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Sandy Wilkins Discusses His Dedication to Wilkins Racing Engines, Hard Work and Passion on ‘The Racing Business’ Podcast

In Episode 18 of “The Racing Business” hosted by Jason Dukes, guest Sandy Wilkins, owner of Wilkins Racing Engines, shared his insights into his racing career and business. Established in December 2019, Wilkins Racing Engines has been thriving in Mooresville, North Carolina, a hub for racers. Wilkins recounted his journey from go-kart racing to becoming a respected engine builder and racer, with achievements including six division championships in NHRA, four national event wins and a world championship.

“Knowledge is cumulative,” said Wilkins. “You don’t learn everything in the first year, you don’t learn everything in the second year. I’ve been doing this since I was 14, and I learn something every day.”

Wilkins also highlighted the importance of adaptability and customer service in the racing engine business, discussing various projects like the RTR drift car engines for Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s team, proprietary engines for grudge racing and unique projects like a billet tractor pull engine. He emphasized the value of being located in Mooresville for access to racing parts and the community.

“Racing is very strong for a number of reasons – there’s such a great community in racing, and I think that maybe we don’t interact enough anymore like we used to,” said Wilkins. “I have met the best people because of racing and have great friends because of our business and racing and the choices that we’ve made over the years to do these crazy things.”

The conversation also covers challenges like finding dedicated personnel and the importance of financial management for business owners.

“The biggest challenge is personnel,” confessed Wilkins. “People seem to want a lot to do a little, and in the racing business, it’s always been a challenge to get things finished in an eight-hour workday.”

Wilkins stressed the significance of passion in racing and the necessity of adapting to changes and opportunities in the industry. He called for more human interaction and community support within the racing world and reflected on how racing has brought valuable relationships and experiences into his life.

“Stay off your phone and go do something with your hands, or your feet or your mind. There are so many great opportunities out there – stay diligent. If you have passion, follow it,” he added.

“I will not fail if my house is on the line. I can promise you if I’ve got to stay up for 24 hours a day, seven days a week – I will not fail.”

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This story was originally published on March 13, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.