Phil Burkart has a Foul Start at K&N Filters SuperNationals

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Phil Burkart and his blue Checker, Schuck’s, Kragen team qualified in the 11th position at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. He had a 4.839 in the critical Friday night session, and a solid 4.889 in the heat of the day during Saturday’s session. Both lanes appeared to be more or less equal on Saturday, where very good cars were scattered throughout the top 16.

CSK Driver Phil Burkart
CSK Driver Phil Burkart
Burkart’s opponent in the first round, where temperatures were rapidly rising, was Eric Medlen.

“We did okay qualifying, so I wasn’t too worried about our performance,” Burkart said. “I was really happy with the 4.88 on Saturday, because that showed we were ready to run in the heat. It would have been great to be in the top half, but you’re going to have to run good cars if you want to win, so running Eric in the first round was just a hurdle we had to get over. I had a good feeling going up there, and I was ready.”

Burkart and Medlen left nearly together, but Medlen was the one who jumped out to a slight edge of just 3-thousandths of a second. What was important on this lap was what happened after both cars left the starting line. Burkart’s CSK Montel Carlo ran cleanly to the finish line, clocking in with a 4.974, as Medlen’s Ford struggled for traction on the other side, running a 5.611 while blazing the tires. Win light: Burkart.

In round two, Burkart came to the line to face point leader Ron Capps, who had taken out Jim Head in round one with a 4.922. Though Capps and team had struggled a bit in qualifying, getting into the field in the No.14 position, his 4.92 round reminded everyone why Capps is No. 1 in points.

“They ran really well in round one, but we weren’t that far off what they ran,” said Burkart. “We were going to go A-to-B at whatever pace the track would give us, and then we’d just hope that was enough. We were not going to smoke the tires trying to be superheroes.”

It turns out the points leaders were not able to outrun the blue CSK car. Burkart’s 4.977 was better than Capps’ 4.985, but the glowing red bulb at the starting line made it irrelevant. The elimination was a cruel blow for Burkart.

Burkart's blue CSK car
Burkart's blue CSK car

“I wish I could explain it,” Burkart said. “There are so few ways a driver can step up and win one for his team, but there’s a million ways he can lose one for them. You have to leave on time, keep it in the groove, catch it when it’s in trouble and pedal it if you have to. I just left early, plain and simple. I just got too amped up and left.”

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 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