keep on having fun. I may never win a race, but I have fun every week.”
His wife Ruth is Price’s official crew chief and co- car owner. He can also count on top runners like John McNeil, Charlie Wilson, Scotty Brown, Jeff Turner, Duain Pritchett and Bryan Sewell for help at the track. None of this would be possible without the help of Darryl Campbell and Lyle Smith of Destroyer Chassis.
Sponsors for the number 26 car include Destroyer Chassis, Performance Transmissions and Tees for Texas, all of Kennedale; WRP Racing and B & B Automotive, both of Arlington; Velocity of Texas, Euless; TexasmadeTrailers of Greenville; Mesco Building Solutions of Southlake; Trackannouncer.com of Fort Worth; Pritchett Designs of Houston; Wells Cylinder Heads of Midlothian; McCoy Hobbies of McCoy; Petrus Interior Systems of San Antonio; and B & B Ready Mix and Southside Graphics, both of Dallas.
Willis Price of Arlington, Texas, pilots the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car tabbed for top honors in the June Woody’s ‘Hot Shot of the Month’ contest. (Photo by Ruth Price)
FINISHED 20TH IN THE NATION IN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS.
FINISHED 6TH IN THE DESTROYER SOUTHERN REGION ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS.
FINISHED 6TH IN TRACK POINTS AT KENNEDALE SPEEDWAY PARK KENNEDALE TEXAS.
NOT TOO BAD FOR A GUY THAT'S OVER 50 YEARS OLD.