September has already been a great month for Tim Wilkerson, and now, the Funny Car veteran has a chance to cap it off in style at his home track during this weekend’s NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis. Wilkerson has picked up two victories in three weeks, including last weekend at the second race of NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, and a third this month would put the Springfield, Ill., native in a prime position.
In the process of winning in Indy and Charlotte, Wilkerson has made life miserable for other teams, which is something he has long enjoyed in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang. After going five years without a win, Wilkerson found the winning combination at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indy, and he’s not slowing down. While he’s not worried about championships, Wilkerson has jumped to sixth in points and is performing just as well as anyone in Funny Car at the moment.
“Every race is a new race,” Wilkerson said. “If we get down to Pomona and we have a chance to win it, then we will clap our hands. I am going to my home race next weekend in St. Louis, and I’ll have a bazillion people who come there, including Dick Levi, and we’re going to have our dragster there, too, so that will be fun. I really do look forward to that event. It’s going to be a great time. I’m excited about going to St. Louis, and that track usually treats me pretty well.”
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) were winners of the 2020 event. This year’s race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including live final eliminations coverage starting at 2 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Sept. 26. It is the third race of seven races in Funny Car and Top Fuel in the Countdown to the Championship and the final race in a string of four straight race weekends. Wilkerson has made the most of this stretch, and he’ll try to keep rolling in St. Louis.
Along with racing in Funny Car, he’s debuting his Top Fuel dragster this weekend that Keith Murt will drive and Wilkerson’s son, Daniel, will tune. It will keep Wilkerson busy, but that seems to bring out the best in the 22-time event winner. He’ll have his hands full going against the likes of points leader Ron Capps, defending world champion Matt Hagan, who is just five points out of first, John Force, J.R. Todd, and Cruz Pedregon. But Wilkerson, who has won at St. Louis, took out Bob Tasca III, Force, Capps, and Pedregon in Charlotte, proving he’s capable of taking out the big guns in the class in the playoffs.
“Everybody who was in front of me, I beat,” Wilkerson said. “I was happy as heck. We’re doing our best. It’s very exciting to run a one-car team and have all this fun. I would be selling tires and batteries at home if I wasn’t doing this. It’s pretty exciting. I think we’ve got something for anybody we race, but we’re just trying to take it one race at a time.”
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 5:30 p.m. CT on Friday, Sept. 24, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 26.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 618-215-8888. Tickets also are available online at www.traceway.com.