Brownsburg, Ind. (August 8, 2020) – Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang didn’t quite find the sweet spot on Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway, but the seasoned veteran plans to take the lessons he learned on his two qualifying passes and turn them into results on Sunday.
Wilkerson drove the LRS Ford to a 4.735-second pass at 170.99 mph in the first session that was more of a test than anything to get the feel for how willing his Funny Car would be to go fast on the hot racetrack.
“I tried to push it, and it said, ‘nah,’ ” said Wilkerson, who was No. 12 at the end of the first session. “I haven’t smoked the tires in the middle of the racetrack for so long, and I thought, well, I’m going to try to see if I can make the thing go faster. It wouldn’t let me.”
In the second round of qualifying, he came back up to the starting line with a car that he wasn’t trying to push to go fast – he just wanted a good run that would move him up in the qualifying order.
“I just got out of the groove, I think,” he said of the pass that netted tire smoke and a 4.515 at 189.95. “I really thought it would go down the track that time, but I was looking at the video, and that right lane drags you in real bad. I didn’t do a good job of dragging it back. It kind of washed out when it left, and I drove it right to where it spun the tires. I’m a little unhappy about that, but we’ll have something for them tomorrow.
“We need to be faster earlier and slower in the middle,” he concluded. “I might have forgotten how to do that, but I have something up my sleeve.”
Wilk qualified in the No. 14 position and will race Ron Capps in round one of eliminations.
Eliminations for the NHRA Indy Nationals will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, August 9, 2020, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Q1: 4.735-second at 170.99 mph (No. 12)
Q2: 4.515, 189.95 (No. 14)
Final qualifying position: No. 14
First-round opponent: Ron Capps
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Standings
(after qualifying for race 5, the NHRA Indy Nationals)
1. Jack Beckman, 403
2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 396
3. Matt Hagan, 368
4. Tim Wilkerson, 270
5. Bob Tasca III, 263
6. Ron Capps, 234
7. J.R. Todd, 232
8. Alexis DeJoria, 217
9. Cruz Pedregon, 182
10. John Force, 173
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, August 9
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Sunday – 11 AM – 1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 1-4 PM ET / FOX
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver photo courtesy of NHRA