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Phil Burkart Preparing for NHRA Summit Racing Nationals in Las Vegas
In 2004, Phil Burkart went to Las Vegas just beginning his tenure as the full-time driver of the blue Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen Funny Car. He entered the Vegas event outside the POWERade top ten with a 2-3 record. When he left the track on Sunday night, his record was 6-3, he was in 5th place in POWERade points, and he had a trophy under his arm.
This week, Burkart will again bring his blue Checker, Schuck’s Kragen Monte Carlo to “The Strip” at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but when he begins qualifying on Friday, it will be from a much different perspective. In 2004 and 2005, Burkart and his team were struggling when they arrived in Las Vegas. The big win in 2004 turned things around and sent Burkart on his way to the only top ten finish of his career, but last year a first round loss and a devastating engine explosion dropped Burkart out of the top ten.
In 2006, things are very different. Burkart has the same crew, the same car, and much of the same equipment. He sits 4th in the POWERade points, and has consistently managed to win at least one round at every race to this point.
“It’s hard to put your finger on what we’ve done, but things are different around here,” Burkart said. “We’ve maximized our good stuff, minimized our mistakes and made the most of what we’ve done. To this point, no one on this team thinks we’ve even hit our stride yet, but we’re hanging around near the top of the points and we’re beating some very good teams. We can still improve, and we plan to get a little bit better this weekend.”
Phil Burkart and his blue Checker, Schuck’s Kragen Funny Car team use K&N oil filters (HP-5001). The
is absolutely optimal for the demands that our race cars face, said Worsham Team Manager Bob Wilber.
So far this season, Burkart has recorded a win over defending POWERade champ Gary Scelzi, along with victories over past champions John Force and Cruz Pedregon. All he’s missing is a win over Tony Pedregon to have beaten every Funny Car champion since 1990, and this season is only four races old. If he lines up next to Tony Pedregon on Sunday April 9th in Las Vegas, you can place your bets on Burkart having no thought about his opponent or the other champs he has defeated, according to Wilber. Instead, Burkart will only be focusing on his job, and the race track.
K&N Filter on Team Worsham car
“We manage to beat some very tough opponents around here, not just his year but the last couple of years too,” Burkart said. “To do that, you can’t be thinking its John Force over there, or Gary Scelzi, or whoever it is. You have to think of what the track will give you, and I have to think of what I can do to help the team as the driver.”
Burkart plans on doing the best possible job he can inside the car. “It’s more than just good reaction times, it’s also being ahead of the car, in control of things, and cool under pressure,” he said.
Follow Phil Burkart's progress throughout the racing season at the
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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 email@example.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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