Championship Drag Racing

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis, Ind.
(August 27-September 1)

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Driver Profile
Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang

With the points lead locked, Wilkerson is looking to have some fun

Indianapolis, pre-race:   Labor Day weekend is upon us marking the end of summer and in the drag racing world it marks the time for the most historic and prestigious event in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, the 54th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.  Funny Car veteran, Tim Wilkerson is entering this race with his beautiful Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevrolet Impala SS having locked up the No. 1 position in the Countdown to 10, which gives the 2003 event winner a little breathing space to have some fun this weekend.

“Knowing we’ve secured the top spot in the Countdown is a great feeling,” said Wilkerson.  “It’s going to make racing a little easier this weekend.  Now we don’t have to worry about doing this and doing that.  It makes the race more fun because we don’t have to worry about making the car run and having the pressure of staying ahead of the competition.  We can go out and just concentrate on the race and enjoy ourselves.”

Wilkerson is looking for his fifth win of the season and having won this race several years ago makes this event the perfect time to add another win to his record books.

“Our strategy for this race, more than anything is to try and be fast,” explained Wilkerson, “not middle of the pack.  We want to be as fast as we can be and try to figure out how to run on race day.  We need to try to run good and make it to the winner’s circle.”

On Sunday, Wilkerson will be competing in the U. S. Smokeless Showdown, a special bonus race within the race featuring eight of the best Funny Car drivers.

“Competing in the U.S. Smokeless Showdown is going to be a little distracting,” said the frank Wilkerson.  “Indy is so important all by itself.  But since we’re out of the points battle in the Countdown, it will give me a little edge to concentrate on the Showdown.  If we could win the Showdown, it would be icing on the cake.

“The guys and I worked so hard to accomplish all that we have this year, and we had a great time doing it.  So, we hope that our consistency and the way our Levi, Ray & Shoup Impala has been running is a prelude to the rest of the year.  For us to get as far as we have this year as the kind of team we are is pretty cool.  We’re just a single car, independent team with a low paid driver and crew chief, not a mega team like most of our competition.  This year is just what I have always hoped for.  And wow, it would be a dream come true to be World Champion when all the dust settles at the end of the season.  But in the meantime we’ll continue to focus on making our car the best and hopefully we’ll leave Indy on Monday night with some winner’s checks in hand.”

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