WILKERSON TIP-TOES INTO 10th Tim Wilkerson was already under the assumption there was something amiss with his Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang when he backed up from his burnout, prior to Friday's lone session, under the lights in Indy. ...
WILKERSON TIP-TOES INTO 10th
Tim Wilkerson was already under the assumption there was something amiss with his Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang when he backed up from his burnout, prior to Friday's lone session, under the lights in Indy. When his crew lifted the body for last second procedures, he could see one cylinder on the right hand side operating at less than optimum capacity but he took a shot at the lap anyway, figuring he'd catch it quickly enough if the car sounded like it was going to do anything messy on the race track. It didn't, but it also didn't run particularly well and Wilkerson's 4.253 was only good enough for the 10th spot after one run. The fact it placed that high was mostly a function of a few other good cars also making less than stellar runs.
"Yeah, we're kind of in 10th by default, because the conditions were easily good enough out there for our number to not even be close, but I guess we're not the only knuckleheads out here, so we'll take it," Wilkerson said. "It had something wrong with it on the burnout, I'm sure, but I thought there was a chance it might clean itself up at the hit, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. It was pretty obvious it wasn't doing anything really good, but it was hanging in there so I legged it out just to get a number. Tell you the truth, when you've got a situation like that, the car wants to drift hard to that side, and I was battling it the whole way. Once I got down there by the finish line, it pretty much had its way, and if we were still running 1,320 I would've had to lift to keep it off the center line.
"We'll sort out why it did that, fix it, and come back out here tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that until they finally tell us the race is over. Let's face it, this thing is a marathon and we still have four more qualifying runs, which is like we still have a whole new race to run, but we're in the top 12 so our time counts and we have that in the bank to work from. We'll get better, and if it cools off for the late run tomorrow, we won't be aiming to run another 4.25, I can promise you that. The 4 might be a correct number, but the other two on the right side of the decimal point will both be incorrect, if you're guessing what we'll be trying to run."