Summit Racing Equipment opened a massive new warehouse and retail facility the last week of September, bringing customers in Texas and neighboring states one-day delivery on orders for in-store parts.
In honor of the grand opening of a 32,000-square-foot Summit Racing Equipment Retail Super Store and warehouse Arlington, Texas, Daniel Wilkerson will return to the seat of a Funny Car at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals. His nitro-fueled racecar will be branded with a special Summit Racing Texas scheme and tuned by his father, who will race the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang alongside his son at the event.
At the conclusion of the race, the younger Wilkerson's Summit Racing Texas-themed carbon fiber Funny Car body will be displayed in the Summit Racing Equipment retail store in Arlington. The facility and its warehouse – the largest built by Summit -- will bring customers in Texas and neighboring states one-day delivery on orders for in-store parts.
"It is so cool that our Summit Racing Texas car will be memorialized there as part of the history of the new facility," said Wilkerson. "It's awesome. Summit Racing has been with Team Wilkerson for a long time, and they have become like family to us. I've been fortunate enough to drive a Summit Racing-branded Funny Car before, and truthfully, we're a Summit family, through and through. It's an honor to drive this beautiful car, and I can't wait to see the new store – the whole experience is going to be something we'll always remember."
Wilkerson most recently competed at a match race in Epping in 2016. The first round of qualifying will be the first time he's driven a nitro Funny Car since then, but the second-generation drag racer isn't a bit unnerved.
"I don't ever get nervous about driving these cars, but I do get really excited," said Wilkerson, who is an accountant by trade. "People ask me what I do to get amped up for racing, but I actually have to go the opposite way. I have to calm down, because being able to drive a nitro Funny Car is such a cool experience. I just get so excited."
Wilkerson made his nitro Funny Car debut in 2009 in Topeka, where he qualified No. 8. In all, he has raced at and qualified for ten previous NHRA national events in the category. His first round-win came in 2011 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, where he qualified a career-best No. 6 and defeated Paul Lee. At the U.S. Nationals later that year, the surging young driver again qualified No. 6 – this time with a career best 4.090-second pass at 307.37 mph – and scored another round win. His most recent NHRA event was the 2016 Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte.
Although he has not driven in NHRA competition since last season, Wilkerson has been a regular at the racetrack as crew chief on the Funny Car driven by Brian Stewart.
"I'm kind of a crew chief through Tim's crew chief-ness," said Wilkerson with a smile, referring to his father, 20-year nitro veteran Tim Wilkerson. "Tim oversees a lot of what goes on. It's his tune-up, and I just get to make little calls on it. I come in and tickle Tim's recipe rather than setting everything up.
"I've never driven at Dallas before, but I've worked on Stewart's car there. I'm pretty excited to get to drive there this time around. It's a great place with a lot of history, and it was the first supertrack. That's exciting for me, too. It's going to be a great weekend."
Fans Invited to Meet Drivers, See Race Cars at Summit Racing's New Arlington Facility
What: Meet NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series drivers and see their race vehicles up close
Who: Summit Racing NHRA Funny Car father-and-son duo Tim and Daniel Wilkerson, Team Summit Pro Stock champions Greg Anderson and Jason Line, KB Racing Pro Stock driver Bo Butner, and Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Pro Stock Motorcycle champions Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec.
When: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 12-2:00pm
Summit Racing Equipment Retail Super Store
2200 E. Interstate 20
Arlington, TX 76018