10, 2017, St. Louis Region – Charles
Willis Jr. and six fellow drag racers were honored
Saturday as Gateway Motorsports Park's 2016 Dragplex champions.
When the 2017 season begins on April 1, Willis Jr. will
be set to defend his Super Pro Motorcycle class title.
is my first Gateway Motorcycle championship," Willis
Jr. said. "My father won it in 2015. It feels really
good to finally see your hard work paying off and know that
you're going somewhere.
father got me started in motorcycle drag racing. When I
came back from the military I needed something to do and
bikes were it. I had never raced before. I didn't think
I'd ever be able to try for a championship but he stayed
on me and showed me I could do it."
the son faced the father at least once during 2016 season
eliminations and the kid put dad on the trailer as they
say in drag racing.
served in the U.S. Army for 12 years. I joined right after
9/11. I saw what was going on. Everybody needs to do their
part so I figured I'd do my part. I got out in 2012.
first two years of racing were hard. I was constantly losing.
Not understanding. Having to constantly go to my father
to see how to read a time slip to see what I was doing wrong.
After the second year I could figure out what was going
on -- how to read the bike, read the time slip. That's when
I finally started coming into my own and this year it finally
Jr. scored seven wins during GMP's 2016 bracket racing series
at GMP and also won a few more special events.
days I'm retired and I race and build motorcycles. I sell
them to my competitors, no problem. If someone needs help
and I assist help them, I will gladly share knowledge with
them -- because I want to keep the competition stiff,"
Willis Jr. concluded.
more information on Gateway Motorsports Park visit www.gatewaymsp.com.