In 2011, SMI shifted one of Atlanta’s two races to Kentucky Speedway. The company also owns Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway, and Texas Motor Speedway.
“We’re honored that NASCAR has entrusted us with a second NASCAR weekend,” Powell said. “We’ve pursued a second NASCAR premier series race weekend for quite some time, so this news is monumental for everyone at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well as everyone in our wonderful city.”
NASCAR’s aversion to expansion left SMI with two options if it wanted to add a second race at Las Vegas: 1) purchase a race from a track outside its portfolio, or 2) shift a date from one of its existing properties. With no tracks outside of SMI indicating a willingness to sell, the first option wasn’t feasible, leaving realignment the lone alternative.
So now he has to coach. Either he will struggle like Orgeron did and leave his successor a stocked cupboard, or he will show that he’s learned from previous bosses’ mistakes and thrive. All we know is that he can still recruit and that his assistant coach hires have been interesting.
When you hire someone mostly known for recruiting instead of coordinator success or college head coaching experience, you don’t expect immediate success. P.J. Fleck went 1-11 in his first year at Western Michigan, after all, and in Orgeron’s first head coaching gig at Ole Miss, he never turned things around. There’s a learning process here, and there’s a foundation to be laid.
Summary: Wilson was regarded as an ace recruiter when he took the job in 2016, but before his recruiting even kicked in, he took a young squad and improved it by quite a bit. What might he do with actual experience?
Wilson went from small schools to big roles in a hurry. The Nicholls State grad spent seven seasons as a Louisiana high school assistant before taking the reins at O. Perry Walker High in 2000, at the age of just 26. He won state coach of the year honors in 2002, and by 2005 found himself in the college ranks.