Tim Wilkerson Suffers Strange Crash During NHRA Kansas Nationals Eliminations

Tim Wilkerson Suffers Strange Crash During NHRA Kansas Nationals Eliminations

Tim Wilkerson was chewing his way through eliminations on Sunday at the NHRA Kansas nationals when disaster struck and he suffered one of the strangest funny car crashes we have ever seen. We were at the track and in close proximity to the wreck when it happened and even after watching the video it is tough to pinpoint exactly what happened. When we interviewed Wilkerson soon after the wreck he made mention that an oil line had failed causing liquid to get under the tires and leading to the complete loss of control. Some time later we heard that the failure was actually to do with the rear axle and may have been a drive hub. At the time of this writing, Wilkerson had not torn the car down so the official cause is unknown. Speaking to funny car veterans they mentioned that a drive hub failure inside the floating rear end of a funny car could have been the root cause as well.

What we do know is that Wilkerson was close to the starting line when the car got into the wall, pivoted around,  and spun. After finishing the spin the cat piled into the wall to which it was pointed. That impact ruptured the fuel cell which began a tricky fire.

The NHRA Safety Safari was on the scene instantly and suppressing the fire. The chassis was mashed pretty hard, the body was broken in the front, and the team has two weeks to get it all ready for NHRA New England Dragway. The car will head to the chassis shop in a hurry and with luck it will be fixed by Epping. Brian Stewart, who owns  drives one of Wilkerson’s old cars may be tapped to provide a backup.

This may be the strangest funny car crash we have ever seen.

Press play below to see the rough ride Tim Wilkerson took at the Kansas Nationals

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11 thoughts on “Tim Wilkerson Suffers Strange Crash During NHRA Kansas Nationals Eliminations

  1. Ron Ward

    What exactly is a “three hundred sixty degree revelation?”

    Brian, we need you on TV, man…

  2. Greg Rourke

    He drove straight at one photog who didn’t move. If it was me I’d still be running.

  3. BlueSkyDreamer

    Obviously these cars are very quick and they probally know what happened by now – but it kinda looks like the throttle stuck after the first hit…..

    1. jerry z

      I would have to agree on the stuck throttle. Most likely body jammed against throttle when it hit the wall.

      That does look costly though.

  4. Loren

    I’m gonna guess, broken axle and then the first hit knocked him silly and he couldn’t quite find the brake. He recovered as he did the second hit…too late…but then had the adrenaline going, to jump out of the car. All understandable, but he will not avoid a black mark on his permanent record for that. “Hey Tim, did’ja make it out of Cars-and-Coffee in your Mustang OK last weekend?” Laugh, I hope he owns the car at-least partly himself, or there’s going to be some squirming in his chair at the next sit-down.

    1. Mike Wenzler

      Carbon brakes barely work at all cold. The impact into the wall shoved the body into the throttle linkage i’m sure . Tim has some of the best driving skills in the class. And he is an independent. He own’s the car… He’s also pretty tough.

  5. mark miwords

    The nhra pro ranks are dangerously slim and I have to wonder if FOX has a sunset clause for broadcasts if the trend of low pro racer turn out continues.

    lets hope wilkie is able to piece this car back together in time for NH.

    how many tomato can qualifiers can NHRA find to fill the fields?

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