Pomona II: Tim Wilkerson Saturday report

BRING ON 2011... WILK'S '10 ENDS WITH AN UNFORTUNATE FIZZLE Tim Wilkerson failed to qualify at the NHRA Auto Club Finals, making two imperfect laps on Saturday to fall outside the top 16. Compounding that problem with the fire he suffered and...

BRING ON 2011... WILK'S '10 ENDS WITH AN UNFORTUNATE FIZZLE

Tim Wilkerson failed to qualify at the NHRA Auto Club Finals, making two imperfect laps on Saturday to fall outside the top 16. Compounding that problem with the fire he suffered and the fine he incurred on Friday night, and the weekend was nearly the perfect example of the word "frustrating."

On Wilk's first Saturday lap, over in the somewhat favored right lane, his new-look Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang made a hard charge for about 700 feet, but spun the tires at the top end to post a 4.574 that was only good enough for the 15th spot going into the final session. In Q4, running into the hazy sunset in the left lane, Wilk was charging hard in his LRS Shelby when the blower belt broke and the pipes went wet. He ended qualifying in 18th place.

"I really was surprised when it spun the tires on the first run, because it looked safe as could be and it was just truckin' right down the middle," Wilkerson said. "I was just to the point of thinking 'Well this is going to be good' when it stood right up and smoked the tires on me. Then, we knew we just needed to go A-to-B in the final session because we couldn't expect all those other teams to mess up and give us a gift from down there in 15th. We expected to be bumped by the time we ran, and we were, so we were ready for that. We were also ready to step on it if the bump had gotten real low, but it was a still a soft number when we ran and all I was trying to do was run a nice clean 4.18 or something, nothing spectacular.

"Once again, it was just flying right down there, right down the middle, and for some reason this weekend was just not meant to be for us. We blew it up and caught on fire last night, then had to thrash a little bit to kind of transform our Summit Racing body into a Levi, Ray & Shoup car, with a bunch of new vinyl we had made out here last night, and today we come out here and she fools me once and then just doesn't want to make it the second time. It was up to us to get in this field, and we didn't do it, so we'll just be spectators tomorrow, we'll enjoy the banquet on Monday night, and we'll jump in with both feet next week to start getting ready for 2011. That's all we can do.

"The word I keep thinking of is 'unfortunate' because this is a good team and we have a good car, but we've had nothing but unfortunate circumstances since the Countdown began. We DNQd in Charlotte when we had good run thrown out for being an eighth of an inch too low. Here, they institute a new rule that throws your time out if you oil the track, and we go ahead and blow it up and catch it on fire for the first time in years, and I mean years as in many years. That run was a 4.29 even with the car on fire, and that would've made the field, but the rule went into effect this weekend and we lost the time. Perfect timing, right? Sometimes you almost can't believe what's going on around you, but that's life. Maybe you don't appreciate the good times as much if you don't go through some stuff like this."

-source: twr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tim Wilkerson