CONCORD, North Carolina (April 28, 2019) – True to form, the charging Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang nitro Funny Car made one of the quickest passes of the day in the opening round of the 10th annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Although driver Tim Wilkerson’s day ended in the quarterfinals, he and his steady team maintain enthusiasm as they head to Atlanta Dragway for another shot at the trophy in just a few days.
“I really like these four-wide races,” said Wilkerson. “After last weekend in Houston, I boo-hoo’d, but I went home and dedicated myself to paying attention. I’m not going to brag about anything yet, but we have a good car again.”
Qualified in the No. 7 position based on a best time of 3.960-second at 320.97 mph, Wilk drew a challenging quad for his opening match of four-wide racing at zMAX Dragway. Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, and Dave Richards occupied the other lanes.
First to leave the starting line was Wilkerson, and he stayed laser-focused on the prize as he wheeled his ferocious Ford to a 3.954, 317.27 to score a ticket to the second round. Beckman also advanced on a 3.925, 324.83, while Richards and Capps went home on respective 5.044 and 5.172-second passes.
Wilkerson was again on target as he launched ahead of two of his competitors in the second round, but he slowed a bit and forfeited the round. Matt Hagan (3.997, 316.30) and John Force (4.046, 320.81) advanced as Wilkerson (4.062, 290.07) and Beckman (7.194, 99.31) were turned away.
“I almost got Hagan,” said Wilkerson. “He was really lucky that he just barely got us at the other end down there. It was a really good race.
“I can’t believe it spun the tires down there that run; it was way down-track. I felt it just start spinning. As soon as it started to do that, I lifted off the gas pedal and held it like half-throttle all the way through the lights. Hagan just passed me – whoosh – right in the lights. I was like ahhhhhh. But we had a nice first-round, and we made the best run in that lane from anybody. It makes us all feel good knowing we have a good car going to Atlanta next week.”
The next event on the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, May 3-5, 2019.
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Position in standings following event: No. 7
First round results:
Jack Beckman (3.924-second at 324.83 mph) and Tim Wilkerson (3.954, 317.27) defeated Dave Richards (5.044, 174.32) and Ron Capps (5.172, 152.95)
NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
zMAX Dragway, Concord, North Carolina
April 26-28, 2019
#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 6-9 PM ET / FS1
Lucas Oil Sportsman Show / Thursday, May 9 – 9-10 PM ET / FS2
*Find detailed results at DragRaceCentral.com*
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, race 6 of 24)
1. Robert Hight (3), 582
2. Matt Hagan (1), 440
3. John Force, 417
4t. J.R. Todd (1), 394
4t. Jack Beckman, 394
6. Tommy Johnson Jr., 371
7. Tim Wilkerson, 339
8. Shawn Langdon (1), 338
9. Ron Capps, 318
10. Bob Tasca III, 282