One of the neatest attributes that can be found in the NHRA Stock Eliminator ranks is that one will see as many different makes and models of cars take to the quarter-mile, as you will personalities. Scott Burton, of Golden, Colorado, covers a little bit of both worlds and recently plowed his way through the rounds to take his B/SA 1970 Formula 400 Firebird to the Stock Championship during the 32nd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
Scott Burton wins NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series - 32nd annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Scott Burton's B/SA 1970 Formula 400 Firebird
Since he didn't get a chance to race with his son, Brad Burton who is the defending NHRA Stock Champion, Scott didn't need to watch where he qualified for the event at Bandimere Speedway, like he would so they could stay away from each other. "This particular race, he wasn't there so I didn't really pay a lot of attention to where I qualified," he explained. "I wasn't really trying to qualify high on the sheet. But when I saw the final qualifying and the ladder, I felt that I probably had the more favorable side of the ladder."
"As it turned out, the first several rounds I had were pretty tough races," he confessed. "They ended up being pretty close and I had to work it pretty hard. Then it actually got easy from there, which is the opposite of the way it usually is."
Burton, who is a regular competitor at Bandimere Speedway in their weekly bracket program where he currently sits number two in his Pro ET, points out that his first round was surprisingly difficult. "You know everybody likes Bob," Burton said of his first round competitor, fellow K&N racer Bob Unkefer. "Well, he had a good light and came close to running his dial. I just had a better package than he did that round. I worked the finish line on him little bit and just didn't take too much stripe."
That would move Burton on to defeat Mike Jeffery in round two and Dic Geary in round three which would set up a very pivotal quarter final round with Rod Neugebauer. If he could get by Rod, it would award him a bye run straight into the Stock Eliminator final.
"The fourth round was pretty critical because of the shot at the bye in the semi's," he said. "Rod red lit and it was a big sigh of relief knowing that I was going to the final. But not knowing just yet who I would be facing in the final, well I knew it could be interesting should we end up with a heads up final round."
And that's exactly what it was, good ol'drag racing at its best. Burton would face Dwight Machael in his B/SA 1962 Fury and give the fans an exciting final round.
"I had Machael in the final and he's my investment advisor, how about that," chuckled Burton. "He's a good driver and a good person, but I kinda felt like I had the performance advantage going into the final. I had taken a little weight out of the car and hopped it up a little bit, but not too awful much. My frame of mind going into the final was, 'Scott don't be stupid and redlight.' So, I didn't have a tremendous light, but I didn't intend to."
"It all worked out," he continued. "While he had the light advantage, I had the performance. All my buddies had been over there trying to help him hop up his car. Which we do. I know that seems crazy but it's the way we are in this game. We always come to the aid of anybody you can."
While Burton didn't have the kind of light you would want to write home about, as he mentioned he had tons of horsepower to chase down Machael and easily take a whopping .09 at the stripe in turn, denying Machael of his first NHRA National event victory for a little while longer.
Burton was last in the Stock Eliminator final at the Mile-High NHRA Nationals back in 2006 and where he wasn't able to seal the deal then, he certainly took care of the unfinished business by grabbing the 2011 event championship.
Both Burton and his son Scott have been using K&N products for years and in 2011 welcomed the company as a part of their team. "We sure appreciate the help that K&N has supplied us with," he said. "They are such a super company to work with. We are running the K&N air filters and the oil filters on both of our race cars and it really does make a difference in what filter products you use. K&N is the World's Best Air Filter."
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