About the Follow A Dream Organization
Established in 1999, Follow A Dream is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization with the mission of demonstrating the Power of Positive Thinking, Self-Determination, and Teamwork.
The organization’s message is uniquely delivered through NHRA drag racing as its medium.
As racing’s only totally blind, race crew chief, Follow A Dream Founder Jay Blake draws upon his personal experience of overcoming adversity and achieving his dream of auto racing and shares his inspiration with others. He is also available for motivational speaking engagements at various types of events.
Jay's Remarkable Story + Winning at the National Level
While working as the head mechanic of a transportation company in May of 1997, Follow A Dream's owner and crew chief Jay Blake was involved in an industrial tire explosion accident that caused him to lose complete vision, smell, and taste.
At the age of 31, Jay was faced with the monumental challenge of relearning how to live as a completely blind person. Incredibly, despite losing his eyesight, Jay did not lose his positive attitude on life nor his desire to pursue his dreams.
Jay had always wanted to form his own professional auto racing team, and in spite of his serious setback, he continued to focus on his goals. Refusing to give up on life, Jay aggressively participated in rehabilitation and with renewed determination Jay began to follow his dream.
He soon learned that even without sight, he was still able to do what he loved most-work on racing engines. Through years of incredible determination and perseverance, he was able to realize his dream and founded Follow A Dream Racing.
Turning his dream into a reality, Jay combined his participation in drag racing with his desire to spread his true-life success by inspiring others to accomplish their goals through the Power of Positive Thinking, Self-Determination, and Teamwork.
Since then, Jay’s team has worked its way up the rankings to become one of the top Funny Car teams in the world. Jay also tours the country giving his “5 Tools for Life Success” motivational presentations at schools, corporate events, military bases, as well as promotional and charitable events.
After winning the Eastern U.S. championship in 2012, Jay and his team of racing professionals finished ninth in the NHRA national standings in 2013, highlighted by a victory at the Lebanon Valley Dragway regionals in New York.
Jay Blake: Crew Chief
Jay Blake is the founder and president of Follow A Dream, and the only totally blind crew chief in the worldwide sport of auto racing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a professional auto mechanic and more than 25 years in drag racing.
Jay is responsible for the organization's management, operations, and community outreach programs, as well as performing mechanical work on the racecar.
Jay leads his team of racing professionals in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car competition, where they won the 2012 East Region championship and finished the season ranked 11th in national points.
James C. Blake: Vice President & Treasurer
Jim Blake is Vice President and Treasurer of Follow A Dream. Jim has 28 years of racing experience including multiple top ten finishes in the New England Points Series.
In 1987, Jim debuted what would become the World's Quickest Clean Air Dragster powered by propane. In 1993, Jim was awarded "The Sportsman of the Year Award", by his fellow racers.
Jim assists his brother Jay with managing Follow A Dream and is a full-time manager for Eastern Propane & Oil in Danvers, MA.
Phil Burkart: Driver
Born and raised in Utica, New York, Phil Burkart began his drag racing career at the age of 14, starting by bracket racing a rear-engine dragster. He transitioned to racing a 23T Altered in Super Comp and then stepped up to driving a Top Alcohol Funny Car. Phil spent the next several years racing throughout the East Coast in NHRA regional and national events as well as a number of match races. Phil began racing in the Nitro Funny Car Class in 1998 and spent the next 10 seasons earning four national event titles and numerous round wins.
Phil joined the Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team as a driver for owner Jay Blake for the 2016 season, earning one win, one runner-up, and finished second in NHRA Division 1 and 14th nationally in NHRA TA/FC competition. Expectations are high for an even better season as Burkart returns behind the wheel for 2017.
In addition to racing, Phil owns and operates Burkart Automotive Engine Machine Shop and Performance Center in Yorkville, N.Y. He lives in rural Yorkville with fiancé Leeann and their two daughters, Santina and Samantha.
Anthony Terenzio: Tuner
Our amazing Tuner Anthony Terenzio has over 50 years drag racing experience. He has been racing since he was 13 years old when his older brothers Victor and Gene took him to the racetrack. Anthony loves everything about drag racing, the travel, the people, the competition.
He lives in Connecticut with his wife Renee and his son Anthony Junior, where he has owned a trash and recycling company for over 40 years. When he is not at the track, Anthony enjoys riding motorcycles, playing golf, and traveling throughout North America and Europe.
Scott “Ozzy” Osborn: Lead Motor Technician
Scott is owner and operator of Wide Load Custom Metal, an automotive fabrication shop specializing in extensive American car and motorcycle metal work and skilled in servicing all aspects of your collection. Scott graduated with a degree in welding engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, and joined the Follow A Dream Team in 2003.
Anthony Mondi: Fluid Technician/Lower End Technician
Anthony Mondi is an automotive enthusiast that has worked on the Follow A Dream crew for about 12 years. He is currently an automotive instructor at Universal Technical Institute in Exeter, Pennsylvania, where he has worked since 2004.
Anthony lives in Morgantown, PA with his wife, Kristen, and his daughter, Olivia.
Wyatt Kubicke: Lower End Technician
Wyatt Kubicke was a student at the automotive and high-performance program at UTI in Exton, PA. when he met Jay Blake. Wyatt joined the Follow-A-Dream team in April of 2018 at the age of 19 and traveled with them competing in the NHRA Northeast Division.
Since December 2018, Wyatt has worked at Craw’s Racing in Hainesport, NJ, The premiere junior dragster motor builders and parts suppliers in the country. Wyatt works side-by-side each day with his father, Al, and his brother, Wade. His mom, Diane, is the NHRA Northeast Division Photographer for the National Dragster Magazine.
He is thankful for the many opportunities that he’s been given and the people he’s met over the years. He enjoys spending his time at the race track with family and friends. Wyatt loves drag racing and can’t imagine his life without it.
David Thornton: Clutch Mechanic
David Thornton is owner and operator of North Street Automotive in Hyannis on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he resides with his girlfriend Rachel and their two dogs. David is originally from Needham, Massachusetts, and has 40 years of automotive mechanical experience. David has always enjoyed drag racing and occasionally raced his GTOs at New England Dragway in the late '70s and early 80s.
David is thrilled to join the team. "I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to work on a TA/FC crew! Jay and the whole team have been so welcoming and helpful." When David is not at work, he enjoys spending time at the beach with his girlfriend and their dogs.
Joe Driscoll: Clutch Mechanic
Joe Driscoll is new to the team in 2018 and came on board as a clutch mechanic. His interest in cars and racing started early in his youth and led to him driving a C/SM for a few years in the late '70s.
Recently retired from a corporate career in the automotive industry, he is excited to be back at the drag strip working with the Follow a Dream team. In his spare time he also enjoys fishing, working on his cars and home improvement projects, as well as spending time with his daughters and 3 young grandchildren.
Scott Spencer: Clutch Mechanic
In his second year as a member of the Follow A Dream Team, Scott will be assisting with the work on the clutch. An automotive technician from Cape Cod, Scott also works reconditioning vehicles.
In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his family and friends and going to monster truck shows.
Alan Hadfield: Clutch Machinist
Longtime Follow A Dream team member Alan Hadfield brings tenacity and dedication to the vital task of machining all the clutch discs and floaters before each race and often wheels the transporter for the team.
He has a background in heavy trucks and heavy equipment, and has been a mechanic for the golf industry in the Cape Cod area. When the Jr. Dragster class was first created, he built his son a car called "Cape Codder Jr." (named after his hero Ed Parker's "Cape Codder" Top Alcohol Funny Car), and the two campaigned it at regional events and at the Jr. Dragster Nationals in Maryland.
Brian Hunt: Clutch Machinist
Brian is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He has worked for the Follow A Dream team for many years. He is always available for shop support and clutch machining.
Bob Dugan: Clutch Machinist
Bob is a self-employed plumber who learned his trade while in the US Air Force. He's twisted wrenches on cars since his teens and later in life raced a nine second Mustang earning two championships.
He is also a singer, songwriter, guitar player and likes to jam when the opportunity arises. Bob will be working on the clutch.
Al Noviello: Computer Specialist & Chef
Al Noviello has worked in the Computer Technology industry as a Senior Software Engineer for over 25 years his role on the Follow A Dream team combines his love for computer technology and horsepower. In 1986, he attended his first drag race at New England Dragway to watch his neighbor race and win the Competition Eliminator Division 1 Championship. Ever since that day in 1986 he has been hooked on NHRA Drag Racing.
Throughout the years, Al has worked on several different Competition Eliminator teams before joining the Follow A Dream 2015. Al truly enjoys drag racing “It’s just astonishing to experience the power and speed these cars can accelerate to in a quarter mile!” Al has made drag racing friends from all over the country in his travels with the team. He resides in North Providence, Rhode Island where he has lived most of his life. He and his beautiful wife Gia are the proud parents of twin girls Nicole and Natalia.
Rachel McMahon: Office Management, Marketing, & Development
Rachel has worked for Follow A Dream since 2017. She is a life-long resident of Cape Cod. She has 10+ years non-profit administration experience.
Rachel has always loved racing and brings tons of enthusiasm to the team. When she isn't at the shop or the track, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, her son, and her two dogs.