RAIN-SHORTENED DAY LEAVES WILK 13th After morning showers put a hold on racing in Phoenix, the clouds finally broke and the pro classes were able to take to the track for one lone qualifying session in the middle of Saturday afternoon. To ...
RAIN-SHORTENED DAY LEAVES WILK 13th
After morning showers put a hold on racing in Phoenix, the clouds finally broke and the pro classes were able to take to the track for one lone qualifying session in the middle of Saturday afternoon. To compound Tim Wilkerson's situation, his pesky race car convinced him to run this lap to only 800 feet, in order to take a better look at the incremental times without possibly hurting the motor. In the end, Wilk landed 13th on the grid, though his early shut-off run of 4.206 would likely have been in the 4.16 range had he legged it to the finish line.
Wilkerson will face defending Funny Car champion Robert Hight in round one.
"It's been nicking itself a little, and not exactly doing what we wanted, so we thought about it overnight and came up with a plan to get more aggressive with it," Wilkerson said. "We made some decent changes, though, so I was not going to run it out the back door and burn the heads off the car trying to be a hero. I wanted to run it down there far enough to get a good look at how it ran, and then get it back here and take it apart to see how it reacted to all of that. We knew we'd probably be sacrificing some spots in the field, and once we heard we were only going to have one run today it almost made me change my mind about it, but we stuck to our plan and I'm glad we did.
"It improved leaving the line, and it looked good when it got back here to the pit so I feel better, like we're moving in the right direction. We do have to run Robert Hight in the first round, and that will be a huge test, but to be honest I'm not really looking at the first round as the most important thing in the world right now. Don't get me wrong, we absolutely want to win and we're going to try as hard as we can to do that, but what's also important, for us is to keep making positive moves so that we can get comfortable running the car harder. It's a long season, and sometimes you really have to pay attention to the big picture and not just the next lap you're making. We'll get to where we want to be. It's just a matter of when, and hopefully a lot of it happens tomorrow."