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Driver Profile: Joe Wilkinson

by Steve Coniff and Tom Carnegie

It was the late 1960's, and Joe was visiting relatives, who lived in Montana. While he was there, a bunch of T's came roaring through Livingston. He had run into one of the local T races that were popular all around the state of Montana at that time. Joe was intrigued, so when he got back to his home in Rocky Ford Colorado, he contacted the Livingston Chamber of Commerce to find out about the event. They in turn got him connected with the president of the Montana Cross Country T Association.

He talked his friend, Ross Anderson, from Arlington Colorado into letting him use his T to run in the 1972 race out of Miles City. Joe and his racing buddy Ernie Woodring took turns driving Ross's car to a 15th place overall finish. They were second in the cast iron division that year. By 1974 Joe and Ernie had their own car. They did not finish that year. In 1975 the gas shortage kept Joe home, but he was back in 1976 with his own car painted a bright NAPA yellow. He called his car the "Gold Hat Special". He finished in 11th place that year. I remember in 1977 when he doled out gold hats (which we put to good use) to all the T drivers.

Joe Wilkinson

He came back most every year until 1981, which was his last year to race. His best finish was in 1980 when he came in 8th. Joe now lives in the Denver area.

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