TEAM WILKERSON RACING
LEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car
"Notes & Quotes" from Tim Wilkerson, driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang Funny Car, after Saturday's qualifying sessions in Charlotte.
WILK WILL RACE FROM No. 4 SPOT
Tim Wilkerson again sat out the final qualifying session, although not necessarily for the same reasons he has done so in the past. This time, he did indeed feel his No. 4 spot on the grid was a lock, and it was hot, but he made the call because he'd hurt the rear-main bearing on Friday night, then scuffed the motor up a little again in Q3. His call was made so that his team could swap motors and take their time doing so.
He did hold onto the No. 4 spot and will face Alexis DeJoria in round one. DeJoria needed a solid pass in Q4 just to get in the field, and her 4.208 did the trick. Wilk and DeJoria are one of only two opening-round pairs in which both drivers are in the Countdown. The other features No. 7 Matt Hagan and No. 10 Cruz Pedregon.
"We hurt the rear main last night and it still didn't look too good today, when we smoked the tires just before half-track, so I said 'heck with it, let's swap motors' so we can be ready for tomorrow," Wilk said. "The session dragged on a little longer than I thought it would, and it was getting better out there, but we probably had about a one percent chance of improving, if that, so we stayed put and we'll be ready for round one on Sunday."
Funny Car Pairings for Round 1
(1) Tommy Johnson vs (16) Bob Gilbertson
(2) Del Worsham vs (15) Dave Richards
(3) Ron Capps vs (14) Tony Pedregon
(4) Tim Wilkerson vs (13) Alexis DeJoria
(5) Robert Hight vs (12) Shane Westerfield
(6) John Force vs (11) John Hale
(7) Matt Hagan vs (10) Cruz Pedregon
(8) Jack Beckman vs (9) Courtney Force