Alabama 200: Hueytown Legacy in the Hands of 16 Year Old JoJo Wilkinson

Jolynn "JoJo" Wilkinson is set to make her fourth start in the Alabama 200 on March 7th (David Kranak/Impact Zone Photos)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (March 5, 2020) — There is a certain 16 year old from Hueytown, Alabama that just got her driver’s license. Funny thing is, she’s been driving for most of her life. Before ever turning a legal mile in a normal street car, Joylnn “JoJo” Wilkinson has already participated in three seasons of the Show Me the Money Pro Late Model Series, competed in two Snowflake 100s, two Baby Rattler 125s and turned heads with a breakout victory in one of Alabama’s historic speedways.

Wilkinson is the daughter of John “Boy” Wilkinson III, another racing prodigy out of the same hometown that gave the racing world Bobby and Donnie Allison, Bobby’s son Davey and Neil Bonnett. Wilkinson worked his way up the racing ladder, reaching the ARCA Hooters SuperCar Series (Now known as the ARCA Menards Series) in 1993, debuting in the Southern 300 at Five Flags Speedway in a family owned Buick. He would go on to compete in 33 ARCA events from 1993-1997 but would be most well known as a Late Model racer in the Deep South racing primarily in the Southern All Star Super Late Model Series and Southern Superstars Short Track Series. He also made seven starts in the Snowball Derby.

The elder Wilkinson has taken his years of experience, and applied them to teaching his daughter, who in only a few short years has emerged as a driver with the potential to put the Hueytown legacy of winners back into the forefront of the racing scene.

Over the course of the last handful of years, Jolynn has taken the tutelage from her father and applied it to racing in Pro Late Models at Montgomery Motor Speedway, Sayre Speedway, Huntsville Speedway, Five Flags Speedway, and South Alabama Speedway.

During that time, she has had several solid runs, earning one top five, and five top 10 finishes in 17 Show Me the Money Series starts, and a top 10 in her first Snowflake 100 appearance in 2018.

The highest accomplishment in her young career is winning at Huntsville Speedway from the pole in July of 2019. She beat out another Alabama Late Model racing legend in Mark Day and pulled off the victory only two short months after being hit in the driver’s door in a devastating crash at Five Flags Speedway that left her with a concussion and broken ankle. 

Jolynn most recently competed in the 21st Annual Snowflake 100 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida back in December of 2019. In a race that received national attention for another Alabama driver; the violent and fiery crash of Justin Bonnett, Wilkinson found herself on the wrong end of bad luck after making contact while trying to put herself in position to receive the lucky dog on lap 55.

The end of 2019 wasn’t all bad for Wilkinson, who prior to the Snowlake 100, won five features in the 26th Annual Thanksgiving Thunder from the Georgia Karting Komplex in Carnsville, Georgia.

The incident at the Snowflake 100 left her Grand American Race Car in rough shape, but with the help of her father, the team has rebuilt the car and prepared it for competition in the 56th Annual Alabama 200 on March 7th.

Wilkinson will be making her fourth attempt at the “Hunt for the Bear” and will once again be racing under the guidance of not only her father, but fellow racer and driver coach Augie Grill. Grill is the defending Alabama 200 winner, having won five times before, and the defending Show Me the Money Series title holder, and brings decades of experience to the table in helping the young Wilkinson.

The 56th Annual Alabama 200 is set for Saturday, March 7th at Montgomery Motor Speedway, and opens the 2020 Show Me the Money Pro Late Model Series season.

Stay tuned to PixelatedSPEED for updates on this big Pro Late Model event.

– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

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PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been going "Beyond the Headline" since 2018”.