WILK MEETS TIMING BLOCK. BLOCK WINS. Tim Wilkerson purposefully pushed the "aggressive button" on his first Saturday pass, and quickly thereafter discovered he'd stepped slightly over the bounds of traction, smoking the tires near half-track. ...
WILK MEETS TIMING BLOCK. BLOCK WINS.
Tim Wilkerson purposefully pushed the "aggressive button" on his first Saturday pass, and quickly thereafter discovered he'd stepped slightly over the bounds of traction, smoking the tires near half-track. On his final qualifying run here in Topeka, he solved the tire smoke problem but felt his car make a hard move to the right as it approached the finish line. Lifting off the throttle before he was on the line, Wilk still couldn't pull the Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby back, and it plowed through a finish line timing block. Showing just what a foam block can do to carbon fiber when impacted at 290 mph, the orange cube took a hunk out of the LRS Ford's nose, and Wilkerson will run a brand new body during the race on Sunday. He stayed 2nd on the chart, and will face No. 15 qualifier Paul Lee.
"It was extremely windy today, and it we were running right into a headwind all day, which really loads up the downforce on the rear end," Wilkerson said. "Push down on the rear more, and you lighten up the front, I guess. It just started moving on me in a hurry down there, so I got off the throttle and steered it back as hard as I could, but in that split second it took the front wheels to load and get solidly back on the ground, I was into the block. That's a lousy deal, because we'll have a lot of work to do on that body before we can run it again.
"Fortunately, we have two 2010 Shelby Mustangs, so we'll finish up the decals on the back-up in the morning and put that on the car for its maiden voyage in round one. It's only a back-up because it hasn't had to run yet, but it's an identical piece as the one we just mangled. I'm not worried about that, but now we have to figure out how to go A-to-B with the sun out, and not hit anything. Those guys will make us earn it, so we need to have our stuff together, both physically and mentally."