D. WILK'S RETURN INCLUDES 6th SPOT ON FRIDAY Dan Wilkerson has only been waiting about 240 days to get back on the race track. On this day at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, fate made him wait a little longer. And then a little longer. ...
D. WILK'S RETURN INCLUDES 6th SPOT ON FRIDAY
Dan Wilkerson has only been waiting about 240 days to get back on the race track. On this day at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, fate made him wait a little longer. And then a little longer. Finally, after numerous rain delays, a number of false starts, and one aborted trip to the staging lanes, the Funny Car class managed to complete one session in stormy Joliet, and as a driver making his first appearance of the year, young D. Wilk led off the session. As the clock clicked past 10:30, Wilkerson kept his Shelby Mustang, adorned with Levi, Ray & Shoup colors and major associate backing from Dump-Lok, running straight with the flames up high, until a dropped cylinder gave him reason to lift just past half-track. At the time, his 4.564 seemed unremarkable, other than for the fact it was his first lap back on the track since his 2009 wreck in Memphis, but as car after car then spun the tires, it stayed at or near the top for far longer than anticipated.
In the end, D. Wilk ended the day in the lofty No. 6 spot, and with Saturday's forecast looking iffy, he's happy to have gotten that far.
"As for me, in the car, that was all fine," Wilkerson said. "I felt great, and it came back to me like I knew it would. As for the lap itself, not so good. It was moving around a little and I was steering it, but we put a hole out and it pulled over and out of the groove, so I figured that was enough. We're not out here to do anything dumb or blow it up by pedaling it over there by the wall, so I just coasted across and figured that might give us something to work from. I didn't really think it would stay in the top 12, much less the top eight, but I'll take it.
"It was a long and ridiculous day. All I've been wanting to do for the like the last eight months is get back in the Funny Car and race, so of course the first day back has to be one of the worst ever for delays. You got ready, you covered it up. You got ready again, and a storm about blew our awning off. You just about get convinced there's no way, and it stops. We got all the way up in the lanes and were about 10 minutes away from running, and it rained again. It was a bit insane, but we finally got up there and everyone did their job just fine. We'll see what happens from here, but it's good to finally get that one under our belts. It was just a very long day."