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Wilkerson is the Thunder Valley FC provisional No. 1

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Levi, Ray and Shoup Funny Car Shelby Mustang pilot Tim Wilkerson is the provisional No. 1 qualifier at the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, TN. Wilkerson went 3.895 at 328.22 mph to get the provisional league.

He has not been the No. 1 qualifier since the NHRA SpringNationals in Baytown, Texas in 2016.

Tim Wilkerson (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

Tim Wilkerson (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

“It’s hard to make a fast car slow and we’ve got a pretty fast car,” he said. “One run doesn’t make a hero though, so we’re going to go out and try to do some good [today.]”

Following Wilkerson is the John Force Racing Funny Cars. Robert Hight is the No. 2 qualifier at the moment with a 3.918 at 324.28 mph.

Hight, according to the JFR press release, said the second pass was [actually a really fun run because of a change in setup on the car.]

Last weekend at the historic NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Hight was the No. 2 qualifier. Courtney Force was the No. 1 qualifier.

“That was a good run, especially based on the fact that when you don’t go down the track on the first run, it kind of cripples you on the second run,” Hight said. “If we had made a solid first run, we would have tried to get after it more. But we did what we had to do. I thought when I ran it, we’d be top five. But we ended up No. 2, so good job to the Auto Club team.0

“We didn’t want to go into Saturday, despite it being a 16-car show, looking at and facing a bottom-half scenario. That puts you behind all weekend.”

Then, Force, who has her spare Advance Auto Parts car with her this weekend, qualified third with her 3.952 at 324.90 mph. Living legend and 16-time World Champion John Force is next with the fourth qualifying spot with a 3.983 at 322.96 mph pass.

Matt Hagan — who is from nearby Christiansburg, VA — is presently the No. 5 qualifier in his Dodge Charger with a 3.984 at 323.81 mph.

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