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Wilkerson looks beyond the disappointment (1 Viewer)

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Wilkerson looks beyond the disappointment

GAINESVILLE, Saturday: The ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals were a disappointment to Tim Wilkerson. And even though Wilkerson was pleased with the performance of his Levi, Ray & Shoup Monte Car this weekend, he wasn't able to make the show for the first time this year.

It was a nail biting final session. When it began, Wilkerson was in the No. 10 spot. And by the time he rolled up to the starting line, he was on the outside looking in, with the bump being a 4.842. And even though Wilk made his best run of the weekend, his 4.867 at 316.30 mph was only good enough for the 18th spot.

"The thing ran pretty good all weekend, really," said Wilkerson. "It did just what we wanted to do on the last run, but the track tightened up quicker than we could get clutch back on it. I thought it would run 84 or 85 and it did. But we needed just a little more clutch and a little more timing, and then it would have been just fine. On the third qualifying run, if I would have had the clutch on that I had for the last run, we would have been just fine. But once you spin the tires, you back up so you don't spin the tires and then the track tightened up. And then, ba-da, there it is, done. We just need to have the guts to step on the thing when we need to, like we did in Pomona. I went up there thinking we had nothing to lose. I knew the track was going to be good and we needed to go faster than 4.79. And sure enough, by the time we got up there, we had to go faster than 79.

"It is showing a lot of promise. It leaves the starting line each run without smoking the tires. And that's what we were trying to fix with the levers we changed. We sure didn't want to do this though. I'm disappointed that we're not racing tomorrow. But I'm not embarrassed about how we ran. I think we were the only car that went down the track all four times. I really wanted to stay qualified all year long and stay in the Top 10. But we'll keep our chin up. We didn't tear anything up; just hurt our feelings. So, we'll just go on to the next race and learn from what we did here, and try the best we can."
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