SOLID SECOND RUN PUTS WILK 8th Tim Wilkerson was part of a large majority who smoked the tires in the first Funny Car qualifying session today, at the Texas Motorplex. Running under a bright sun on a warm day (conditions we haven't seen in far...
SOLID SECOND RUN PUTS WILK 8th
Tim Wilkerson was part of a large majority who smoked the tires in the first Funny Car qualifying session today, at the Texas Motorplex. Running under a bright sun on a warm day (conditions we haven't seen in far too long) the hot track was too much for most teams to handle in Q1.
When Q2 got pushed back by a few delays, the conditions began to come around at a rapid pace, with the track improving minute by minute. Wilk, who ran as part of the third pair in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang, had anticipated that a 4.20 would be a solid target for this lap, but he made that assumption based on when the session was supposed to be contested. As conditions got better, he did indeed nail a 4.204, but others were more bold with their tune-ups and his number finally ended up leaving him in the No. 8 spot overnight.
"I'm not making any excuses, because you have to make a decision at some point and it's hard to look into the future and figure exactly what the track is going to be like at a precise moment in time, or for that matter even when we're finally going to run, but had we been anywhere close to on-time today the track would've been a lot hotter," Wilkerson said. "Once we got up there, and saw what the track would hold and how much better it was getting, we could only do so much to speed the car up. As we got ready to run, (car chief) Jeff Jacobs come on the radio after he walked out a ways and he says there's probably a .14 out there if you hit it right. All we could do was try to step up to 4.18 or a 4.19, and it ran the .20 so we'll get ready for tomorrow with that.
"By the fact the low run out there was a 4.10 (run by Robert Hight) and a lot of other teams were turning the knobs just like we were but still just running high teens or low .20s, you could see that the track kind of got away from all of us who figured it would still be pretty hot when we ran. A few teams got it right, but we just didn't have the blower or clutch in it to do much better than that. How that stacks up in the end is just a matter of how hot it is tomorrow, so all we can do is try to run with the big dogs then, under whatever conditions we have."