TWR - Tim Wilkerson Dallas Preview


LEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car



DALLAS (October 12, 2015) -- In the Lone Star State it is proudly stated that "Everything is bigger in Texas" and the very existence of the venerable Texas Motorplex near Dallas stands as a testament to that concept. Built in nearby Ennis in 1986, it was roundly lauded as the first "Supertrack" on the NHRA circuit, and although it no longer holds such a singular status it certainly ranks as a favorite stop for nearly all of the competitors on today's NHRA Mello Yello tour.

This weekend, when Tim Wilkerson brings his Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang Funny Car to "the 'Plex" for the AAA of Texas Fall Nationals, the Illinois native will be looking forward to another pleasurable visit with the avid Texas fans, while he also plans to increase his fun-factor by winning rounds at this 22nd stop on the 24-race schedule. Wilk currently sits eighth in the Mello Yello standings, but he sees his most pressing priority being the addition of some new notches in the "W" column.

"We're in good shape and we're eager to get down there to those great fans on that great racing surface, and our only goal is to run as well as we can and hopefully win a few rounds, if not the race," Wilk said. "We're in the Countdown, so we'll be in Hollywood at the NHRA Awards Ceremony after Pomona and I'll be on-stage with the rest of the drivers in the top 10. All that's left to decide is which position I'll be standing in and the dollar amount on the bonus check, so why not go for it? This isn't the time to play safe and be conservative.

"The Motorplex lets you do as much as the weather allows, because the surface is fantastic and it's all concrete. If it's not too hot, you can turn up the dial and run as hard as you can. If it is hot, it becomes a tuner's race, where finesse is more important than brute power, and we've always been pretty good at that. We think we can win either way, though. We're looking forward to it."

While most of the attention this weekend will be on the tight battle between Del Worsham and Jack Beckman at the top of the Funny Car standings, where Worsham holds a narrow lead of only 16 points while Matt Hagan (-90), Tommy Johnson (-98), and Ron Capps (-105) remain in contention, Wilkerson can impact his own bottom-line with a few more round wins. He currently sits just seven points behind Cruz Pedregon and 49 behind John Force, who enters the weekend in sixth place. The difference of a few thousand dollars might be invisible to the multi-car teams, but every dollar counts to Wilk.

"My dad raised me to understand that a dollar is a dollar, and if you earn it it's yours," Wilk said. "Put it this way, you won't see me turning down an extra thousand or so if we can move up another spot or two. We don't just keep an eye on our dollars around here, we keep an eye on every penny. That's how we're able to run with these big teams on a fraction of the budget. You just have to have all your guys on the same page, doing it right every time, because every part we own is important to us.

"While you're doing that, you also have to be aggressive enough to give yourself a chance. We're not out here just to get on TV and have fun. My guys work as hard as anyone, and if you don't win it's not much fun so we're here to win. You just need to stay with what you know and take what the track will give you. We've done a pretty good job this year, in that regard, and I'm really proud of my guys for the way they consistently put the car together right. We'll try to do the same this weekend."

Qualifying begins on Friday, with Nitro sessions scheduled for 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., while Saturday's sessions are slated for 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations on Sunday will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the race will be televised on ESPN2 with a one-hour Sunday qualifying show airing at 4:00 p.m. (ET) followed by eliminations from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. (ET).



Team Wilkerson Racing

NHRA Nitro Funny Car

Twitter: @TeamWilkerson

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