Texas Rangers Pitcher C.J. Wilson Talks Race Cars
Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is a budding race car driver. He’s recently invested in his own race team — C.J. Wilson Racing. The team competes in the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-% Cup and Grand-Am Continental Tire Challenge. I spoke to him for this Forbes interview. Here are few highlight from his responses.
What cars do you own?
The street cars I own right now: 2010 VW gti, 2003 Ford F250 diesel 4×4 for towing stuff and bad weather and my prized possession—the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT v10 supercar. Its epic, from the dimensions and angles to the sounds. I’ll never sell it. I’ve owned seven porsches and including the race cars over 20 total but really don’t get to
drive enough to warrant keeping too many street cars, and sold a few awesome Porsches (2010 gt3RS most recently) due to not being able to get them enough work.
On your Twitter profile, you describe yourself as “wannabe: pro racer: Do you plan to race professionally?
The main thing holding me back from competing on the professional level right now is the lack of time. Obviously baseball is much more lucrative so I’ve got to honor that as my first priority, and therefore my driving focus is more on development through testing programs.
What made you decide to invest in your own race team?
The reason I decided to do my own team, is mainly because I’d like to create a newer and fresher culture in the sports car world that closes the gap between developing drivers and winning to the seemingly more elusive marketing and corporate partnership. Being able to open doors as a baseball player is really helpful but ultimately partnering with experienced racing people was the true impetus to the process.
What tracks do you prefer?
My favorite tracks here in the states are Road Atlanta, infineon-Sears Point, and Mazda Raceway- Laguna Seca. Generally, the more elevation changes and higher lateral G-loading tracks are my favorites!
How do you balance your involvement with racing with the demands of being a starting pitcher for the Ranger?
Balancing the Rangers career and the racing career and business is a lot easier than most people think. To do anything major outside your main discipline, you need plenty of downtime (only pitching once every five days and four months off completely per year) organization skills (or a personal assistant), good partners and team members (Jason Saini and Julianne Pokorny, experienced Mazda racers and crew) and the willingness to sleep less than six hours a night. Just like baseball, its all about delegating what I can’t do to others, and focused performance when I need it.
Photo: CJ Wilson