ONE-FOR-TWO LEAVES WILKERSON 2nd Tim Wilkerson, just like most racers, pays attention to the weather forecast. On Saturday morning, if he believed what he was being told by the weather experts, he anticipated a stormy day and a real chance of...
ONE-FOR-TWO LEAVES WILKERSON 2nd
Tim Wilkerson, just like most racers, pays attention to the weather forecast. On Saturday morning, if he believed what he was being told by the weather experts, he anticipated a stormy day and a real chance of not getting much done. Instead, the day's professional sessions were held right on schedule and under a bright sun. It was the latter of those two situations that caused the times to slow and the track to become sketchy, and after a Friday full of mid to low "teens" this day featured a lot of tire smoke and "stellar" runs in the 4.18 to 4.22 range
Wilkerson was in the "stellar" group during Q3, clocking in with a 4.223, which was the third-quickest pass of the session. On his final lap, though, Wilkerson tried to find the edge of the tuning envelope, after having watched teammate Bob Tasca streak to a great 4.18, but his Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang spun the hoops short of half-track.
On the strength of his 4.10 from Friday night, Wilkerson will stay in the No. 2 spot, his highest placement this year. He will face Jerry Toliver in round one on Sunday, when the weather is predicted to do a complete about-face.
"Well, they said it was going to rain today and you needed heavy-duty sunscreen all afternoon, so I'm not sure why we should believe what we hear about tomorrow," Wilkerson said. "They say a front is coming through and when it does the bottom is going to drop out of the temperature, and we might not get out of the mid-60s tomorrow. If that's true, we're going to have a totally different animal on our hands and not one of us will have been on the track under those conditions. It'll be a battle for the tuners, that's for sure.
"On the final run, after we saw the Top Fuel cars we thought maybe there could be a 4.15 out there, and then when Bob (Tasca) ran his 4.18, I thought we might really be able to pull a rabbit out of our hats, but it looks like we actually were trying to run a 4.15 on a 4.18 track. Bob's run might've been perfect, and we just overstepped it a hair. That's how you learn, but if the weather changes like it's supposed to tomorrow, today's runs aren't going to mean much. We do have lane choice for round one, so that's good, but we're running Big Jim Dunn's car, and they seem to always go down the track on Sunday."