C.J. Wilson was once one of Major League Baseball’s best pitchers, but after missing the entire 2016 season it appears he has settled in on a very different career path these days.
Instead of pitching fastballs, he’s about to begin pitching fast cars to people in the Fresno area. Oh, and he will be getting into the world of auto racing in a major way.
The former Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher is an owner of a BMW/Audi/Porsche dealership in Fresno. He is also an owner of an IMSA series racing team, one that will race Porsches this upcoming season.
IMSA is the highest level of sports car racing in North America, and CJ Wilson racing will be competing in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge Series under the Grand Sport class. Wilson’s cars finished 2nd and 3rd at Daytona to start their 2017 season. The goal is to eventually continue to move up the IMSA ranks as a team.
Wilson will be one of the drivers as well, something that he has had to hold inside during his MLB career due to obvious contractual situations. It is something he addressed in an interview with local Fresno TV station KFSN:
“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. 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.”
Money certainly isn’t the motivating factor of this car dealership and racing deal, as Wilson racked up a cool $68 million during his MLB career.
We’re guessing that Wilson’s competitive nature is what will make him a success in the car dealership and racing worlds. After all, he was a success on the mound as well. Wilson racked up a 94-70 overall record with a 3.74 career ERA too.
Not too shabby for an 11-year MLB career.
One may question just how serious Wilson is about racing and his new career path, but he certainly has dove in head first. Heck, he’s even made it clear just how passionate he is about the move with a Twitter handle change to @str8edgeracer.
He also has a major handle in transitioning from pitcher to race car driver, but Wilson also sees some mental similarities to the two sports.
“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 muscly 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.”
Clearly this isn’t a millionaire with plenty of time on his hands and a new toy to play with. Wilson is very passionate, thoughtful and introspective about what he is getting himself into.
It will be interesting to see just how fast this new race and car dealership endeavor gets off the ground.