BAYTOWN, Texas (October 26, 2020) – Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car team had a challenging weekend at the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals, but the fact that the next – and final – race of the 2020 season is coming up in just a few days has them optimistic that they can turn the ship around and finish strong.
After suffering engine issues in two rounds of qualifying, Wilkerson came into Sunday without even a single full pass down the racetrack, which erased all chances of knowing what the surface really had to offer. With the help of co-crew chief Richard Hartman, Wilkerson did his best to decipher what was waiting for them downtrack, but it was a bit of a shot in the dark when he came up next to Alexis DeJoria for their first-round meeting.
Wilkerson left the starting line first with a .085-second reaction time, but the racing surface dealt him a blow from which he could not recover. DeJoria surged ahead for a 3.874-second, 330.39 mph victory over a 5.426, 132.70.
“Our Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang is a good car, but getting behind the eight ball really mucks up your whole weekend,” said Wilkerson. “Hartman does a really good job, but we don’t have all of those gadgets like some of the teams with track specialists do, so we miss a little bit. We just didn’t have enough information to make good decisions because we didn’t make it down either lane here. I didn’t realize how stinkin’ bumpy it was, and that turned out to be a pretty sizable problem for us today.”
The event next weekend in Las Vegas will complete the disjointed, abbreviated season, and Wilkerson is eager to get to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and take a turn for the better. He is No. 7 in the Funny Car standings and looking to score a win before the curtain drops.
“It’s been such a weird year for all of us, but for Dick Levi, all the folks at LRS, and all of the great people who support us, we really want to finish strong,” said Wilkerson. “It would be nice to turn it around before we get into the off-season.”
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
R1: Alexis DeJoria defeated Tim Wilkerson, 3.874-second at 330.39 mph to 5.426, 132.702020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Standings
(after the NHRA SpringNationals)
1. Matt Hagan, 842
2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 800
3. Jack Beckman, 799
4. Ron Capps, 679
5. Bob Tasca III, 595
6. J.R. Todd, 584
7. Tim Wilkerson, 570
8. Alexis DeJoria, 489
9. Cruz Pedregon, 388
10. Paul Lee, 382
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
– Tim Wilkerson, 20x NHRA Nitro Funny Car Winner –
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver photo courtesy of NHRA