Change is the operative word for nitro Funny Car driver Blake Alexander.
One year after being the owner/driver for his nitro Funny Car team, Alexander and Head are teaming up to run 20 national events in 2020.
Alexander will drive Head’s Funny Car and Head will be his crew chief during NHRA’s Mello Yello Series season.
Alexander did drive one race for Head last season, filling in for Jonnie Lindberg at the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., June 14-16. Alexander qualified 10th and lost to Ron Capps in the first round.
‘I’m excited to get to testing (in Phoenix) and everyone at the shop has been working really hard,” Alexander said. “I just want o get out there and get comfortable and figure out the track in Phoenix because that’s where we going to start our season.”
Alexander said he will be testing at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in Phoenix Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
“I want to get comfortable in the car (at the test session) and try and make good runs,” Alexander said. “Really just learning is the whole point of testing in the first place, so we’re trying to make runs at the time of day we will be running (at the Phoenix national event) and figure out the track. I know Jim is always trying a few different things he wants to learn and do and implement those if they work well and scrap if they don’t.”
Alexander will then drive for Head at the Arizona Nationals Feb. 21-23 at Wild Horse Motorsports Park, the second event on NHRA’s 24-race Mello Yello Series schedule.
“It’s exciting,” Alexander said about the opportunity to drive for Head. “They have a great team and a lot of experience and I’m just able to race more and do more with him and I working together. He has a great program and I enjoy his engineering perspective on racing and how he looks at everything.
I’m excited that I will get to race more than I got to and will get reach more Pronto Service Centers and I’m just able to have a bigger footprint for drag racing and activation sponsors.”
The team will share liveries of Pronto Auto Service Centers and Head Contractors and Engineers at events held across the nation.
A year ago, as a driver/team owner Alexander competed in 12 nitro Funny Car events, he had one semifinal finish at the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 17, losing to eventual race winner Jack Beckman. His best qualifying performance was eighth in Atlanta and Sonoma, Calif.
Daniel Wilkerson served as Alexander’s crew chief last year.
“The (Funny Car) and hauler I had last year I sold both of them to Tim Wilkerson,” Alexander said. “His son (Daniel) is going to run (the car in 2020) and I think other people are as well. I know his son is making runs at testing next week in Las Vegas to update his license. I’m pretty excited that he (Daniel) is getting to do that. I know he hasn’t got to drive in a while. I still talk to (Daniel) every day and I’m excited to see them do that. I have a new hauler now and it will be our third rig and we will have it at most the races we are at this year.”
Alexander said there’s less stress on his mind as he prepares for his new role in 2020.
“Marc Denner at the shop handles a lot of the responsibility that I previously had on my shoulders,” Alexander said. “I get to help out in a degree with procuring parts from some of the sponsors that I have and some of the associations and suppliers that I have. They obviously have lots of stuff they did well that they didn’t need my help with at all. I help were I can and will be able to focus more on driving and trying to compete with all the guys in Funny Car.”
In 2018, Alexander drove a Top Fuel Dragster for Bob Vandergriff Jr. Racing, with Ron Douglas tuning. He competed in 11 races and won two races in Norwalk, Ohio, and Sonoma, Calif. He finished 12th in the points standings.
CompetitionPlusTV will livestream the PRO test session from Las Vegas. Watch the stream through our https://t.co/PTlsqOSj7I, the magazine and on our mobile app, starting January 30, 2020. #DragRacingNews – https://t.co/ZidpIgb9EY pic.twitter.com/ySD3HMWlmn
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 14, 2020