Wilkerson Completes FC “Natural Hat Trick”

Tim Wilkerson ended a yearlong winless drought and raced to his third consecutive O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals Funny Car victory Sunday at Pacific Raceways…..

Del Worsham (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.

Wilkerson moved up to ninth in the point standings with his 17th career victory and greatly improved his chances for earning a berth in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six-race playoffs which begin Sept. 15-18 in Charlotte, N.C.

Wilkerson powered his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang to a 4.146 second run at 300.53 mph to defeat final round opponent Jack Beckman, whose Aaron’s/Valvoline Dodge Charger lost traction near mid-track and finished in 4.598 at 238.64.

Wilkerson beat Brian Thiel, Tony Pedregon and Robert Hight to advance to his second consecutive final round and third of the season.

“We’ve really got a good handle on this place for sure,” said Wilkerson, who also won here in 2009 and 2010. “This win really couldn’t come at a better time for this team. Hopefully we can stay on this roll and take it on to Brainerd and right into Indy (Mac Tools U.S. Nationals). This win is definitely a big morale boost for my team and really helps our position in the Countdown for sure.”

Tim Wilkerson continued his amazing dominance at NHRA Seattle -- winning in FC for the third straight season

Wilkerson moved to ninth in the standings with the win, while points leader Mike Neff lost in the first round, but holds a 125-point advantage over teammate Hight.

In Top Fuel, Worsham earned his sixth victory of the season and 31st of his career by outrunning Tony Schumacher in the final round. Worsham, who posted a 3.891 at 316.38 in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to hold of Schumacher’s 3.915 at 313.95 in his U.S. Army dragster, joined Ron Capps as the only drivers to win in both nitro categories at the Seattle track.

Worsham, who beat Ron Smith, Shawn Langdon and Spencer Massey in the first three rounds, won Funny Car here in 1999.

“It’s been unreal,” said Worsham, who extended his series points lead to 126 over second place Massey. “To watch this Al-Anabi team work is amazing. They gave me a great car that could win. This team is so detail oriented and just really good at what they do.”

Del Worsham won for the 6th time in 2011 in Top Fuel

Line took his fourth Pro Stock win of the season and 25th of his career by beating teammate Greg Anderson in the final round. Line covered the distance in 6.553 at 210.87 in his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to finish in front of defending world champ Anderson, who trailed with a 6.567 at 211.13, also in a Summit GXP.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Line, who beat Ron Krisher, Vincent Nobile and Rodger Brogdon in earlier rounds. “I had a great feeling that if I did my job today that we had a car that could win this race. We made some changes to the car from Sonoma and it ran good all weekend. It was phenomenal. I was able to let the clutch out on time today and it worked out for us.”

With the victory, Line increased his series lead to 27 over Anderson.

Several drivers secured Countdown playoff berths, including Hight, Beckman and Cruz Pedregon in Funny Car, and Nobile, Erica Enders, Allen Johnson, Brogdon and Greg Stanfield in Pro Stock.

Other event highlights included a convincing win in Top Alcohol Dragster by local favorite Joey Severance and the first ever win in TAFC by female racer Alexis DeJoria.   Severance’s win came over a very short TAD field (only 8 cars entered) but did include one of the quickest runs of all time by a supercharged car in the category – 5.246 secs.

B.C. racer Mike McKeigue (from Fort. St. John) earned his first career NHRA “Wally” when he scored in Competition eliminator.  McKeigue, driving a Dodge Stratus, won the all Canadian final round beating Alberta’s Casey Plaizier, driver of Ken Reich’s Chevy Cavalier in that championship bout.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues Aug. 18-21 with the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, the penultimate event in the regular season.

Pro Stock winner Jason Line in the Summit Racing Equipment GXP

EVENT ESSENTIALS:   O’Reilly Northwest Nationals Aug. 5-7th, 2011  Kent, WA.


TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Del Worsham 3.891 316.38 31st
R/UP: Tony Schumacher 3.915 313.95  
Low ET: Anton Brown 3.809    
Top Speed: Del Worsham   321.65  
Bump Spot:   6.720    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Tim Wilkerson 4.146 300.53 17th
R/UP: Jack Beckman 4.598 238.64  
Low ET: Tim Wilkerson 4.109    
Top Speed: John Force   308.85  
Bump Spot:   4.322    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Jason Line 6.553 210.87 25th
R/UP: Greg Anderson 6.567 211.13  
Low ET: Jason Line 6.531    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   211.69  
Bump Spot:   N/A*   *15 Cars
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
TA Dragster Joey Severance 5.439 261.52  
TA Funny Car Alexis DeJoria 5.611 260.26  
Competition Mike McKeigue 7.392 184.57  
Super Stock Jody Lang 11.13  87.78  
Stock Jody Lang 13.30  77.22  
Super Comp Brad Plourd 8.913 160.65  
Super Gas Kevin Kleineweber 9.899 162.33  
Super Street Allen Macam 10.92 133.43  

Photos by:  Gerry Frechette