TEAM WILKERSON RACINGLEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car "Notes & Quotes" from Tim Wilkerson, driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang Funny Car, after Friday's qualifying sessions at Heartland Park, in Topeka, Kan. DAD OUTRUNS THE...
TEAM WILKERSON RACINGLEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car
"Notes & Quotes" from Tim Wilkerson, driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang Funny Car, after Friday's qualifying sessions at Heartland Park, in Topeka, Kan.
DAD OUTRUNS THE KID, LANDS 11th AFTER ONE DAY
Tim Wilkerson's Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang made one of its more imperfect laps of the 2009 season, during Friday's late qualifying session in Topeka, but it did click through with a 4.257 to grab the No. 11 spot after one day of qualifying. With that number landing in the top 12, it will be officially recorded and Wilkerson will work from there to attempt to improve, although Saturday's forecast calls for hot temperatures and bright sun. Wilkerson smoked the tires, like the vast majority of the FC class, on his first lap.
"I guess if we were still running to 1,320 it might have eventually dropped all eight cylinders, because it was trying to on its way to 1,000 feet," Wilkerson said. "It put the first one out, then dropped two more right after that, and it was running on five by the time we got to the line. I only blame myself, because I allowed one half of my brain to talk the other half into believing it wasn't that good out there, but it turned out it was as good as it needed to be. Plus, by the time we got up there to run, the sun was getting off the track and it was getting better by the second. You could see that as the session wore on, and since we were up there as the second pair it went on for a long time after we ran. Each pair seemed to take what they were seeing and run a little better. Before you know it, you have Ashley Force running a 4.10 to take the top spot, and we all look slow.
"Tomorrow, if it's as hot as they say, we're all just going to be running the track to get ready for Sunday. All of us but the four cars that aren't in the top 12, anyway, since they all have to end up figuring out what slot they'll have on the ladder, and my son Daniel is in that group. It'll be plenty exciting, I'm sure. It could've been more exciting for us, tonight, because we bent a couple of valves along the way, and bad things can happen when you do that. Fortunately, all we did was drop holes instead of blow the thing up. We'll just do our best tomorrow, and we'll see what that gets us, and we'll help out with Daniel's car to see how high we can get him in the show."