Follow A Dream/Permatex TA/FC Team’s U.S. Nationals Bid Falls Short

Follow A Dream/Permatex TA/FC Team’s U.S. Nationals Bid Falls Short

MARSTONS Mills, Massachusetts (September 7, 2016) – While the hoped for results fell a bit short, Jay Blake, owner of The Follow A Dream/Permatex Top Alcohol Funny Car team, was still heartened at the car’s performance at this past weekend’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Blake’s Chevrolet Camaro and driver Phil Burkart reached the quarterfinals/second round of the NHRA’s biggest drag race of the season before falling in a very close battle to Doug Gordon on Saturday (Sept. 3).

“We’ve had some struggles the last couple of races,” Blake said. “The car hasn’t really been going down the racetrack. But this weekend, we had six good runs (four qualifying runs, plus two elimination rounds).

“It was a really good weekend. The whole team has nothing to be ashamed of. I’m very proud of the way the car ran.”

Blake then added another positive reaction to how the weekend played out.

“Top eight at Indy – that’s not bad,” he said with a smile on his face.

Burkart qualified seventh for the event, with Saturday’s run coming in front of a
sold-out crowd on Saturday.

Burkart made an excellent pass down the quarter-mile with a time of 5.538 seconds at 266.58 mph, but it wasn’t quite enough to hold off Gordon, who advanced to the semifinals with a run of 5.478 seconds at 269.03 mph.

“That run would have won every other round except ours (in the quarterfinals,” Blake said. “It was a good race.

“We had some struggles coming in here, but the team never gave up and Anthony (tuner Anthony Terenzio) has done a great job trying to find the right combination.

“The team’s done a great job putting the car together and making runs. We made six runs that were all good. We only had one run that was higher than a 5.60. We made a lot of progress, we feel.”

In last Friday’s (Sept. 2) first round of eliminations, Burkart, of Yorkville, New York, defeated Nick Januik to move on to Saturday’s second round matchup with Gordon.

Burkart covered the quartermile in 5.524 seconds at 266.95 mph, while Januik turned in a time of 5.943 seconds at 242.80 mph.

Both drivers had identical reaction times of 0.065 seconds, but Burkart took the win light after Januik experienced traction problems while closing in on the finish line.

“Basically, the weekend went according to plan,” Terenzio said. “We came here with some new parts we were testing and it all worked out.

“We found some problems we’ve been having the last couple races and fixed that. And the car went down the track every time. So, it was a very positive weekend.”

Blake and the Follow A Dream/Permatex team will next compete Sept. 16-18 in the NHRA Carolina Nationals, at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C., a suburb of Charlotte.

“Charlotte’s fast,” Blake said. “If it’s dry, it’s fast. We’re hoping for good weather, it’s a beautiful facility.”

Added Terenzio, “Now we take what we learned, take it to Charlotte in two weeks and hope to capitalize on it. It’s coming around, it really is. This weekend has proven to be very successful.”

The team will wrap up its overall season at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., on the weekend of Sept. 29 – Oct. 2.

Burkart still has a mathematical chance of finishing the season in the top 10 of the Lucas Oil Series national rankings, but he’ll need outstanding performances in both of the final two races. He currently is scored 11th in the Lucas Oil National Series.

Burkart and the team finished second in the Lucas Oil Series East Region following the season-ending meet at Atco Dragway in New Jersey in early August.

“We’ve had a new driver, a new tuner and new guys on the crew in different positions this season,” Blake said. “So the reality is we have a lot to be proud of. We have a great team.”