WILKERSON WINS SECOND RACE OF THE SEASON AT NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
Concord, NC (April 24, 2016) – Tim Wilkerson drove his Levi, Ray & Shoup Nitro Funny Car to the Winner’s Circle at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowe’s Foods. The victory on Sunday marked Wilkerson’s second win of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and his 20th career win.
Wilkerson came into race day qualified No. 8 with a 3.970 E.T. at 319.07 mph. This is his first Four-Wide Nationals win and an accomplishment he is proud of.
“I got this off my bucket list,” Wilkerson said. “I’ve been in the finals twice here, so I am really happy to get it done,” said Wilkerson. “The whole year has really been exciting; especially with the new TV package and the way everything has been going for us. The Four-Wide is really a neat deal, especially since I won.”
Wilkerson powered past the competition in the final round with a performance of 3.967/315.56 in his Levi Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. He was followed across the finish line by Cruz Pedregon with a 3.995/313.37,and then Ron Capps and Matt Hagan coming in third and fourth.
Wilkerson’s machine was the top Funny Car on race day, finishing first in all three quads he raced. He opened with a win against Jeff Diehl, top qualifier Alexis DeJoria and series points leader Robert Hight. In the round two quad he outran Pedregon, Courtney Force and Jeff Diehl.
“We were the fastest car out there every round and I was pretty proud of that,” said Wilkerson. “I told my guys: that’s one thing you need to be proud of. You got money running out your ears at those two big camps over there, but you guys were the fastest dogs out there every round. You need to be proud of that.”
This is the best start to a season Wilkerson has experienced and he credits his crew and their hard work ethic.
“We work hard. I have a great bunch of kids on my crew. The other teams may out-spend us, but they will never out work us,” said Wilkerson. “My guys really do try hard and have a lot of heart.”
Wilkerson is one of the few drivers who also tunes his own car. He did double-duty this weekend helping out his son Daniel, who drove Brian Stewart’s Nitro Funny Car.
“Yeah, I had my plate full. I left my trailer at 10:45 last night if that tells you anything. I was up late working on the time curves for Daniel’s car as well as mine,” said Wilkerson. “Those poor kids over there had two lines crossed and the blower safety switch caused the car to shut off in round one. Daniel had a good car; it was going to go a 4.05, so he would have easily been in the second round of racing. But that is how you learn. I’m really proud of those kids over there.”
This win at the Four-Wide Nationals pushes Wilkerson up to the No. 4 position in points in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Standings.
The next race for Wilkerson is the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is the Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston, TX April 29 – May 1.