For the fans, Team Wilkerson and NHRA team up at Pomona
Funny Car driver and team owner Tim Wilkerson won’t win NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title in his chosen category this year – he’s in 10th place with a single win on the season – but the Missouri driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup nitro-burning Flopper should have a lot more fans after this weekend’s NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona.
Team Wilkerson Racing is partnering with the National Hot Rod Association to give NHRA members a special experience at this weekend’s season-closing race on the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona drag strip. Just by showing a valid membership card at the door to Team Wilkerson’s hospitality venue, which lies adjacent to the team’s working area, NHRA members can experience an unprecedented view, sound and smell of a working NHRA nitro-powered team. And maybe a nice meal and drink, to boot.
In addition, NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Junior Drag Racing League participants will be welcomed to the hospitality area and anyone that wishes to re-up their memberships and join NHRA on this weekend can experience the type of hospitality usually offered only to corporate partners and their guests.
NHRA and Team Wilkerson squad members will be on-site to host attendees; Tim Wilkerson will take time from his busy days of preparing, tuning and driving the near-10,000-horsepower LR&S Shelby Mustang to mingle and sign autographs. “NHRA watches what we and a lot of other teams do, in terms of making any given race a really special experience for our important sponsor guests. They came to us,” Wilkerson said, “to see if we’d be interested in doing the same thing for NHRA members.”
Wilkerson, one of the most approachable guys in the NHRA paddock – despite his heavy workload continued, “I think this is a really heat idea, because most fans walk by the various hospitality set-ups and wish they could get that up-close view in such a VIP environment – we jumped at the chance to do this.”
Those wishing to join or renew can visit the National Dragster trailer, which will be strategically parked close to the Team Wilkerson pit area, and sign up on the spot. “This is a great chance for folks who are longtime loyal NHRA fans to have a corporate-style hospitality experience. We’re looking forward to having them with us right next to our pit,” Wilkerson stated.
Team Wilkerson’s hospitality area will be open for business starting at 9AM and continuing through 4PM on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, hours will be from 7:30AM to 4PM.
On Sunday morning at 9AM, a drawing will be held to select the NHRA Member of the Race, who receives an instant seat upgrade for themselves and one guest, an introduction on-stage during opening ceremonies, a ride in the Mello Yello Express open Ford Flex and access to the Winner’s Circle after the season finale is complete.
Words and Photos By Anne Proffit