POMONA, Calif. (February 11, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson had his hands full in Pomona at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com. Driving his eye-catching Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang in the first race of his 20th anniversary season with primary sponsor LRS, Wilkerson and his nitro cohorts had to battle Mother Nature and a challenging racing surface in addition to one another.
In a rain-delayed Monday eliminations round, Wilk’s fight came to an abrupt conclusion on a sunshine-bathed racetrack with a very sticky, well-glued surface.
The veteran team owner, tuner, and driver of the LRS Mustang launched from the starting line next to Tommy Johnson Jr. and was quicker to the 60-foot timer, but the small advantage quickly evaporated as the tires on his Mustang took umbrage to the power flowing with force from the engine. Johnson was fighting the racetrack in his lane as well but was able to recover and managed a winning 4.193, 288.33 to Wilkerson’s 5.822, 121.03.
“That was straight-up tire shake,” said Wilkerson. “We struggle in those conditions to get wheel speed, but it [the track] was 70 degrees Saturday and it went right on down through there. Not today. I’ve been up there staring [at the data], trying to figure out what to do the next time this happens. You have to make a change and not just do the same thing and get the same results. But we’ll try again. You have to shake it off, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Race 2 of 24 in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will take place in Phoenix, February 22-24, at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
LEVI, RAY AND SHOUP FORD MUSTANG
R1: Tommy Johnson Jr. defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.193-second at 288.33 mph to 5.822, 121.03
59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
February 7-11, 2019
#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule
Finals / Monday – 11 PM ET / FS1
Join the conversation by using #WinterNats on social media
**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver photos: NHRA
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –