WORSHAM & FINK RACING
Photo credit to NHRA.com
2018 Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car
Lucas Oil Winternationals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Del Worsham - No. 11 (3.943 seconds)
Lost to Tim Wilkerson in round one
WORSHAM EDGED IN ROUND ONE
Del Worsham started the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season with a fine first step, powering to a 3.943 at 320.97 miles per hour in the first qualifying session. After that, things didn’t necessarily go as planned.
Running with the C2C Industries logo on the sides of his 2018 Toyota Camry, Worsham felt confident he could represent the Chino, Calif. based CNC machine shop well, in front of the big Pomona crowds and on national television. The gremlins that gnaw on every race car at some point, however, showed up after that Q1 effort. Worsham’s crew found some unexpected damage while servicing the car, and he made the call to sit out Q2 in order to sort it out.
“We thought everything was fine, and it was a really good lap right out of the box,” Worsham said. “We worked hard all off-season and our plan was to start strong. That’s what we did, and I was happy with that. Then we saw some rod bearings that looked a little beat up and it made more sense to sit the second session out and get it straight. The fact we knew Friday was going to be a lot cooler was part of it, too. Might as well focus on what were going to be the two quickest sessions.”
After the strong initial run, Worsham sat in the lofty No. 4 spot on the ladder. After sitting out Q2, he slid a bit to the No. 7 position. After shaking the tires at the hit during a very cool and overcast Q3 on Saturday, he was 10th. Hoping to rebound in Q4, after the sun began peeking through the clouds, Worsham’s 4.343, after some odd throttle problems on the burnout, was no help and he entered Sunday’s eliminations from the No. 11 rung. He would face the sixth-place qualifier, Tim Wilkerson, in round one on Sunday.
Race day brought its own significant challenges for tuners and drivers alike. A few early mishaps and a major crash pushed the Top Fuel session well past the standard time for Funny Car to begin racing. With each clean-up and passing minute, the clear blue skies offered no resistance to the thermal properties of strong sun, causing both air and track temperature to rise. With the rising temps, tire spin became even more prevalent.
Running as the sixth pair, both Worsham and Wilk launched in near lock-step, with Worsham getting seven-thousandths of an edge. When Wilkerson’s mount made nearly a full pull, only sashaying and dropping some cylinders and putting some oil on the track just short of the finish line, while Worsham’s car lost traction just before the 330-foot mark, the opening race of the 2018 season was over for the SoCal native and his team. The final numbers were 4.036 seconds and 304.12 miles per hour for Wilkerson over Worsham’s 4.751 at 191.95 mph.
“Not what we wanted, obviously,” Worsham said. “You can’t blame the oil-downs or the other long delays, and you can’t blame the weather. We all deal with those kinds of things almost every weekend. It was challenging for everyone, and some of the best teams in the sport couldn’t make full pulls. I don’t think there were more than four or five strong laps out of the 16 cars running, but it’s on us to figure it out and we didn’t. Not getting down the track on Saturday didn’t help. That sends you into Sunday searching a little.
“Other than that, we did some good things and built some confidence after that first run. We’ll head to Phoenix in a couple of weeks and the first goal will be to get back on the good side of it. After that, we hope to be a pain in the neck for anyone we race. Time to look it all over and get ready for the desert.”
Worsham & Fink Racing
2018 Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car
Driver: Del Worsham
2011 Top Fuel World Champion
2015 Funny Car World Champion