Championship Drag Racing

Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Chicago, Ill.
(June 5-8)

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Driver Profile
Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang

Blown fuel line nets Wilkerson only one good qualifying pass

Chicago, Friday: Funny Car points leader Tim Wilkerson sits in the No. 9 qualifying position at the close of a very hot and windy Friday at the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals.

Wilkerson tried to make two passes today, but only one run counted toward his qualifying effort.  In today’s first session, at the hit of the throttle Wilkerson broke a fuel line pouring nitro under his right rear tire.  The Levi, Ray & Shoup Funny Car made a violent turn to the right and bounced off the wall.  Wilkerson was fine and the beautiful Impala SS was only scuffed.  The right bank of header pipes took the brunt of the damage.  This mess gave Wilk a DNQ for the session, so he had to wait until the second session to try to make it down the quarter-mile.  This pass was much better than the first, as Wilkerson posted a 4.843 at 314.02 mph which put him at the top of the heap.  He didn’t stay on top for long and by the time all was done, Wilkerson sat in the No. 9 spot.

“Our first pass was pretty exciting,” said Wilkerson.  “It blew a fuel line in half behind the cylinder and then I ran over the fuel.  But luckily I got fortunate enough where I caught it on the slide.  I got lucky for sure.

“So, when we went out for the second run, we had to be a little more conservative than we usually would be.  I was looking for a 4.82 or .83.  We were a little weak but we knew we had to go down the track on the night run.  So, I was a little more of a sissy than I wanted to be, but hey, I wanted to do something.  I don’t know if that will keep us in tomorrow but we’ve got more for them and we’ll see how it goes.”

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