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Tim Wilkerson Leaves Topeka With Consistent SCAG Power Equipment Mustang

Tricky conditions tested Tim Wilkerson and the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car at the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor, but a string of three-second passes showed serious potential for the Funny Car veteran. Racing at the final NHRA national event at Heartland Motorsports Park, Wilkerson bowed out in a side-by-side race with Matt Hagan in the second round of eliminations.
 
The Maynard Wilkerson Racing driver was consistent through three qualifying sessions, beginning with a pass that put him in the top 8 on Friday. He made the third-quickest pass of the second session on Saturday, and again in the final session to earn a pair of bonus points. Wilkerson’s 3.991 E.T. at 320.74 MPH in the final session gave him the No. 6 spot going into Sunday eliminations.
 
Persistent rain showers on Sunday morning delayed the start of eliminations to late afternoon. Patience paid off for Wilkerson, who laid down his quickest pass of the weekend, a 3.987 E.T. at 318.77 MPH, to win the round over Terry Haddock. Wilkerson’s second-round appearance was almost over before it began, as he had trouble getting into reverse after the burnout. His team helped him get back to the starting line, and while he recorded a consistent 3.988-second pass at 322.88 MPH, it wasn’t quick enough to get around Matt Hagan and his 3.987 E.T.
 
“We made five real nice runs this weekend,” said Wilkerson, who earned his first national event win in Top Alcohol Funny Car at Topeka in 1994. “I’m pretty proud of our guys and how well the car ran. It just didn’t run fast enough to beat Hagan in the second round today. Had a little issue getting the car to go in reverse after the burnout, but you see that from time to time, and my guys were on it. They pushed me back to the starting line, and Hagan’s team waited for us. That was very sportsman-like of them, so thank you, Dickie (Venables, Hagan’s crew chief) and thank you, Matt, for hanging in there with me.”
 
Wilkerson and the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Funny Car team will now head north to Brainerd, Minnesota, for the NHRA Nationals, Aug. 18-20, at Brainerd International Raceway. It’s one of just two races left in the NHRA regular season before beginning the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

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