Jay Blake is 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 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 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.
Scott Osborn – Lower End 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, MA and joined the Follow A Dream Team in 2003.
Scott Spencer – Clutch
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.
Ed Parker – Crew Member
Ed is the one guy on the team who could do anyone else’s job-drive the car, build it, tune it, or maintain it. Ed first raced in 1963 and has campaigned numerous cars through the years, the best known of which is the “Cape Codder” Alcohol Funny Car that he currently competes with. Aside from safely transporting Jay’s operation to races and events around the country, he services the car from one end to the other when on the road.
Mark Reardon-Team Member
Mark has had an interest in cars since he was sixteen years old, painting, fixing and building them to go faster. His background includes working as an auto technician for twenty years. Mark also has a passion for music and entertainment and is the owner of Happy Time Productions, a mobile DJ service. Mark enjoys giving back to the community and strongly believes in the Follow A Dream mission. He became a Shriners Clown as a way to showcase his fun personality and to help bring a little sunshine and fun to children whose lives are centered around hospitals and medical treatments. He and his now adult daughter Katie joined the Dream Team in 2004.
Bio coming soon
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.
Happy Wisdom Wednesday! "FREE TO DREAM" This quote is so fitting for the day because I will be doing a display at Walter Reed Military Medical Center today in Bethesda, Maryland. The vets will be invited to sign the back of the car while they check it out! It's going to be a great day today! You also should make it a great day! #Permatex #MotivationalSpeaker #SprayNineTough #FastOrange #FollowADream #FollowADreamRacing ... See MoreSee Less
WEEKEND RECAP! We hurt the motor in Q1, but the team pulled together, and did a great job getting it all back together in time, and we ended up qualifying #1. We had a by run in our first round of eliminations, and then went onto the finals against Dj who beat us. It was a great weekend overall, just with the ending we were not hoping for!
Today we are doing some things to the truck, and we will be onto Walter Reed Hospital tomorrow morning.