Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
WILK STREAKS TO No. 2 SPOT
Tim Wilkerson came about as close as you can come to a true "worst to first" or "zero to hero" day for a driver, but he came up 4-thousandths of a second short. Having lost the blower belt and oiled the track on his first run, Wilk had his elapsed time erased do to the oil penalty, so he entered Q2 as if he had not even competed in the first session. Running as part of the first pair, the proverbial guinea pigs on a rapidly improving track, Wilk powered to a 4.094 that was certainly strong, but appeared to more likely be a pathway for other stronger runs as the big hitters came up behind him.
One by one, some of the fastest and quickest cars in the world could either not match it, or they possibly aimed too high and smoked the tires. Originally hoping to stick in the top 12, then the top 8, it began to appear as if Wilk's run might just hold on to the top spot. The final pair, made up of Robert Hight and Cruz Pedregon, pulled to the line to cap things off, and Hight's 4.090 was just "that much" quicker than Wilk's earlier 4.094. He will spend the night in the No. 2 spot.
"The first run was actually pretty good, and on its way to a number that probably would've been in the top five, but it threw the belt off down there and quit on me," Wilkerson said. "When it did that, all the gravity went to the front and some of the oil that passes through the frame rails came out, when it found a faulty drain plug. Losing the run didn't make me that mad, but the fine you get for oiling the track sure hurt.
"We had the data in our pocket though, and we were hemming and hawing about how hard to run it. I decided we couldn't swing for the fences there, because it was more important to go A to B and get a decent number on the board. To tell you the truth, as nice as the 4.09 was I wasn't sure it would stick in the top eight. It almost made it to the top spot, and maybe that's just because too many teams were actually swinging for the fences on a pretty nice night to race. We'll take it, and we'll see what we can do out there tomorrow. After a tough start, it ended up being a pretty nice day."