WILK IS A "9" ON FIRST DAY Tim Wilkerson joined the masses when he smoked the tires in Friday's first session, and the best illustration of just how pervasive the tire smoke was is the fact Wilk landed 10th on the grid after that first ...
WILK IS A "9" ON FIRST DAY
Tim Wilkerson joined the masses when he smoked the tires in Friday's first session, and the best illustration of just how pervasive the tire smoke was is the fact Wilk landed 10th on the grid after that first run, despite his pedestrian 5.516 elapsed time.
As the sun began to lessen its grip on the race track, well into the afternoon, the Funny Cars took to the track again and although the times were not stellar, the crew chiefs had, by then, discovered various ways to negotiate the full 1,000 feet. Ashley Force Hood's 4.196 may not sound like a remarkable number, but it was easily good enough for the overnight pole here. Wilkerson posted a 4.255 to land in the 9th spot, with two sessions remaining on Saturday, when the conditions are predicted to be much like Friday's, with more sunshine and warm temps.
"We put a hole out way down track, right at the end really, but that was probably enough to cost us one spot," Wilkerson said. "After that first session, it was obvious we all had to forget about being superstars out there, and we needed to readjust our thinking from 'how quick can we go?' to 'what will this track allow us to run?'. We figured low 4.20s would be very good, and if someone ran a 4.19 that would lead the way. I wish I would've written that down and had it notarized before the session, because we're in Vegas and making that good of a prediction ought to win you something at one of those joints that are all lit up down there on The Strip.
"Tomorrow, if the conditions are like this again, we'll all start nibbling away at it and by the end of the day you'll have a good idea of just exactly what this exact track, at that temperature, will hold. I'm sure Ashley's brain trust is down there, right now, seeing places on their computer where they can do better. Every crew chief in this place is doing that, or at least they should be. I know we are. We'll just take what the conditions give us and try to find the edge, on the good side of course."