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Tim Wilkerson

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 Born: December 29, 1960

>   Hometown: Springfield, Illinois

 Residence: Springfield, Illinois

 Career Best Elapsed Time: 3.844 seconds

 Career Best Speed: 336.91 mph

 Career Wins: 22

>   Career No. 1 Qualifiers: 20

  18 Top 10 Finishes

  Notable: Serves as both driver and crew chief on his car; Son Daniel is also a licensed Funny Car driver

Longtime NHRA fan-favorite Tim Wilkerson has spent the last two-plus decades operating as the driver, tuner, and owner of his Funny Car team, Tim Wilkerson Racing, making him a rarity in the professional drag racing industry. Ahead of the 2023 season, he announced that after 27 years of competing in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series as a one-man band, he had teamed up with Joe and Cathi Maynard of JCM Racing to form Maynard Wilkerson Racing.


In addition to becoming the second nitro driver, and first Funny Car pilot, to compete as a member of JCM Racing, Wilkerson, who will continue to co-own his Funny Car team alongside Joe Maynard, also announced a new partnership with SCAG Power Equipment. SCAG joined Levi, Ray and Shoup, Wilkerson’s principal backer of 23 years, and Summit Racing Equipment, a supporter of Wilkerson’s for 15 years, as the primary partner on his 11,000-horsepower Ford Mustang. 


With Wilkerson and JCM Racing sharing in the owner responsibilities of the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car team, Wilkerson is able to devote more of his attention to his driving and crew chief duties as he seeks to capture his first NHRA Funny Car world championship in 2023, and extend his consecutive Top 10 finish count to 16 years.


Of his 18 total Top 10 placements, Wilkerson has finished ranked fifth or better three times, including capping off the year as the series runner-up in 2008. A proverbial thorn in the side of larger, multi-car teams, Wilkerson has 22 race wins to his credit and is a 20-time No. 1 qualifier. Among his Funny Car career highlights are a pair of Indianapolis wins from the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals (2003, 2021), being named one of Autoweek magazine’s ‘Top 10 NHRA Drivers of the Decade’ for his performance throughout the 2010s, and becoming just the seventh Funny Car driver to clock a sub-five second pass, landing him a spot in Castrol’s elite ‘Four Second Club’ during his debut season in 1996.


Prior to joining NHRA’s nitro ranks, Wilkerson, a lifelong resident of Springfield, Ill., spent nearly two decades racing non-professionally. He cut his teeth bracket racing at local Illinois tracks in the late 1970s. From 1978 through 1990, Wilkerson competed in various local and regional events, advancing through several classes and car styles, working his way up to faster speeds. He attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in 1990 where he earned his Top Alcohol Funny Car license. In that category, Wilkerson earned eight divisional trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champion in both 1994 and 1995 before stepping up to the professional Funny Car class, making his nitro debut during the 1996 NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.


As one of the most tenured and well-liked drivers in the sport, ‘Wilk,’ as he’s oft referred to, has accrued a large and loyal fanbase known as ‘Wilk’s Warriors.’ Wilkerson is well-known for his amicable personality and being a salt-of-the-earth type who thrives on staying busy. When he’s not traveling the country on the 21-race NHRA Camping World Series circuit, Wilkerson can be found getting his hands dirty at Wilkerson Service Center, an independent NAPA AutoCare Center, and Capitol City Machine Shop, where he serves as both the owner and operator of the two Springfield-based businesses. Wilkerson’s hobbies include fishing, and spending time with his wife, Krista, three children, Daniel, Kevin, and Rachel, and his grandchildren, Vera and Gavin. Wilkerson shares his love of speed with his oldest son, Daniel, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and is also a licensed Funny Car driver. 


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