NHRA Funny Car’s Tim Wilkerson Escapes Burning Funny Car

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Funny Car owner-tuner-driver Tim Wilkerson wanted to be hot for the championship countdown – but not the kind of “hot” he experienced in his semi-final win over John Force.

About halfway through the 1,000 foot course, Wilkerson’s car began to smoke the tires. Then its engine failed, triggering a nasty fire that produced billows of smoke. Wilkerson escaped his car unscathed, partly angry at the damage and partly puzzled as to why the incident occurred.

“I don’t know – it was going great, and I felt it drop, like, five holes [cylinders] immediately. So I’m sure it broke a crank[shaft] or something like that. He did something really bad. I don’t know what happened yet,” Wilkerson said. “We will find a solution. It’s really annoying, because we don’t do that kind of stuff.

Bob Tasca III’s team helped the Ford driver and his crew repair and maintain the Levi, Ray & Shoup Mustang and prepare it for Wilkerson’s 49th career finale and second of the year.

Wilkerson lost a chance for his first win since the 2021 fall race in Charlotte with a poor start.

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