with Tim Wilkerson driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup '09 Mustang Funny Car You hear about different sports teams having a philosophy that winning is everything, and that finishing any place in the standings other than the top spot just means that you're "losers" because you didn't win it all. [...] we all agreed that the bottom line was that we just needed to win rounds, and the rest of it would take care of itself.
matchups, and we all felt like we were just hitting our stride here at the end. On the Run with Tim Wilkerson It’s been a long year, and we’re all pretty tired, but it almost felt like we just ran out of time, right when we were getting a great handle on the Levi, Ray driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup ’09 Mustang Funny Car & Shoup Shelby Mustang. Now, the goal is to take a hard look at everything, both in terms of the Y ou hear about different sports teams having a stuff we have in the shop and in the trailer, and at how the season went, so philosophy that winning is everything, and that we can improve from last season when we weren’t running as well as we finishing any place in the standings other than the should’ve been and get better than we were during the good times. Racing is top spot just means that you’re “losers” because racing, and sometimes you do everything right but still lose, so you can’t you didn’t win it all. Some of that, I suppose, is look at those rounds and regret anything. What you need to do is look at the self inflicted by teams, players, and owners who all rounds you maybe gave away or messed up in, and try to fix those mistakes. put an emphasis on big success and demand the If you do that, the rest of it will come to you. It’s like we were saying on most from themselves. I think some of it comes Sunday in Pomona when we were all doing the math to figure out how we from the fans and media, though, like with the New could move up from the sixth spot in the standings. Finally, we all agreed York Yankees. Seems to me the Yankees can play that the bottom line was that we just needed to win rounds, and the rest of great, win a ton of games, and go all the way to the last game of the World it would take care of itself. Series, but if they lose there, the whole season is a failure. I think that’s too As we head into the very short off-season, I almost wish we could just bad for everyone involved, and I know it’s head straight back here to Pomona and never going to be like that with us. “That’s the goal: Come out strong, get going again, but we need to recharge We just finished the 2009 season, and run as well as we can, and let the and rebuild a little bit. The Kragen we didn’t win the championship. Was the O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals will be year a failure? Of course not. We finished results be what they will be.” here before you know it, so we’ve got to fourth in points and had some real get right to work to make sure we come highlights this year, including the Seattle and Sonoma back-to-back wins, but out firing and at the top of our game. I guess if there’s one thing that hurt the thing that has us all the most pleased is how the car has been running us more than anything this season, it was that we made so many changes in at the end of the season. We went 9-6 during the Countdown to the the off-season last year that we had a bit of a rough start. If we can start Championship and finished strong by being the runner-up in Richmond, then 2010 anywhere close to how we went to the semifinals in both Las Vegas and Pomona. Along the way, we finished up 2009, we can be beat some great teams and really raced hard, running low e.t. of a number right in the hunt the whole way of qualifying sessions and eliminations rounds. instead of having to rally later As we packed up and tore everything down on Sunday night in Pomona, in the season to catch up. we had a lot of time to talk and rehash how it all went, and I don’t think That’s the goal: Come out there’s anything wrong with us being proud of what we accomplished this strong, run as well as we can, and year. We want to win the big trophy and get the big check as much as any- let the results be what they will one, and we all know we’re good enough to be right in the mix every year be. It’s going to be a busy couple now, but it doesn’t make us any less motivated to be happy about what we of months, and all of us are did accomplish. We won 31 rounds, two races, and a lot of tough side-by-side pumped up to make it happen. ND What Does Drag Racing
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