– Driver, Phil Burkart, was No. 1 qualifier with low ET and fastest speed
The Follow A Dream Race Team, sponsored by Permatex®, a leading innovator in chemical technology for automotive maintenance and repair, got an early start on celebrating Independence Day by roaring to its first win of the season, capturing the NHRA Division 1 (Northeast Division) regional event at Lebanon Valley Dragway on Saturday, July 2. In recording its first win in the 2016 NHRA Championship Top Alcohol Funny Car Series, the Follow A Dream team continued its dominance at the West Lebanon, New York drag strip, winning the TA/FC for the fourth straight year and fifth time in the last seven years.
Veteran driver, Phil Burkart, who joined the team at the beginning of this season, earned his first win with his new team and was also the No. 1 qualifier. He recorded low ET and fastest speed of the meet. To cap things off, Burkart (5.641 seconds at 254.40 mph) defeated D.J. Cox Jr. (5.688 seconds at 250.60 mph) in the final round to take the event victory.
“We did great,” Team Owner and Crew Chief, Jay Blake noted. “It doesn’t get much better than that. We went into the race fighting D.J. Cox for No. 1 in the region. We were No. 1 and he was No. 2 by a point. So we had him in the final round. It was a real close, tight race. The team did a phenomenal job all weekend, didn’t miss a beat and it was awesome to win the race.”
The Follow A Dream/Permatex team now moves on this weekend to the next NHRA national event, the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) July 8 -10. Given what his team did at Lebanon Valley, Blake is excited to see the momentum continue in the Windy City.
“This is a big race,” said Blake, whose team reached the semifinals at Route 66 in last year’s race. “The best cars in the country are there. You really want to go and be part of that group, I believe we are, and we need to go show that on the racetrack.”
Burkart heads into Chicago ranked No. 1 in the NHRA Lucas Oil Eastern Region standings and ninth in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series national points standings with 265 points. He’s only nine points out of seventh and 31 points out of sixth place.
About Follow A Dream
Follow A Dream Race Team is a remarkable story in itself, and winning at the national level is only part of it. Follow A Dream’s owner and crew chief, Jay Blake, is totally blind. Jay lost his eyesight in a tire explosion over 19 years ago, but he did not lose his positive attitude on life, nor his desire to pursue his dreams. Jay had always wanted to form his own race team, and in spite of his serious setback, he continued to focus on his goals. Through years of incredible determination and perseverance, he was able to realize his dream and founded Follow A Dream Racing. Since then, the team has worked its way up the rankings to become one of the top Funny Car teams in the world.
Jay Blake’s mission to motivate others
While he has worked incredibly hard to build his team, Jay Blake has also worked to encourage others to overcome adversity. He has toured the country as a motivational speaker at community schools, vocational institutes, corporate events, social club gatherings and hospitals, encouraging people to believe that they can rise above adversity and achieve their life’s goals.
Permatex is a leading manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of premium chemical products to the automotive maintenance and repair markets. Since 1909, Permatex has been an acknowledged leader in the development of innovative new products and services for the automotive aftermarket. Permatex markets a wide range of products under well-known ITW brand names such as Permatex®, Fast Orange®, Spray Nine®, the Right Stuff®, Gel Twist®, Ultra Bond® and Dr. Bond®, Ultra Cherry®, and Grez-Off®.
Permatex currently operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. and exports products to more than 85 countries around the world. North American operations include Permatex’s headquarters in Hartford, CT and a state-of-the-art manufacturing, distribution, and technical center located in Solon, OH.
Permatex is a division of ITW (Illinois Tool Works Inc.), a US based, NYSE listed corporation, founded in 1912. ITW is a Fortune 200 diversified manufacturing company.
Permatex/Follow A Dream Schedule – Balance of 2016
|July 8-10||Route 66 Raceway *||Joliet, IL|
|July 22-23||New England Dragway||Epping, NH|
|Aug. 5-6||Atco Dragway||Atco, NJ|
|Sept. 2-5||O’Reilly Raceway Park *||Indianapolis, IN|
|Sept. 16-18||zMAX Dragway*||Concord, NC|
|Sept. 30- Oct. 2||Maple Grove Raceway *||Mohnton, PA|