Phil Burkart, #4 in Points, Preparing for the NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals

Phil Burkart is preparing for the NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals in the city of Baytown at a venue known as Houston Raceway Park. At the event, drivers named Scelzi, Worsham, Medlen, Johnson, Pedregon and Bazemore will all arrive as major stars, but it’s Burkart who will enter the race ahead of each and every one of them in points.

Phil Burkart Photo Courtesy of
Phil Burkart Photo Courtesty of
This is his third full season driving the blue Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen Monte Carlo and Burkart has made a mark for Team Worsham by working hard, striving to improve and focusing on results.

Team Worsham uses K&N Engineering’s premium Performance Gold Oil Filters on its vehicles. The thick canister walls on the K&N filter have extra strength and durability which reduces the risk of damage from loose rocks and debris on the race track.

Last year Burkart entered the season’s third race in Gainesville at the top of the points list. Twenty-one races and seven months remained in the 2005 season, and Burkart was No. 1 in points. By the time he arrived in Baytown, Burkart had slipped to 5th in points on his way to an eventual 12th place finish. This year Burkart is already doing much better than he did one year ago. He will enter this weekend’s race in the No. 4 spot in points, with a 5-3 record.

“It’s been a much different beginning to the season, there’s no doubt about that,” Burkart said. “Last year, we got off to a bit of a crazy start, and although we didn’t win either of the first two races we won enough rounds to take over the points lead. This year, we’ve been very consistent and we’ve gotten round wins we’ve deserved. We’ve beaten John Force and Gary Scelzi, and we’ve gotten out of the first round at all three races, so that’s all good.”

Last year we learned every season is critical, and the season is full of a lot of races, Burkart said.

“People like to say the season is a marathon, which is true, but it’s a marathon made up of 23 races and each race is made up of sprints. So, basically its marathons made up of a bunch of short sprints, and every one is important,” said Burkart. “If we do our best each time, we’ll get good results. So far it’s working.”

Phil Burkart's Funny Car photo Courtesy of
Phil Burkart's FunnyCar photo Courtesty of
The Houston track is very similar to Gainesville, in that it’s just about at sea level, but the air can be more humid then Florida, said Team Worsham manager Bob Wilber. “The key to Houston is the Friday night run, which can be a big “home run session” if the conditions are good,” he said. “We don’t’ run at night in Gainesville, just late afternoon, but on Friday in Houston we run under the lights and that’s generally when you see the big numbers go up on the board. Over the years they’ve worked hard to make the Houston track very smooth and very fast, and we go there with the mindset that it will take great performance to win.” The forecast for this weekend looks to be good, said Wilber. “We’ll be there to push the envelope.”

Burkart is not making any predictions when it comes to Baytown weekend.  “I never predict performance because, for one thing, there are too many variables with these cars. Then, even if you get it all just right, there’s the variable you have no control over, and that’s the team in the other lane,” he said. “You can put your best possible lap on the board in this sport, your career best, and still get beat. All I know is that we are fully capable of keeping this up all year. We can win races, and I think we will. We can win this weekend, but we’ll just have to see.”

“As always, we run K&N on our funny cars,” said Wilber. “We wouldn’t dream of entering a race without K&N filters.”

Follow Phil Burkart's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site.  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 near you.


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