WILKERSON DEBUTS NEW CAR WITH SOME IMPRESSIVE RESULTS
LAS VEGAS, NV (April 4, 2016) – Tim Wilkerson came into the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals with a brand new Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang that only had one day of track testing on it. Any doubts about how it would run were erased when the team landed in the No. 4 qualifying spot with a 3.936 E.T. at 320.66 mph.
While the team qualified in the top half of the field, Wilkerson was disappointed when he was eliminated in the first round in his match up against Jim Campbell. With a reaction time of .090 Wilkerson and Campbell were side by side until Wilkerson briefly lost traction. Campbell made it to the finish line first with a 4.196 and 301.47 to Wilkerson’s 4.567 at 209.10.
“The entire car has a whole new fuel and clutch system on it and I’m just not accustomed to slowing it down enough yet,” confessed Wilkerson. “Round one was the worst the track has been all weekend. I thought I had car dialed in to the great run it made in Q3, but it went to this one spot, and this time the tires pulled loose.”
The new chassis Wilkerson is running was designed by renowned race car builder, Murf McKinney. Wilkerson tested the car for a day in Florida and the entire team has been working hard the last two weeks get the car ready for its debut in Las Vegas.
“That car has every drop of new technology out here in the computer box. So learning it is going to be a little bit of a transition for all of us; I knew it would be. Basically it was a test weekend for the team,” said Wilkerson. “I’ll be truthful; I’m a little surprised by how well it ran all weekend.”
Even after Wilkerson was eliminated, his crew actually kept on working by jumping into action to help Bill Miller and his Top Fuel Dragster as his team worked towards a final round appearance.
“Bill’s been a friend for years and he didn’t have enough people today in Vegas. They’re not prepared to do a 50 minute turn arounds,” said Wilkerson. “They got a good team and a good crew, but even we have a hard time with turn arounds on race day. We were just over there trying to help out another independent team like us.”
“My team did a great job this weekend with this new set-up and I’m proud of them for helping out our friends when they needed it,” said Wilkerson. “I’m optimistic going on to the next race in Charlotte that we will have a great handle on the car.”
The next race in the NHRA Mello-Yello Drag Racing Series is the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, NC on April 22 – 24, 2016.