TEAM WILKERSON RACING
LEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOWHERE TO LOOK BUT UP, FOR WILK
LAS VEGAS (October 26, 2015) -- Back in early September, at the conclusion of the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day, Tim Wilkerson entered the NHRA Countdown playoffs in the No. 8 spot in the standings. Wilk has won two rounds during the first four races in the postseason, and with two races left to contest he heads for Las Vegas and The Strip at LVMS this weekend in the 10th spot. His final points position, though, is very much undecided and the Springfield, Ill. owner/tuner/driver sees no reason to look anywhere other than up.
Wilk may be in the 10th spot with his cache of 2,195 Mello Yello points, but when racing gets underway on Friday in Vegas he will be in a prime position for upward mobility. He enters the Toyota Nationals just one point behind Robert Hight (9th), six points behind Cruz Pedregon (8th), 11 points behind Alexis DeJoria (7th), and 69 points behind John Force (6th). Considering Wilk can't finish any lower than 10th, the Levi, Ray & Shoup driver intends to simply focus on moving up in the standings.
"We were disappointed to go out in the first round at the last race, in Dallas, but we're still so tightly bunched up in the standings that one good day could make a big difference," Wilk said. "We have two races left and theoretically we could still finish as high as sixth, so there's all sorts of motivation for finishing strong. With the Countdown, we can't finish any lower than 10th, which is where we are right now, so we're planning on putting everything we have on the table and we'll take our best shot.
"The first step is to get qualified and grab a spot in the top half. I looked at the entry list for the race and although I was expecting a lot of cars to be there I'll admit that I was a little surprised to see 22 Funny Cars entered for this weekend. When you have that many teams entered, it forces everyone to be on top of their game because you know you can't just limp your way in. It keeps everybody honest."
Wilk slipped from eighth place to 10th in Dallas due to the existence of gremlins in the bell-housing, otherwise more technically known as clutch problems. After two good runs on Friday, he managed to smoke the tires near the 660-foot timer on both Saturday runs and then again in round one on Sunday. His opponent in that round was DeJoria, and the outcome allowed her to move around Wilk in the points.
"I like match-ups like that because you control your own destiny and you don't need this guy to beat that guy, or that team to lose to this team," Wilk said. "We lost our way a little with the clutch and didn't give ourselves much of a chance to get that round, but I'd take a pairing with any of these other teams we're bunched up with. Let's get it on, head to head, and see who wins.
"There's bonus money at stake here, and the higher we can finish the bigger the check is. There's pride at stake, too, and I know my guys all want to finish as high as possible. And the bottom line is we're professionals, and Dick Levi and the rest of our sponsors want to see us put our best possible effort on the track. They want us to win, and that's what we'll try to do. If we win rounds, good things will happen. It's pretty simple, really."
Funny Car qualifying for this weekend's stop on the Mello Yello tour begins at 1:00 on Friday afternoon. Both Friday and Saturday feature 1:00 and 4:30 Nitro sessions, with eliminations set for 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Team Wilkerson Racing
NHRA Nitro Funny Car
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