Marstons Mills, MA.-April 25, 2016-Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team was well-prepared and ready to go all the way to the final round of this weekend’s NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway
in Concord, North Carolina.
Unfortunately, the team managed to get just halfway to its goal before a slippery track and tire shake issues resulted in an untimely exit in the second round of eliminations on Sunday.
Driver Phil Burkhart qualified eighth in the team’s third race of the season. In Saturday’s first round of eliminations, Burkhart’s better reaction time (0.065) at the starting line against Ulf Leanders (0.090) proved to be the difference.
Leanders closed in around the 330-foot mark, but Burkhart held on for the win with a margin of victory of 0.0258 seconds (approximately 10 feet). Burkhart covered the track in 5.590 seconds at 263.82 mph, while Leanders went down to defeat in 5.590 seconds at 263.31 mph.
Sunday morning in Round 2 of eliminations, Burkart squared off with Jonnie Lindberg for the first time in eliminations in their respective careers. Lindberg had the better reaction time (0.068 to 0.091). The tricky track conditions caused Burkhart to smoke the tires just off the starting line, ending with a finish of 13.834 seconds at just 59.94 mph. Lindberg (6.182 seconds at 172.19 mph) earned the victory despite losing powerat 1,000 feet.
“We made great strides this weekend,” Blake said. “We have a ton of new stuff, some new parts on the car and we have new people. We’ve had some struggles and really made great strides this weekend.
“We’re going to test before the next race and are determined to bring it back around. We’re moving forward. It’s been a struggle, but the reality is it’s not easy. We ran well and we’re very happy with our progress this weekend.”
Next up is a Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race April 29 to May 1 at Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, Virginia, the second East Coast Regional race of the season.
Also, Fox Sports 1 will have a feature on Jay Blake this Thursday, April 28, from 9 to 10 p.m. ET. It will re-air on Friday, April 29 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ET, and again on Sunday, May 1, from 10 to 11 a.m. ET.