Tim Wilkerson NHRA Winternationals Wrap-Up

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

Photo credit: Auto Imagery

POMONA, Calif. (February 11, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson had his hands full in Pomona at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com. Driving his eye-catching Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang in the first race of his 20th anniversary season with primary sponsor LRS, Wilkerson and his nitro cohorts had to battle Mother Nature and a challenging racing surface in addition to one another.

In a rain-delayed Monday eliminations round, Wilk’s fight came to an abrupt conclusion on a sunshine-bathed racetrack with a very sticky, well-glued surface.

The veteran team owner, tuner, and driver of the LRS Mustang launched from the starting line next to Tommy Johnson Jr. and was quicker to the 60-foot timer, but the small advantage quickly evaporated as the tires on his Mustang took umbrage to the power flowing with force from the engine. Johnson was fighting the racetrack in his lane as well but was able to recover and managed a winning 4.193, 288.33 to Wilkerson’s 5.822, 121.03.

“That was straight-up tire shake,” said Wilkerson. “We struggle in those conditions to get wheel speed, but it [the track] was 70 degrees Saturday and it went right on down through there. Not today. I’ve been up there staring [at the data], trying to figure out what to do the next time this happens. You have to make a change and not just do the same thing and get the same results. But we’ll try again. You have to shake it off, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Race 2 of 24 in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will take place in Phoenix, February 22-24, at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

TIM WILKERSON
LEVI, RAY AND SHOUP FORD MUSTANG
 
Race results:
R1: Tommy Johnson Jr. defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.193-second at 288.33 mph to 5.822, 121.03

Race Info
59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
February 7-10, 2019

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule
Finals / Monday – 11 PM ET / FS1

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

New racing surface to greet racers at Royal Purple Raceway for 2018 NHRA Springnationals

Written by Robert Banks

RPR1

Photo credit: Royal Purple Raceway

After serving as a massive storage facility for flood-damaged cars, Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, is back to looking like its old self again. The track has used some of the revenue that it generated storing cars to upgrade not only its fan amenities, but also the thing the racers are most concerned with, the drag strip itself.

With a physical elevation of only 39 feet above sea level, Royal Purple Raceway has the atmosphere to be fast. Removing three inches of old material and adding new asphalt from half-track through 200 feet past the finish line, racers are going to marvel at the smoothness and quickness of the facility. No bumps, cracks, or down-track issues to navigate around mean that drivers can give their full concentration to beating the competitor in the other lane. When one thinks about classes like Super Gas and Super Comp, where inches are miles at the finish-line stripe, this should make things even more interesting than they already are.

The paving work was started in late January and finished in early February.

rpr2

Photo credit: Royal Purple Raceway

The track has added a new “Staging Lane Terrace” motorhome parking area which has sold out for the race. The added spots will allow for a new experience and view for those traveling to the race in an RV. The standard parking area for motorhomes still exists as well.

It should be noted that the track has run a very aggressive early season program to “break in” the fresh top end of the track, so when NHRA teams roll into town they are going to see a well-seasoned race track with plenty of grip. Events like TX2K, Import Face-Off, various testing sessions, and a massive event geared toward drag racing trucks have all taken place, among others.

This is the second event in a row where racers will be competing on a fresh track, and it stands as a testament to the health of drag racing that facilities are willing to make these significant investments in their property to keep the competition tight and the fans on the edge of their seats.

The 2018 NHRA Springnationals will be contested April 20-22 at Royal Purple Raceway. To learn more about the event, visit NHRA.com. For more information about the racetrack, go to RoyalPurpleRaceway.com.