NHRA- Tim Wilkerson
May 6, 2012The Thunder Road Show
Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals
Tim Wilkerson - No. 5 (4.138 seconds)
Lost to Jim Head in round one
WILK'S SUNDAY IS FAR TOO SHORT
Tim Wilkerson felt good about his Levi, Ray & Shoup Shelby Mustang. He'd put three solid laps on the board during qualifying, picking up four valuable bonus points by being quickest in one session and third-quickest in another. He landed in the No. 5 spot for the third time in four races. And, his car was beginning to show the kind of consistency the LRS tuner/driver is known for. Then came Sunday.
Racing No. 12 qualifier Jim Head, Wilk's LRS Ford launched hard but was spinning the tires from the get-go. By the time he had traveled 200 feet, the big Goodyears completely lost traction and in a wild puff of smoke, Wilk's promising weekend was over, his car was fishtailing madly, and Head was crossing the stripe with a less than stellar 4.707-second e.t., accomplished mostly on seven cylinders.
"I really didn't expect that, obviously," Wilk said. "The car was doing just about everything I asked it for three straight runs, and I thought we were well within the bounds of having a safe but good tune-up in it, but apparently we're still knuckleheads because it never had a chance. It took a while for it to really smoke them, but looking at the drive shaft graph it was easy to see that it was in trouble from the step. It's pretty frustrating, to say the least, but all we can do is bounce back and keep our heads up."
The LRS teams' heads were definitely up during qualifying. Wilk smoked the tires early on his first qualifying effort, but then rebounded with his stout 4.138 on Friday evening. On Saturday, when track temperatures were north of a scorching 130 degrees, he handled the challenge with skill and dexterity, running the quickest pass in Q3 and putting yet another solid lap on the board to wrap things up. All looked rosy.
"What I have to take out of this, as the silver lining, is that we are getting way more dialed in with the car and for two days it was really racy," Wilk said. "It's easy to be frustrated and depressed about screwing up in round one, but we can't forget what we did on Friday and Saturday. We need that confidence going forward.
"We have a week off now, after doing Houston and Atlanta back-to-back, so we can recharge, fix all of our junk, and come out firing in Topeka. Hopefully, we'll get to Heartland Park and get right after it, qualify well again, and win some rounds. There's nothing wrong with doing that in Kansas."
Perhaps a team trip to the legendary Pat's Pig restaurant, just up Topeka Blvd. from the trace track, is in the offing.