A DAMAGED BODY CAN’T STOP WILKERSON AT ROUTE 66 NATIONALS
Joliet, Illinois (July 11, 2016) - Consistency was the name of the game for Tim Wilkerson at the K&N Filters NHRA Route 66 Nationals. He drove the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang to four – three second runs during qualifying on Friday and Saturday.
Tim Wilkerson came in to race day as the Number Five qualifier with a 3.894 E.T. at 330.23 mph. On Friday, that qualifying pass set a new track speed record.
Wilkerson had high hopes on race day, but was eliminated round one when he smoked the tires giving Bob Tasca III the win with a 3.990/316.23 to 11.327/75.19.
“We’re really not quite sure what happened to it there. It appeared to be similar conditions as Q3 and that’s how we set it up. It just never got thru the clutch when I stepped on the gas,” Wilkerson said. “We had a little bit of a mix up going on at the starting line and I don’t know if I got it messed up getting in there too quick. It just didn’t make the turn. The motor got a hold of it and the drive shaft pulled off.”
The team had to spend a late night at the track on Saturday after the Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang body was damaged in the third qualifying session, forcing the team to run a back-up body for the final qualifying session.
“I think I just ran so low on fuel up there waiting for Hagan to get off the track in Q3 that it went through and burned the piston up and hit the pan pressure switch, and it had to do it just perfect, because when it did it crashed the nose on the ground and folded the nose off of it,” Wilkerson said. “This breaking bodies is really hard on my crew and it’s wearing us out. Hopefully Murf (McKinney) gets our second car done and we can take it with us on the Western Swing.”
Wilkerson leaves Joliet Number Eight in the Funny Car Championship Point Standings.
The next race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals July 22 - 24 at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.
“It was great to have all the employees and customers from Levi, Ray & Shoup on hand to support us and cheer us on this weekend,” said Wilkerson.