Tim WilkersonMADISON – World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, will present the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Midwest Nationals this weekend, September 24-26. The annual event delivers the world’s biggest names in professional drag racing to the St. Louis-Metro East region.

The headliners -- Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars – are fueled by nitromethane and their supercharged engines generate more than 10,000 horsepower at speeds in excess of 320 miles per hour. This weekend’s event is crucial for all contenders since it is the third race of NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship title fight.

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Veteran drag racer Tim Wilkerson, of Springfield, Illinois, is the hometown hero for this weekend’s event. Tim also is the most recent winner, having taken home a coveted NHRA Wally trophy yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tim is on a hot streak, having won two races in three weeks. (His other win came on September 5 at the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis). Wilkerson currently is tied for sixth place in Countdown points.

“It was tremendous pressure,” said Wilkerson, after his win yesterday at Charlotte. “It was a crazy, crazy day. It started out pretty good and we went down the track just like I wanted to. From there it kind of went bizarre. John Force had me beat (before he crossed the centerline) and he ambushed me last week. It looks like I just need to qualify No. 8. I won Indy out of the No. 8 spot too. That is what I am going to do for the rest of the year, qualify No. 8.”

The quick turnaround for the live national Fox broadcast had Wilkerson’s team working at a break-neck pace. He was short-handed due to a few absences from regular crew members as well as some injuries during the event.

“It was a tough day and we barely made it through the rounds in the semis and the finals,” said Wilkerson. “Ron Capps sent me a text saying they would wait for me in the back of the lanes and they weren’t going to roll up without me. I am very proud of my guys. We were thrashing. I was out there changing tires and putting motors in. I am worn out.”

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Next stop: St. Louis. “Every race is a new race,” said Wilkerson. “If we get down to Pomona (the final race of the 2021 season) 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 have a bazillion people who come there including (sponsor) Dick Levi.

"I have some great guys working on this car and we are going to run our Top Fuel dragster in St. Louis. My son Daniel will be tuning that and Keith Murt is going to drive it. That is a big race for us. I love racing there. We have had good luck there. I am not thinking about the championship. I just want to go there and run the track and see what happens. They always have a good crowd and we will be trying to put on a show for them in the Levi, Ray & Shoup Summit Racing Mustang."

Tim Wilkerson

  • Hometown: Springfield, Illinois
  • Drives: Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car
  • Wins: 23 (most recent: yesterday; also won U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis on September 5)
  • Championship contender: Currently tied for sixth place in Funny Car points.
  • Hands-on: Tim owns, tunes, and drives his car.
  • Also owns a Top Fuel Dragster. Will be managed at WWTR by Tim’s son, Daniel, and driven by Keith Murt.

Tickets for WWTR’s NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Midwest Nationals may be purchased by calling (618) 215-888, online at www.WWTRaceway.com and the WWTR ticket office. Every ticket is a pit pass. Kids 12 and under are free in Grandstands 4 and 5 when accompanied by a paid adult.

Follow WWTR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About World Wide Technology Raceway

World Wide Technology Raceway is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 600 acres, WWTR is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. WWTR’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, recently-expanded 2.0-mile road course, a state-of-the-art karting facility, a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue and the Gateway Drive-In Theater at World Wide Technology Raceway (a drive-in entertainment venue able to accommodate 3,000 cars). WWTR acquired Gateway National Golf Links, adjacent to the speedway property, in 2019. WWTR was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Facility of the Year Award from the Race Track Business Conference and the 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award from the St. Louis Attractions Association. In 2018, owner and CEO Curtis Francois received the Innovator Award from the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission in recognition of his work for restoring World Wide Technology Raceway (known then as Gateway Motorsports Park) to prominence. The 2021 season marks Francois’ 10th year as owner and CEO of WWTR.

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