READING, Pa. (September 14, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson’s run in the third qualifying round at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals put a smile on the faces of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car crew members. Wilk drove his nitro Funny Car to a killer 3.879-second pass at 324.90 mph to move up and score two bonus points, along with a first-round meeting with Terry Haddock.
Countdown to the Championship contender Wilkerson had some trouble on the first day of qualifying, but Saturday dawned brand new, and the veteran driver and crew chief seized the opportunity.
“That first run today was about what it should have done last night,” explained Wilkerson, who was runner-up in Reading last season. “It was pretty close last night, so we [dialed it] back a little bit for the third run. It worked.”
In the final qualifying session, Wilkerson came to the starting line ready to make another solid pass, but as soon as he hit the throttle, there was a furious bout of tire-spin followed by a massive pop and a flash of fire. Wilk went nowhere, though he will likely make the highlight reel.
“I tried to tune it up for that last run, and it had none of that,” he explained. “I had it too tuned up last night. Just came backwards a little bit to get it down the track. We just need to make the thing go A to B tomorrow. We can’t take him lightly, but we have to make the thing go.”
Eliminations for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals will begin on Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway at 11 am ET.
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Q1: 8.784 -second at 151.29 mph (No. 13)
Q2: 5.070, 169.08 (No. 10)
Q3: 3.879, 324.90 (No. 3, +2 bonus points)
Q4: no time (No. 4)
Final qualifying position: No. 4
First-round opponent: Terry Haddock
35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
September 12-15, 2019Run Schedule (all times ET)
Sunday, September 15
11am – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations begin,
eliminations for all other categories continue#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1
Join the conversation by using #ReadingNats #NHRACountdown on social media
**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver Photo: NHRA
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –