WILK No. 2 ON FRIDAY WITH SOLID Q2 RUN
Tim Wilkerson may have been 7th after one run on Friday, but everyone and their uncle knew the numbers were pure illusions. Wilk's 4.35 would certainly not be enough to stay in the Top 12 after the first day, and it was just as unlikely to stick in the field at all, so the Levi, Ray & Shoup driver knew he had to step it up in Q2, if he wanted to have any decent chance to race from the top half of the field for the third consecutive race.
Running about mid-pack in the final Friday session, Wilk powered to a clean and solid 4.108, and that run was good enough to vault him into the No. 1 spot at the time, although there were still many top cars to follow. In the end, only Ford Racing compatriot John Force could outrun Wilkerson, with his 4.097 setting the pace. Wilk finished the day in the No. 2 spot, and in the process picked up two Full Throttle bonus points.
"We were going back and forth on the tune-up right up until the last minute, really," Wilkerson said. "I could see from the cars ahead of us that there was plenty of track out there, and we had originally thought there might be a 4.08 or a 4.09 at the top of the heap. A few cars weren't making it, though, and as much as I wanted to be aggressive I also didn't want to do something stupid and only be racing for a bottom half spot tomorrow. We got after it enough, though, and that was about as nice a run as we've made all year, under the circumstances.
"Tomorrow, it's supposed to be a little hotter and both sessions will be right in the middle of the afternoon. This felt like one of those times when if you had some plans to be in the top half, you had better do it right there and then because you might not even have the option tomorrow. All in all, the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford is really coming around, and we're all feeling better about the results. We'll just keep on working and we'll see where that gets us."