Brownsburg, Ind. (July 18, 2020) – Despite suffocatingly hot conditions and a blazing racetrack, it was a fine Saturday for Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car team at Lucas Oil Raceway. Wilk and his loyal crew launched into the second weekend of an Indy double-header with all of their ducks in a row, and after the first session, they were the quickest in the category. When round two of qualifying was in the books, the boys from Springfield, Ill., were No. 3 with a tidy sum of bonus points to set the tone for a productive Sunday.
For the second consecutive weekend, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was back in business at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, this time for the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals. Wilkerson, who learned how to win at the esteemed facility in his days of racing Top Alcohol Funny Car, clearly felt right at home. Oppressive heat and sticky air were simply dominoes to knock down as Wilk wheeled the LRS Mustang to an impressive 4.034-second pass at 317.05 mph in the opening session. He vaulted to the top and scooped up three bonus points as best in class.
The second session saw the veteran nitro pilot clock a third-best 4.043, 312.13 to swipe another bonus point and the No. 3 spot on the ladder.
“Boy, I tell you – that Ford Mustang body really works good,” said Wilkerson with a grin. “I think that’s a lot of why we did so well today, to tell you the truth. The second round, I tried to go a little bit faster, and the track just ate up what I was trying to do. I didn’t get to go any faster, but we’re pretty proud of that Mustang. That body is nice; it was the key to making it go.”
Wilkerson will race Dale Creasy Jr. in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. Amiable Wilkerson is in the hunt for the 21st nitro Funny Car trophy of his career.
“We’ll try again tomorrow,” continued Wilkerson. “If the sun is out and we can make four laps like we did today, we’ll be there at the end of the day. Anyhow, we’re having a heck of a time. I’m happy to be here racing, and I’m happy Mr. Levi is behind us.”
Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals will begin at 9:45 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Q1: 4.034-second at 317.05 mph (No. 1, +3 bonus points)
Q2: 4.043, 312.13 (No. 3, +1)
Final qualifying position: No. 3
First-round opponent: Dale Creasy Jr.
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Standings
(after Qualifying for Race 4, the NHRA Summernationals in Indianapolis)
1. Tommy Johnson Jr., 315
2. Jack Beckman, 312
3. Matt Hagan, 269
4. Tim Wilkerson, 219
5. Ron Capps, 196
6. Bob Tasca III, 190
7. Alexis DeJoria, 186
8. J.R. Todd, 176
9. John Force, 173
10. Cruz Pedregon, 129Race Info
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, July 19
9:45 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10:30-11:30 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 11 AM – 12 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 12-3 PM ET / FOX
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –