Wilkerson Jumps Up in NHRA Countdown to the Championship


Reading, PA (October 5, 2016) – Tim Wilkerson leaves the soggy NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway up two spots in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. After a second round finish Wilkerson is up from ninth to seventh with three more races to go in 2016.

This past weekend rain and constant mist forced NHRA officials to cancel three of four qualifying sessions. Drivers had only one chance to get down the track and get into the Funny Car field.

With a track temperature of only 69 degrees, cars had a hard time getting a full-run down the track. Wilkerson fell victim to this problem but was able to qualify No. 12 with an elapsed time of 11.102 at 141.11 mph. This set him up for a first round match up against Robert Hight.

“For some reason, this place and me don’t get along. I cannot figure out how to get my car down the track here,” Wilkerson admitted.

Wilkerson was able to defeat Robert Hight in his first match up of the weekend in what turned out to be a pedaling competition on a 76-degree race track, 5.367/280.25 to 8.245/92.84.

“I really thought I had it handled first round. It just about made it. I didn’t see Robert and I was trying to let the thing settle down so I can step back on the gas pedal nice and slow,” Wilkerson said. “So I got a little bit of a break involved that time. I got it slowed down and I started leaning on the gas pedal and letting off the brake at the same time. It’s going so. Down to the floor I went so I got pretty lucky really.”

Wilkerson faced current Funny Car points leader Ron Capps in the second round. Wilkerson's car shook and smoked the tires at the 330-foot mark and Capps made it to the finish line first, taking the win with a 3.898/325.61 to Wilkerson’s 5.865/122.12.

“Second round, I said we’re going to get on the other side of this tire smoking problem. I fell off the other side of the mountain too far,” Wilkerson said. “I gave Capps an easy round win there which was dumb. They made a perfect run, still I had something for him.”

Wilkerson made a big jump in Funny Car Championship points standings, moving ahead of Courtney Force and Robert Hight to go from ninth to seventh place.

Next up for the team is the AAA FallNationals in Dallas October 14 -16 at Texas Motorplex.

“We actually have a weekend off, so we’re going to get our stuff back home and see what we may have broke shaking the tires. We're going to try to figure out how we can get a couple or three rounds at Dallas. I would like to win the race there and tighten this thing up a little bit. Capps is getting a little bit too far ahead of us now. But we can do the best we can do.”

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