Tim Wilkerson Pre Race Package: NHRA Gatornationals

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

Photo credit: Auto Imagery

50th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville Raceway
2019 Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series, Race 3

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5

Story Lines:

• Tim Wilkerson made his nitro Funny Car debut at Gainesville Raceway in 1996
• Wilk drove the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang nitro Funny Car to victory in Gainesville in 2010. He was low qualifier there in 2004.
• Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the LRS Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The NHRA Gatornationals will be the 496th race of Wilkerson’s career as a nitro Funny Car driver

Quotes
“I’m not a guy who gets wound up about history, I’m more of a guy who thinks you have to forget about how long you’ve been around and focus on being new and innovative, but you cannot deny the feeling of nostalgia at this race. The best thing that ever happened for us in Gainesville was winning it in 2010. We beat Bob Tasca that day, and I sure think it would be neat to do it again with two Ford Mustangs in the final this year.

“Right now, we’re working on some clutch discs that have been giving us a problem and identifying exactly why – I haven’t got that diagnosed yet, but we’ll figure it out. Our Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang is really good, though. It goes nice and straight, and I’m driving okay. We have plenty of power.

“We’d sure like to have a good weekend out there. We’ll have the folks from Diversified Yacht Services in our hospitality, and they’re always a fun group cheering for us and making us feel like we’re special, win or lose. One thing’s for sure: everyone on this team would like to get a win for Dick Levi this weekend. This being our 20th year with him and having LRS on the car is just so cool. We’re looking forward to celebrating that milestone with a win.”

Wilkerson in Gainesville
1 win in 1 final round in Gainesville
Won 2010 (defeated Bob Tasca)
No. 1 in 2004
In 2018: Qualified No. 11, first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats
(through 2019 NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix)
No. 11 in Funny Car standings
495 races
20 wins
22 runner-up finishes
42 overall final rounds
19 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(following the NHRA Arizona Nationals, race 2 of 24)

1. Robert Hight, 205
2. Matt Hagan, 160
3. Jack Beckman, 151
4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 137
5. Bob Tasca III, 129
6t. John Force, 126
6t. J.R. Todd, 126
8. Shawn Langdon, 111
9. Ron Capps, 89
10. Cruz Pedregon, 86
11. Tim Wilkerson, 71

Race Info
50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Fla.
March 14-17, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Thursday, March 14
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying

Friday, March 15
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations
11:45 a.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying
1:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
3:50 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying
5:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, March 16
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations
10:30 a.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying
12:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
2:30 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown round 1
3:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, March 17
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin
eliminations for all categories continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Friday – 11:30 PM-12:30 AM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Saturday – 9-10 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 7:30-11 PM ET / FS1

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