ENNIS, Texas (October 19, 2020) – A rebound from a slightly off kilter event two weeks ago in St. Louis was just what Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car team needed. This weekend’s AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals was a reset for Wilk and his gang of trusty companions, and they’re leaving Dallas for Houston with heads held high.
In qualifying, Wilkerson was a top-three car all day with blistering 3.918- and 3.885-second passes down the Texas Motorplex dragstrip. He scored a bonus point as third-quickest in the first session and two more as second-quickest in the final qualifier. His lockdown into the No. 3 spot marked the third time in nine races this season that he’s started third or better, and he knew he had a horse for Sunday.
Round one’s 3.939, 324.05 got the win light for Wilk over Jack Wyatt’s 4.257, 229.31, and it was on to round two for a tango with Jack Beckman. Tire haze just before half-track was the decider, and Wilk was turned away empty handed to ride another day. Beckman logged a 3.908, 327.35 win over a 4.796, 164.43.
“It just lapped the tire hard leaving, and when it did that, it didn’t wear any clutch,” explained Wilkerson, who is now tied with Bob Tasca III for No. 5 in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car points.
“There was nothing I could do about it but cry. I don’t know if we’d have had anything for Beckman, but when we got back and looked at the graphs, it was going to make a good run before that. It doesn’t make any difference; it didn’t do it. But it lets us know that we were at least on the right track.”
Wilkerson is eager to get to Houston next weekend and strap back into his ferocious Ford Mustang. It’s been a long while since he’s claimed a trophy (Charlotte 1 in 2016), and he’s ready to get back to the winner’s circle.
“When the tracks are this good, it’s really hard to run with these guys,” said Wilk, an independent driver, crew chief, and team owner in a world of mega teams. “But we’ve got a good car with our LRS Ford. You can see that. There’s only two races left this year, but we’re optimistic we can win one of them.”
The next stop on the 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series tour is the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park, October 23-25.Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
R1: Tim Wilkerson defeated Jack Wyatt, 3.939-second at 324.05 mph to 4.275, 229.31
R2: Jack Beckman def. Wilkerson, 3.908, 327.35 to 4.796, 164.43
2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Standings
(after the NHRA FallNationals)
1. Matt Hagan, 762
2. Jack Beckman, 758
3. Tommy Johnson Jr., 685
4. Ron Capps, 588
5t. Bob Tasca III, 538
5t. Tim Wilkerson, 538
7. J.R. Todd, 526
8. Alexis DeJoria, 414
9. Paul Lee, 351
10. Cruz Pedregon, 335
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –
Photo Credit:Auto Imagery, Driver photo courtesy of NHRA