During the offseason, NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel driver Blake Alexander took a massive leap in his drag racing career when he became a team owner.
Alexander purchased Brian Stewart’s Funny Car and in partnership with savvy veteran Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson, announced he would attend 12 races in 2019 as a team owner and driver with primary sponsorship from Pronto Auto Service Center.
Through four races Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta and Richmond, Va., Alexander has been on a roller-coaster ride full of progress and growing pains. Wilkerson’s son, Daniel, is Alexander’s crew chief. He is 16th in the point standings.
“It has been busy, but good,” Alexander said. “We had a few things not go exactly our way. Each race we have been to we have a little bit of a different problem that we have had to deal with. I expect to do well, but I also know I need to be patience and understand that we are going to need time to come together as a team. It’s a lot of work being a team owner, but it doesn’t really bother me, because I already knew that when I got into it.”
The biggest thing to understand about Alexander and his team is they have only made 15 runs in the Funny Car.
“We qualified eighth and ninth at the last two races in Atlanta and Richmond,” Alexander said. “We outqualified a lot of the big teams and now we just have to learn how to race together. We have a young group of people who have never worked together before and once we make a mistake, we try not to make it again. The last race we went to (in Richmond) was the only race we have been to that we didn’t lose one or two runs because of rain, which was nice. We just have a brand-new team and there have been different scenarios and situations that are happening (with the car).”
Alexander’s next race will be at the NHRA Mello Yello Series – the Route 66 Nationals May 30-June 2 in Chicago.
“I always figured that by July I would have everything running the way I wanted it,” Alexander said. “I didn’t think I would be better than John Force after my first or second race. We’ve done everything we can to keep taking steps forward and all the people we have on the team are working day-in and day-out to keep improving.”
Following Chicago, Alexander will compete at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 20-23 in Norwalk, Ohio.
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019