Brownsburg, Ind. (July 11, 2020) – Four months away from racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic left Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car team hungry to get back in the groove. With just two qualifying sessions allotted at this weekend’s E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis, they didn’t have much room for error. Wilkerson’s nitro beast was a little out of character, but he is confident that Sunday will bring success.
In the first round of qualifying, the LRS Ford Mustang was on a strong and steady pass but then went quiet as it approached the stripe. After reviewing the data, Wilk came up for the second session encouraged, but the same scenario played out. He was on a very strong pass but then downtrack the engine fell silent.
“We really don’t know yet why it’s doing it,” admitted veteran tuner, driver, and team owner Wilkerson. “One of the safety devices is shutting the car off at about 700 feet, and we have to figure that out, because it’s to win races that way.”
Wilk’s best time over the course of two qualifying sessions was a 4.164-second pass at 254.47 mph. He is qualified in the No. 10 and will race Cruz Pedregon in round one of eliminations.
“We’ll get to the bottom of it,” he said. “It’s weird with just two qualifying sessions, but I get it. We’ll figure out how to get through all of it. It’s got a trace on it that we can check, we just have to figure out what it means.”
Eliminations for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals will begin at 9:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 12 2020, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Q1: 4.242-second at 228.58 mph
Q2: 4.164, 254.47
Final qualifying position: No. 10
First-round opponent: Cruz PedregonRace Info
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, July 12
9:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 12-2:30 PM ET / FOX
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –