TEAM WILKERSON RACING
LEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car
NHRA Toyota Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tim Wilkerson - No. 10 (3.992 seconds)
Lost to Chad Head in round one
WILK OUSTED IN ROUND ONE
Tim Wilkerson was the unfortunate owner of a 3.992 elapsed time in qualifying. While that would've made him a hero one year ago, 2015 is the "Year of the Three" and all it got him was a number 10 qualifying spot and a date with Chad Head in round one. Head qualified with a 3.976 and owned lane choice, and while the left lane seemed to be the side of choice at the beginning of the round, some early tire smoke caused a flurry of lane swapping in the Funny Car class and Wilk was moved over there by the Head team. He smoked the tires at nearly the hit of the throttle. Day over, Vegas over, 2015 all but over with only one race left on the schedule.
Wilk showed some competitive consistency throughout qualifying, posting a 4.022 in Q1, a 4.013 in Q2, and his 3.992 in Q4. In Q3 he dropped a cylinder early and lifted, but that dropped cylinder most likely led to his loss in round one.
"We're a little backed into a corner in terms of our clutch set up, and we're having to mix in some new discs that we're not real comfortable with," Wilk said. "We put one in the pack in Q3 and it made it off the line but it had a hole out, so that means it was really underpowered and I could feel that driving it. Just as I was thinking I should lift, I heard Richard Hartman telling me the same thing on the radio. The problem with that was we didn't really learn what that one disc was going to do to our set-up because the car was only running on seven.
"We put another one in this morning, thinking we'd be fine, but that extra cylinder of power might have been what did it. Clutch discs are really aggravating in that way. Each batch has its own personality and when you have to start adding in foreigners to the ones you understand, it can change everything. Just like it did right there."
With only one race remaining in the 2015 season, Wilk also made the decision to give his guys one last break before wrapping it up in Pomona in two weeks. The team will leave its transporter in Las Vegas and fly all but one crew member home. With the car staying behind in Vegas, the team will get a break at the shop before flying west again to make the short drive over to Southern California.
"We're going to be right back out here in about 10 days, so it doesn't make any sense to drive the rig all the way back to Illinois just to have to turn around and backtrack out here. We'll leave one guy out here to keep an eye on things, and the rest of the guys will get a little break. It's a long season and everyone is tired by now, but I'm really proud of everything these guys have done this year. It's been a great season in terms of how well they've worked and what a team they've become. Hopefully we can get to Pomona and go out on a better note."
One race left. Tim Wilkerson wants it to be good one.
Team Wilkerson Racing
NHRA Nitro Funny Car
Facebook: Team Wilkerson Fan Group