HOT TRACK LEAVES WILK 7th Tim Wilkerson replicated his Friday effort to a great degree on Saturday, albeit in reverse order and in opposite lanes, when he went A-to-B with a solid pass on his first attempt and then smoked the tires at nearly ...
HOT TRACK LEAVES WILK 7th
Tim Wilkerson replicated his Friday effort to a great degree on Saturday, albeit in reverse order and in opposite lanes, when he went A-to-B with a solid pass on his first attempt and then smoked the tires at nearly the identical spot where he lost traction the day before. On a very hot track, with almost all of the position shuffling happening at the bottom of the ladder, Wilkerson held tight to his No. 7 spot for race day and will face Cruz Pedregon in round one. That match-up was created late in the day when John Force was one of the few who moved up the ladder during the final session, stepping up from 14th to 9th to knock Pedregon down one spot.
"I'm a little puzzled, because the car is still not really reacting to the changes like I want it to," Wilkerson said. "We got down there okay on the first one today, but it was one of those runs where if you put that number (a 4.269) up on the board Sunday, you've got a pretty good chance of losing in a close race. It was a decent run, and a lot of people were struggling just to get down the track, but it wasn't any sort of shot across the bow that would scare anyone.
"We just haven't been able to get the car running hard enough early so we tried to push it a little on the final run, to see if we could get the first part of the run to come around a little, but we ended up doing the same thing we did in Q1. When you're not running hard enough early, you're asking it to make too big of a step up out there around 330 and it smokes the tires. We have to find the middle ground between just getting down there okay and smoking the tires, because there's more out there than we've been able to wring out of it, to this point. I don't think there's any doubt this is the trickiest track we've been on this year, because of the heat."