Funny Car Driver Phil Burkart Ready for K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals

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Funny Car driver Phil Burkart qualified at Chicagoland Speedway with a couple of nice qualifying laps, establishing some consistency at one of the toughest fields in the history of the sport.

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Burkart also took out a higher ranked driver in round one and set a new career speed mark in round two. He made the magical 330 mph mark for the first time with a reading of 330.07 against John Force. But in the end, Burkart did not resemble the huge smiling face of “Madman Murray” on his bright yellow Murray’s Auto Stores Monte Carlo.

“To me, deep inside, there are no moral victories out here,” Burkart said. “Yes, some weekends are easier to accept than others, and getting to the semi-finals or event he final round makes it a little better, but anything that does not include a trip to the Winner’s Circle is still a loss. We did a lot of good things over the weekend and have a lot to be proud of.”

The CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is held at Route 66 Raceway, located just south of Chicago in Joliet, Illinois.

At the start of Chicagoland weekend, Burkart managed to secure his spot at the historic race field with a 4.801 on Friday. After the late session, where Tommy Johnson took the pole spot with a huge 4.672, while five other drivers also clocked in with readings in the 4.60’s, Burkart sat in the 11th position. On Saturday, it rained, but around 6 p.m., the Funny Cars hit the track for one run.

Burkart smoked the tires on his run and was waiting to see just how far his 4.801 would fall as drivers behind him overtook his time. When the session was complete, Burkart slid to 15th, though he was in the show.

“As you might imagine, this being the quickest Funny Car field ever, it wasn’t easy to get in this show,” said Burkart. “Still, we expected to better our time on Saturday and were pretty disappointed that we didn’t. We had to hold on tight for that 15th spot, but we were in and that gave us a shot. We had Whit Bazemore in round one, so it was not going to be easy, by any means.”

On Sunday, Burkart got a slight jump with a .075 reaction time, grabbing a slight 5 thousandths off the line. Both Burkart and Bazemore ran well until half-track, but when Bazemore encountered trouble at that point, Burkart managed to hold together until the 1,000 foot mark, and the win went to the “Madman Murray” car. His 4.811 ET wasn’t as quick as many of the winners, but it was just the right prescription for the CSK/Murray’s team.

“We had just seen our teammate Del Worsham, lose a heartbreaker that everyone said looked like a perfect dead tie, and I know I wanted to pick the team up,” Burkart said. “I’m always focused in round one, no matter who I’m driving, but Whit is known as a great leaver. I’m glad I got out on him a hair, and kept it going to someplace close to the finish line. We really needed that.”

In round two, John Force was in the other lane, and Phil Burkart would have to continue and uncanny knack for taking out the sports’ biggest hitters if he wanted a trip to his third semi-final of the year.

This time, he grabbed a hunk of the stage beams, actually putting the top bulbs out as he rolled in. At the flash, Burkart left first, this time with a .025 advantage, and the race was on. Force, made up the difference almost at once, and he pulled ahead of the Madman Murray car. At the line, it was Force by a full tenth, taking the win light with a 4.729 to Burkart’s 4.829.

“He’s Force, he’s tough, and this was one of those races where the really fast guys get even faster,” Burkart said. “When it’s cool and the track is as amazing as this place, the guys with the big power and the big reputations tend to pull away. A 4.72 would have been tough to beat, but we gave it our best shot. We did run a 330 mph, so that’s something to actually pat each other on the back about. With the rev limiters they have on us now, running 330 in a Funny Car is no easy deal. It’s a great accomplishment to check off the list.”

Team CSK plans to put everything they have into winning Englishtown at the 37th annual K&N Filters SuperNationals presented by Strauss Discount Auto.

Top Fuel Funny Car Drivers Phil Burkart and Del Worsham will be signing autographs at the K&N Engineering Truck and Trailer on Nitro Alley on Friday June 16th between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and Saturday the 17th between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Team Worsham uses K&N Engineering’s premium Performance Gold Oil Filters on its vehicles. The thick canister walls on the K&N filters have extra strength and durability which reduces the risk of damage from loose rocks and debris on the race track.

 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