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Release-Tim Wilkerson

March 26, 2012
The Thunder Road Show

LEVI, RAY & SHOUP NHRA Nitro Funny Car



LAS VEGAS (March 26, 2012) -- Tim Wilkerson's Nitro Funny Car is a Ford Shelby Mustang, and as such it sports the iconic coiled-Cobra logo, made famous by living legend Carroll Shelby.  This weekend, at the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, Wilk is fully prepared to let his Shelby loose after a less than perfect start to his season, taking aim at the rest of the FC class with venom at the ready.  In glitzy Sin City, at an event backed by longtime Team Wilk associate sponsor Summit Racing Equipment, the timing couldn't be better for a well-earned positive result.

After winning his opening round of the season, in Pomona, Wilk failed to win another at the subsequent two races and he added to his displeasure with a DNQ in Phoenix, but his Gainesville race produced more insight than results, and the popular Illinois driver feels his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford is about to turn the corner.

"I've said this a million times, but I'm always reminding people that you can't stand still in this sport," Wilkerson said. "You may have a fast car, and you might be winning with it, but if you stand still the other teams in this class will pass you by and leave you in their dust quicker than the blink of an eye.  So, we always have to be trying new things, hoping to keep up with the teams that have more resources than we do, and sometimes the jigsaw puzzle pieces don't fit together as easily when you change one or two.

"That's how it's been for us at the first three races, but once I had a chance to catch my breath after Gainesville, the smoke cleared a little and I could spot some things we were doing, like trying to force the wrong puzzle pieces together, and I think we should have a much better LRS Ford when we get started in Vegas, at Summit Racing Equipment's race.  Sometimes you just need a little break to let it all settle and get a new perspective."

Despite his 1-2 record on the young season, Wilk's Shelby Mustang has shown signs of life from the start, running a stout 4.06 during the opening round at Pomona. That e.t. was strong enough to hold on for low of the day until Mike Neff outran it in the final round, in another Ford.  Being able to put big performance on the track has not been out of reach, but finding consistency has instead been the biggest challenge.

"You can look like world beaters for one lap, but if you can't come back and do it again, and do it all day, you're probably not going to win," Wilk said. "We got into a mode where we were too back-and-forth on the tune-up, and we haven't been able to get into a groove and know that we have a car that will go to the other end and beat some people. I think we have a chance to make that change in Vegas, and once we get in that groove we have history on our side. If we get hot, we win races.

"We've all heard the stories about the people who do computer tech support on the phone, and how people will call them and say their computer won't operate. The first thing they've learned to ask is whether or not it's plugged in, because you can fly off in a million directions trying to trouble-shoot but sometimes it's the simplest things. I think we're plugged in, so now it's time to find a groove."

Plugged in, tuned up, and ready to strike like a venomous Cobra.

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