Tim Wilkerson is a testament to perseverance in the sport of drag racing. The well-liked Illinois-dependent racer has had a tough summer time with a overall body-destroying blower explosion in Sonoma and a human body-harmful major-conclude collision with Cruz Pedregon in Topeka, but all of that is neglected now that the popular driver has claimed his second U.S. Nationals Funny Motor vehicle crown.
Wilkerson’s Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford experienced to come from guiding to declare the title and deny Ron Capps what would have his first U.S. Nationals earn, 3.91 to 3.94. Wilkerson experienced not won since the spring Charlotte event in 2016 and had shed nine straight final rounds just before claiming this a single at the largest of all races,
“I attempt not to permit it mess with me at all,” he mentioned of his previous misfortunes. “We consider to have a 24-hour rule: Immediately after 24 several hours, it doesn’t issue — gain, drop or attract. I just go up there and test to run my vehicle and never get worried about what is likely on, but I have obtained one particular Ford Mustang human body still left — just a person — and that one just gained the U.S. Nationals, and that is the motor vehicle that I crashed at Topeka. We picked that matter up Tuesday, put in all day Tuesday and half the day Wednesday putting it with each other, and drove here Thursday early morning.
“It was excellent to get just one back on ‘ol Capps. He has utilised me up the very last two or a few yrs. And I think we’ve experienced three or four or five finals and he whupped me each time. But not this time.”
Wilkerson achieved his to start with U.S. Nationals final way again in 1997 but was runner-up there to Whit Bazemore. Six several years later he attained the best of the mountain with a gain at the 2013 occasion then obtained shut once more in 2012 the place he was runner-up to Nike Neff.
Wilkerson capable just eighth with a strong 3.94 then belted out a pair of 3.92s in the 1st two rounds to conquer Bobby Bode and John Force. Wilkerson, who tunes and drives the motor vehicle, dialed it up for the semifinals with a 3.88 that was very low e.t. of eliminations to beat tire-smoking cigarettes Pedregon for the suitable to contest the final. That was a different fortunate round for Wilkerson as an oil-pump malfunctioned blackened all of the bearings and the crankshaft but stayed alongside one another long plenty of to get the acquire.
Capps had finished a whole lot of winning at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, which include 3 wins in the specialty shootout races and a victory at very last year’s Dodge NHRA Nationals race held at the keep track of, but had in no way won the U.S. Nationals and, in truth, had only been to the final spherical at the time, in 2017, wherever he was runner-up to J.R. Todd.
Capps’ NAPA Auto Pieces Dodge, tuned by Dean Antonelli and John Medlen, who wrenched Jack Beckman to the U.S. Nationals victory last 12 months, competent sixth with a 3.90 that he matched in spherical one to defeat Justin Schriefer. Robert Hight went up in smoke in opposition to his 3.95 in round two in a stanza that also claimed Todd, Bob Tasca III, and points leader John Pressure and, suddenly, Capps was the new details leader. Capps and Co. then returned to their 3.90 tempo in the semifinals to beat 2014 U.S. Nationals champ.