Angels Pitcher CJ Wilson’s Viper Will Eat Ferraris All Day

Major Leaguer hurls his brutally fast new “Captain America” Dodge Viper ACR ‘round Fontana.

byA.J. Baime|
Dodge News photo

If you made millions upon millions of dollars yearly and you were a car nut on the hunt for a new track machine, what would you get? CJ Wilson—the two-time All-Star southpaw pitcher for the LA Angels—has an answer to that question. On a hot day in late November, I met CJ at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, for his first track day in his new Dodge Viper ACR, fully loaded from the factory.

Our hosts for the day: Fast Toys Club, an LA-based group of exotic car owners that rents tracks for members. On this day, we’d tackle Fontana’s super high-speed 21-turn road course that includes a good chunk of banked oval. In the paddock: rows of Ferraris, Lambos, McLarens by the six-pack—enough exotic machinery to make a Saudi sultan dizzy with envy.

Why buy a comparatively inexpensive (i.e., $125,000) Viper? CJ is one of 375 McLaren P1 owners. But you don’t bring machinery that rare to your average track day, where metal might get bent. Among the more expensive cars present at Fontana, CJ will argue, nothing can match the speed of the all-new 2016 Viper ACR. The aero package delivers nearly a ton of downforce at top whack (about 180 mph), the V-10 pumping out 645 horsepower. CJ also likes the fact that, like his Major League status, this car is All-American. In fact, he’s named it Captain America.

This I can say: CJ Wilson, who also happens to own the pro team CJ Wilson Racing, is the best track driver I’ve passengered with who does not make his bones racing cars. Better maybe than some of those, too. Don’t believe me? Click on the video below.