Brownsburg, Ind. (August 9, 2020) – The 2020 season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series has been full of starts and stops, but one thing that had been consistent was Tim Wilkerson going rounds on raceday. The third Indy race, though, brought his season-long streak of winning at least one round on Sunday to an end. Wilkerson and his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang battled one another through two rounds of qualifying and into Sunday, where their disagreement culminated in a first-round loss – the first of the year for Wilk.
“All we had to do was go 4.04,” said a dejected Wilkerson following his first-round meeting with fellow nitro veteran Ron Capps. Both drivers were spinning the tires as they tried desperately to get to the finish line first, but it was Capps with the nod on a 4.056-second pass at 274.61 to 4.413, 203.25.
“We were both spinning, his just spun a lot later than mine,” said Wilkerson. “I set it up to go 4-flat, but it’s wearing too much clutch and doing a few weird things it shouldn’t be. I’m going to have to figure that out.”
The Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals marked the fifth race of the season for the nitro classes, and throughout the first four events, Wilkerson’s Ford Mustang was rising. He was No. 4 in the Funny Car standings heading into the event and only lost a little footing with the disappointingly early exit.
“We just had such a good car, and then to have it not go down the track three runs in a row – it’s just disappointing,” admitted Wilkerson. “But I’m going to dissect that clutch to the end of the moon.”
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
R1: Ron Capps defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.056-second at 274.61 mph to 4.413, 203.25
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Standings
(after race 5, the NHRA Indy Nationals)
1. Tommy Johnson Jr., 416
2. Jack Beckman, 403
3. Matt Hagan, 388
4. Ron Capps, 314
5. Bob Tasca III, 298
6. J.R. Todd, 292
7. Tim Wilkerson, 270
8. Alexis DeJoria, 217
9. Cruz Pedregon, 202
10. Paul Lee, 193
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver photo courtesy of NHRA