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Tim Wilkerson Will Go Down In Bandimere History Books As Funny Car Speed Record Holder

Tim Wilkerson won the very first 1,000-foot Funny Car event contested at Bandimere Speedway in 2008. He entered this weekend’s 43rd and final running of the NHRA Mile-High Nationals with his sights set on bookending his Denver racing career with another Wally trophy from the picturesque facility, which sits a mile above sea level.
 
Aboard the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang, Wilkerson qualified his Maynard Wilkerson Racing entry eighth on the strength of his 4.004 Q2 pass from Friday night. Earlier that afternoon, Wilkerson recorded a 4.075 E.T. in the heat of the day during the weekend’s opening session to earn two bonus points for clocking the second-quickest run of the round. After two more hits on Saturday, the fields were set, and Wilkerson found himself squaring off against fellow top 10-ranked competitor J.R. Todd in round one of eliminations.
 
In front of a sold-out crowd for the third day in a row, Wilkerson lined up opposite Todd on Sunday morning, but a loss of traction early into the race enabled Todd to drive around ‘Wilk,’ ending his chances for a second Bandimere Speedway trophy.
 
“This is always a tricky place to race,” said Wilkerson of the challenging mile-high conditions. “We have been coming here for years, and it just never gets easier to race on the mountain. I’ve had a good car, and the guys are busting their butts to give us the best chance to win, and today we just didn’t have it dialed to win here. We were confident, and I was looking forward to getting back in the car after the red light in Norwalk, but that’s drag racing.
 
“I’m happy that I was able to host my good friend and long-time partner Dick Levi and the LRS folks this weekend,” added Wilkerson, referring to his 23-year partnership with Levi, Ray & Shoup. “They have been great to me, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate them. We were also hosting hundreds of folks who work for SCAG dealers, and I’m glad we were able to show them a good time this weekend. We see a lot of happy people coming out of that SCAG tent and these people have been awesome. Lots of them have never been to a race and are leaving as fans. It’s a perfect pairing with SCAG being able to show their people a great time and get some great people enjoying our sport. I’m looking forward to getting back to racing in a few short days in Seattle.”
 
While he didn’t close out his Bandimere career in the winner’s circle, Wilkerson will depart Denver with the consolation prize of knowing he’ll go down in history as the track’s Funny Car speed record holder, which he achieved when he recorded a 329.18 MPH pass during the 2022 event.
 
Up next on the NHRA tour is the second of three Western Swing stops in Kent, Washington, near Seattle where the SCAG/LRS team will attempt to win their fourth NHRA Northwest Nationals victory. Wilkerson will begin the weekend ranked seventh in the Camping World Series Funny Car standings.

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