WILK'S "STRANGE" RUN STILL GOOD ENOUGH FOR 7th Tim Wilkerson smoked the tires on a 122-degree race track during his first attempt here at Atlanta Dragway, and despite the fact a small gaggle of cars managed to make it down the track somewhat ...
WILK'S "STRANGE" RUN STILL GOOD ENOUGH FOR 7th
Tim Wilkerson smoked the tires on a 122-degree race track during his first attempt here at Atlanta Dragway, and despite the fact a small gaggle of cars managed to make it down the track somewhat successfully, his end-result was really not an eyebrow-raiser for the personable Illinois driver. His second lap, however, when he made a full 1,000-foot run and jumped up to a 4.210 at 297.35 mph, was enough to make him shake his head, furrow his brow, and then call in car chief Jeff Jacobs for a look at the computer. According to the post-lap data, the car's fuel flow was down by as much as 10 percent on the run, yet the cylinder heads and pistons came back looking fine. The run, as odd as it was, still was enough to land Wilkerson 7th overnight, with two more daytime runs set for Saturday.
"As soon as the data popped up on the monitor I saw that fuel graph, shook my head, and said 'Well look at that,' sort of in disbelief," Wilkerson said. "Either we had a full pump issue, a fuel line issue, or the data collection was wrong, because it really should have torched the heads if it was running that little fuel through the motor. On the other hand, it didn't run what we were after, so I'm inclined to think there really was something wrong there. It was running pretty good to half-track, and then I could feel it stop pulling a little just before it dropped a cylinder on the left side. When it did that, it made a hard move that way down at the finish line, and from what I heard Melanie Troxel's car made a pretty good move in my direction at the same time. It wasn't nearly as close as it looked, I'm sure of that, so we'll just claim we were out there to give everyone some thrills.
"The object on Saturday is to try to get the best out of the race track that it will give us. If' the track is going to be 125 degrees, or even hotter if the sun is directly on it all day, it won't be a matter of stepping up. It will be a matter of just how you do in the session compared to everyone else. We'll see how it all works out, and we'll try to figure out what the heck was going on with the fuel on that run."