Wilkerson claims first No. 1 since 2017 at 2019 Denso Four-Wide

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

For the first-time in nearly two-years, Tim Wilkerson is the Funny Car No. 1 qualifier once again. He is going to lead the field on Sunday at the 20th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wilkerson went 3.895 at 323.50 mph to claim the top spot for the first-time since Bristol 2017.

Funny Car pilot Tim Wilkerson racing on Saturday at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
Tim Wilkerson racing on Saturday at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

“I’m really proud of how good our car runs,” the veteran driver said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been No. 1 qualifier but I kind of pull that out of my hat every once in a while, if you’ll notice. It might take me a year or two sometimes but I’m there getting it done.”

Wilkerson will be in a quad with “The Surfer” Jeff Diehl, Shawn Langdon, and Robert Hight. Wilkerson and Diehl will be in one pairing on one side of the track, while Langdon and Hight will be in the other.

The Springfield, Illinois native went 3.895 at 323.50 mph, while Diehl went 4.382 at 228.85. Langdon went 3.931 at 324.67 and Hight at 3.940 at 326.63 mph.

In another quad, Ron Capps will face Terry Haddock. Bob Tasca III will face Tommy Johnson Jr., who celebrated a birthday on Saturday.

Capps went 3.897 at 325.92 mph, while Haddock went 4.250 at 289.88. Tasca II went 3.928 at 318.77 and Johnson Jr. went 3.952 at 319.45 mph.

Another quad features Cruz Pedregon, Phil Burkhart Jr., John Force, and Jack Beckman. This could be Burkhart Jr.’s final race this season in the Schwab Funny Car.

Pedregon will face Burkhart Jr., while Force will face Beckman. Pedregon went 3.915 at 324.83 mph and Burkhart Jr. went 4.084 at 298.40 mph.

Force went 3.925 at 325.92 mph and Beckman went 3.956 at 321.27 mph.

The final quad will feature J.R. Todd, Gary Densham, Matt Hagan, and Jim Campbell. Todd and Densham will be a pairing, while Hagan and Campbell will be another.

Todd went 3.919 at 323.43 mph and the veteran Densham went 4.057 at 312.13 mph. Hagan went 3.924 at 327.03 mph, while Campbell went 4.044 at 313.00 mph.

One Funny Car did not qualify for the show. Jonnie Lindberg was the No. 17 qualifier after he went 4.414 at 272.39 mph.

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