Durand, Illinois resident Nick Folk has been on quite a streak as of late. From his runner-up finish, in the pea soup foggy conditions, during the World Super Pro Challenge at Mid-Michigan Motorplex, to his Quick Rod win at the IHRA Nitro Jam in Martin, Michigan, Folk most recently added another feather to his season when he drove the Folk family's 1999 B/SA Camaro to the final round during the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
1999 B/SA Chevy Camaro at Brainerd International Raceway
NHRA Stock Car Racer Nick Folk at 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Folk was very aware of the other B/SA entries during qualifying for the NHRA event. "Our 1999 Camaro is one of the quicker ones in the country, but it just so happened to be that at that race there were two of them there that were quicker," he confessed. "We didn't make an all-out run during all of qualifying. It's really kinda hard to get more than the first three rounds correct, as far as staying away from a heads up run. It's really the only reason, that and to try to position yourself on the bye side of the ladder. Stock is definitely a class where you have to pay attention to qualifying and where you place yourself."
After all the dust settled from qualifying, Folk's first round match up would be with Charles Blossom and his 2004 SRT-4, who was a much slower entry and had the first chance to go red. Folk was more than ready with his .008 light, but as mentioned blossom lit up the wrong color bulb by .003 and sent Folk to round two for his paring with Dan Jeska and his 1972 Duster. This time it would be a clean start on both side s of the tree and Folk was able to grab just enough of the stripe to shut out Jeska.
"Round three, I feel that was my lucky round," he admitted. "I had heads-up run that round where the guy was faster than me, but he turned it red, so I guess he thought that my car was faster than it was. The guy had me outrun my six hundredths and then he turned it five thou red. So that for sure was a lucky round. I really should have been headed home after that round Saturday afternoon."
Come Sunday morning, Folk must have had a very special breakfast as he posted a near perfect light in round four. "I woke up Sunday morning and said I need to drive, wake up," he joked. "My .001 to his .060 really gave me a lot of room down there at the stripe. It was actually fairly easy at that point."
Following his quarter final victory over T. J. Diekema, Folk went on to the semifinal round to pair up with Alex Wiese and his 1979 F/SA Corvette. "The kid [Wiese] laid down a decent run at four cars then, at least for Stock Eliminator terms," he pointed out. "He was thirty and probably going dead-on and I was .013 on the tree which just gave me plenty of room to do what I needed at the finish line."
After the fantastic string of reaction times Folk had racked up during all of the previous rounds of eliminations, he had an uncharacteristic .044 light in the final against Ron Mattson, and his worst light of the weekend. Doing the best he could to make up for it at the finish line, Folk took a ton of the stripe and came out on the wrong side of the pair's double breakout.
"You know you get yourself so hyped up for late rounds before you get to the final and I don't know," he explained of his state of mind before the Stock final. "I can sit here and picture the whole thing. I didn't go through my normal thought process after the burnout, I don't know. I guess I was just thinking, you're in the final, don't worry about it. I was so upset with myself on the ride home."
With the extensive trail of recent finals for Folk in all kinds of classes, cars and tracks, including this NHRA National Event final round appearance, he truly has a lot to be proud of, although being the caliber of racer that he is, will concentrate on where he can make improvements before his next race at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. "When you race for a partial living like I do, you have to go back and look at what you did or didn't do," he continued. "I really don't know what I was thinking about in that final."
The Folk family, which also includes patriarch Ron and brother Brian, have been not only users but true believers in the full line of K&N Engineering products, from oil filters to high performance air filters on their entire stable of race cars. "Dad and Brian have been using K&N products since before I even got really involved as heavy as I am," he pointed out. "You know Dad is big into the motor side of things, keeping them all alive and so on. We hear of other racers having problems of one sort or another with their oil filters. I tell them they shouldn't being screwing around with all that and all they need to do is put a K&N Oil Filter on and you're over it. You don't have to worry about the oil filter at all. They more than do the job. Why people want to make things so difficult when they can just use K&N products is beyond me. We all have enough to worry about out there, this just totally takes care of one of them."
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