Wilson Jumps from Pitching to Racing


Ever wonder what happens to star athletes after they retire from their sport? Many make the news after losing fortunes, but the smart ones reinvest their earnings and chase their passions. That is precisely what former Rangers and Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson is doing. Wilson has always loved cars and racing. After retiring from major league baseball, Wilson purchased a Porsche/Audi/BMW dealership in Fresno and plans to get into auto racing.

"I've been into racing since I was a kid. I started karting when I was 6 or something, going to dirt track events my whole life," Wilson told the station. "My dad was on a pit crew and got me into it. Now it's going to be a big deal. I don't have to hide it anymore, there's no contract violations to worry about or anything."

The Wilson racing team will drive Porsches in the IMSA series and work toward higher-tier series as his career progresses. But this isn't a spur-of-the-moment move on Wilson's part. He has been working toward buying a Porsche dealership for seven years and finally had the chance this year.

During an interview, Wilson had much to say about shifting from one sport to another. "As a pitcher, generally, faster is better," Wilson said. "The faster you can throw, it's kind of like driving. At the same time, it's also about control, and that's the biggest thing mentally, not allowing yourself to get so amped up that you get muscley and you flex or whatever. So in the car, whenever you're driving on the racetrack, you have to be delicate and be mindful and very Zen in terms of how you do stuff in the car. If you're going 140 mph and you do the wrong thing, it goes wrong really bad, really fast. It's the same way if you try to reach back and throw the ball by somebody, if you don't have it in the tank that day, a dude's gonna hit it over the fence and you're gonna lose. And I've been there. I've made all my mistakes as a baseball player that I'll ever make, hopefully. So that's good. No more home runs to give up. But as a race car driver, I'm sure I'm going to have crashes and stuff like that ahead of me."

If his racing career is anything like his baseball one, we're definitely in for more than a few surprises out of Wilson in the years to come.

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