Follow A Dream/Permatex TA/FC Team Reaches Quarter Finals of NHRA Carolina Nationals

Follow A Dream/Permatex TA/FC Team Reaches Quarter Finals of NHRA Carolina Nationals

MARSTONS MILLS, Massachusetts (September 20, 2016) – Only 10 feet kept the Follow A Dream/Permatex Top Alcohol Funny Car from advancing to the semifinals of this past weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.

In the quarterfinals, driver Phil Burkart squared off with D.J. Cox. Burkart, in his first season behind the wheel of the Follow A Dream Chevrolet Camaro, got a great start with a 0.039 reaction time to Cox’s 0.061 effort.

But Cox rallied back to catch Burkart just before half-track and continued on to the victory and to advance to the semifinals.

And that’s where that 10 feet margin (0.0248 seconds) came in, as that was the ultimate difference between Cox’s winning effort (5.585 seconds at 265.33 mph) to Burkart’s showing (5.631 seconds at 263.92 mph).

“The reality is you hate to lose, obviously,” team owner Jay Blake said. “But when you run well and you get beat, it’s better than when you run poorly.”

During Friday’s qualifying, Burkart earned the No. 4 position (5.514 seconds at 267.00 mph).

“The team did a great job while I was in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday, speaking in front of 2,000 people for The Lions Club Leadership Forum for the United States and Canada,” Blake said. “I flew to Charlotte that evening and things were looking good Saturday morning for the first round of eliminations.”

In that first round, Burkart easily defeated No. 13 qualifier Clint Thompson. Burkart got the jump on Thompson at the starting line and flew down the track with a 5.621 seconds/249.16 mph effort.

Thompson, meanwhile, lost traction as soon as the green “go” light came on and saw his day come to an end. For the record, Thompson’s effort was 17.314 seconds at 89.14 mph.

Then came the close loss to Cox in the quarterfinals. Still, Blake was philosophical about the outcome, using it as somewhat of a metaphor for the entire season to date.

“The season has gone well,” Blake said. “We’ve had a new driver (Burkart) and a new tuner (Anthony Terenzio), some new crew people – and we finished No. 2 in the region and we’ll be in the top 15 in the points (nationally).

“The goal was top 10, but we’ll make the top 15 (nationally). You know, that’s not bad. We have nothing to be ashamed of. The team’s done well, the car’s done well, we’ve been working on a new combination with some new parts and pieces.

“Are we disappointed? I’d say yes. But we’ve still done well.”

The Follow A Dream/Permatex team will now have a weekend off to prepare for its final race of the season, Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.

“We want to finish the season up strong, we want to win the race and we want to run well,” Blake said. “It’s the same goal as any other race, you want to go in the race and win – and we have the car and team to do so. Those are our expectations.”