From broken bones to a checkered flag

15-year-old race car driver

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Climbing into her race car used to be an easy task, but for the past two months, it's been an emotional journey for JoJo Wilkinson.

“Whenever we were mounting the seat, all my emotions just came out and I cried, I hugged my dad after everything,” said Wilkinson, the Hueytown native.

On April 26, 2019, the 15-year-old late model driver was in a serious crash at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola when she was T-boned by another driver.

"I had a shattered ankle, shattered on the left, broke on the right, I had to have surgery and get pins and stuff put in," Wilkinson said.

After seeing her injuries, Wilkinson said she didn't want to race anymore, but a few days later she changed her mind and was determined to get back out on the track.

"It just gives me a lot of motivation to get out there and give 110% and run the best I can because a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't give 110% and that hurt," said Wilkinson.

After two months of recovery, Wilkinson returned to the track two weeks ago. She won her first race since her surgery last weekend at Huntsville Speedway.

“That one is for sure the best one to me, getting on top of that car, my foot and everything that I’ve been through and my dad coming up to hug me, it just meant everything to me,” Wilkinson added.

“It’s definitely a testimony for sure. For her to never give up and never lose hope, it should definitely be an inspiration to most people,” said JoJo’s dad, John Wilkinson.

Wilkinson is the youngest female late model driver in America and she hopes her determination to never give up inspires younger girls.

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