WILKERSON WILL BAT NINTH IN THE ORDER ON SUNDAY Tim Wilkerson went 1-for-2 on a surprisingly rain-delayed Saturday in Houston, smoking the tires on his first pass before going A-to-B on his final attempt, lighting the scoreboard with a 4.119...
WILKERSON WILL BAT NINTH IN THE ORDER ON SUNDAY
Tim Wilkerson went 1-for-2 on a surprisingly rain-delayed Saturday in Houston, smoking the tires on his first pass before going A-to-B on his final attempt, lighting the scoreboard with a 4.119 that was no improvement but did earn him a bonus point. As surprising as the rain was (every forecast called for sunny skies) the fact Wilk's 4.119 in Q4 ended up being the third-quickest pass of the session, thereby earning him one bonus point, was perhaps more surprising. With Q4 pushed back until after dark, Wilk referred to the racing conditions as "Candyland" and all eyes were on the final pair, featuring John Force and Robert Hight, who each had a shot at the national record. Neither made it, though, and in the end Wilkerson's 4.098 from Friday left him in the No. 9 spot, from which he will face friendly rival Jack Beckman in round one.
"We've been chasing it pretty good all weekend, trying to get the clutch-wear right on this track, and we made some big moves on that last one but still didn't get it quite right," Wilkerson said. "We were trying to run it easy and just put a 4.07 or 4.08 on the board, to move back into the top half, but I guess we went too far the other way after being too aggressive on the first run today. It went right down there alright, but just a little too conservative.
"There have been far fewer good runs in the right lane, and I'm sure we'll be over there when we race Jack tomorrow, but there have been a few good ones and that's enough to tell you the problem isn't really with the lane. Maybe we all just messed up our tune-ups when we were over there, but Capps ran a 4.05 in the right lane tonight, so it obviously can be done. We'll just do our normal deal and race the track tomorrow, trying to put the best possible number on the board, and we'll see who gets there first. I'll tell you this, though, when you have to race Fast Jack first thing in the morning, you know you have a tough day ahead of you."