SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (December 21, 2009) -- As an organization, they are large in numbers, fervent in their loyalty, and completely unofficial, but the group known as Wilk's Warriors is clearly among the best known in the fan-friendly world of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing. This band of supporters, many of whom live in Central Illinois and rightfully consider themselves to be the core group of Tim Wilkerson backers on the planet, will host a reception for their favorite Funny Car driver on January 9, in Springfield, Ill., to both look back on a great 2009 while also looking forward to an exciting and successful 2010 season.

Fans of all ages are encouraged to attend, and according to Warrior leader Dan "Dozer" Hough, the informal occasion is planned as a simple "mix and mingle" affair, allowing fans and friends to socialize as a group, with the Levi, Ray & Shoup Funny Car team in attendance.

"We had a great get-together last year, after Tim ended up in second place in the points, and everyone had a really good time, Tim included," Hough said. "We were trying to decide if we wanted to do it again, and every time I began to think we should just wait until another year, the phone calls and emails kept coming, from fans and friends who were already looking forward to it. So, we decided to make it a fun and very informal reception, with a live band and a great group of Wilk's Warriors all sharing some good laughs and good stories. Everyone is invited, from far and wide, because if you're a Tim Wilkerson fan, you're already part of the Wilk's Warriors group.

"Tim was excited to hear about it, but we all agree there's one future off-season party that will top any of these receptions. When Tim Wilkerson wins the Full Throttle Funny Car championship, we'll pull out all of the stops and Springfield will come to a complete halt. That's the one we're all looking forward to, but in the meantime we'll make a habit out of getting together to kick off the next season in style."

Details are as follows:

Where: Northfield Inn and Suites, 3280 Northfield Drive, Springfield, IL 62702. Located on the northeast side of Springfield, Ill., near the intersection of Dirksen Parkway and Sangamon Ave., just west of the Sangamon exit from I-55

When: January 9, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. until the last story has been told and the last laugh shared

Admission: Free

Dress: Casual

Entertainment: Live band, video highlights from 2009, and a cash bar

-credit: twr