Phil Burkart Masters Reaction Time for K&N Filters Funny Car NHRA Gatornationals Debut

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A special edition one-race-only K&N Funny Car was driven by Phil Burkart at the prestigious NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville last weekend.
Phil Burkart and Jeremy Subriar at Gatornationals: Photo courtesy of Team Worsham
Phil Burkart and Jeremy Subriar at Gatornationals:Photo courtesy of Team Worsham

Burkart took it to a No. 12 qualifying position and a quarter-final finish. “Burkart pounded through qualifying on Friday and Saturday, improving on every run,” Worsham Team Manager Bob Wilber wrote by e-mail. “His best time of 4.864-seconds in the quarter mile came on his last lap, which also featured a top speed of 314.79 miles-per-hour at the finish line. The No.12 spot set up a Sunday first round match-up with Gary Densham.”

Wilber said Burkart’s first round race was a thriller. He won the battle at the starting line with an other-world reaction to the lights, leaving the line in only .015 of a second. “Although Densham then went on to post a quicker elapsed time (4.828 to Burkart’s 4.874) Burkart’s starting line advantage allowed him to stay out in front and take the win on what is known in drag racing as the “hole shot,” said Wilber.

In round two, Burkart faced off with the red hot Robert Hight, the No. 4 qualifier at the event and a teammate of 13-time champion John Force. Burkart again nailed the starting line, leaving a full 6-hundredths of a second quicker than Hight (a drag racing eternity),
 but Hight was able to catch up and nip the K&N car in the lights.

The second round performance allowed Burkart to leave Gainesville in 4th place on the POWERade points list. His teammate, CSK driver Del Worsham, took out the defending POWERade Funny Car champion in round one, beating Gary Scelzi on a hole-shot of his own, but then lost to Force by only 9-thousandths of a second in round two. Worsham’s third straight trip to the second round gives him enough points to currently sit 6th on the POWERade list.

“Burkart was absolutely on top of his game in Gainesville, and he really carried the team to round two,” Wilber said. “An average reaction time in Funny Car is about .070, and of course anything quicker than .000 is a foul start, so for him to have two reaction times of .015 and .017 is out of this world. Look at it this way, the next quickest reaction time for any driver on the whole day was .040, so he was that much quicker than everyone. He drove the car well all weekend, and he earned that win in round one. It was a great team effort.”

The 7,000 HP 500 cubic inch Hemi supercharged K&N NHRA Nitro Funny car got rave reviews all weekend. “Fans and racers said the car looked spectacular,” said Wilber.

K&N Nitro Funny Car at Gatornationals:Photo courtesy of Team Worsham
K&N Nitro Funny Car at Gatornationals: Photo courtesy of Team Worsham
Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen driver Burkart also surprised his teammates, and K&N Sponsorship Specialist Jeremy Subriar, when he unveiled a custom painted racing helmet for the weekend, designed to match the stunning K&N race car, said Wilber.

The Gatornationals always packs them in but this weekend was the biggest crowd anyone can remember, Wilber said. “Gainesville Raceway, which has one of the largest seating capacities on our tour, was jammed pack for three days,” he said. “The crowd estimates were 135,000 to 140,000 for the weekend.”

We were honored to run the K&N car in front of such a great crowd and on national television, said Wilber.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit