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Springfield, IL, NHRA Funny Car legend Wilkerson to retire; Son Daniel will pilot SCAG Mustang

Source: NHRA National Dragster @NHRADragster

Following the announcement of a SCAG Power Equipment multicar factory team, SCAG Wilkerson Racing has announced that Daniel Wilkerson will be taking over the driving duties for the Ford Mustang Funny Car from his father, veteran driver and tuner, Tim Wilkerson.

After a 27-year career consisting of 24 wins, 20 No. 1 qualifiers, a best points finish of second in 2005, and 16 consecutive seasons finishing in the top 10, Tim Wilkerson will be retiring from driving duties, creating an opportunity for his son, Daniel, to take the wheel.

“Putting Daniel in the seat is quite simply the right move for this team and for me. I love to drive, it’s why I’ve done it so long and I’ll miss it, but I’m more excited for Daniel to get this opportunity. We’ve both wanted this for a long time, and SCAG has made it possible,” said Tim, who will continue to operate as crew chief for SCAG Wilkerson Racing. “Daniel is a great fit for the program. He’s one of the few drivers I’ve put in the seat that can tell me what happened on the run in detail, that’s important. And he’ll be a great ambassador for SCAG and our partners. That’s what’s really important moving forward.”

Daniel, who raced part time between 2009 and 2022, for the last two years was the crew chief for Chad Green’s Funny Car. Daniel most recently tuned Green’s hot rod to a fifth-place points finish in 2023 thanks to a win, two runner-up finishes, and a No. 1 qualifying position.

“I enjoy working on the cars, I’ve enjoyed being a crew chief, I probably could have done it forever. But the dream was always to drive for my dad,” said Daniel, who is well known at the track for his charismatic starting-line interviews. “It was kind of like when Chad and Tim lined up in the finals at Pomona, going head-to-head for a race win, we always talked about it, but we were never certain it would happen. SCAG has created an opportunity for us that has been 15 years in the making. I got my license in 2007, and we’ve been trying to put this together one way or another since then. We finally got it done. I’m living the dream.”

Since getting his Funny Car license, Daniel has participated in only 14 national events, and never more than four in a single season, making him eligible for the 2024 NHRA Rookie of the Year award, something he’s very much aware of.

“I had it in the back of mind. I knew what the limit was to stay eligible,” Daniel said. “What a year to be in the running, too. It’s a strong class, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’ll be even more excited when I say we won it.”

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