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Brian Folk Rides Incredible Year End Run to World Finals Victory, World Championship!
10/24/2007
Rockingham, NC      Article from DragRaceResults.com

Over the course of a career spanning nearly 2-decades, sportsman drag racer Brian Folk has amassed a resume that is nearly unmatched among his peers. Entering the 2007 season, Folk had won seven IHRA national events, and nine NHRA national events (including the prestigious U.S. Nationals). He has claimed IHRA division titles on five occasions, twice won the Moroso 5-Day Bracket Championship, and claimed countless big dollar bracket triumphs. Over the last decade, Folk has finished in the national top ten an incredible seven times (four times in IHRA, and three times in NHRA). Despite his consistently phenomenal performances, the one major accomplishment that had eluded Folk aßs he entered the 2007 season was the pinnacle of sportsman drag racing: a World Championship.

Despite another strong, consistent season behind the wheel of his venerable Super Rod Cavalier, Folk looked relegated to another top ten finish in 2007. Defending Super Rod champion Steve Furr was nearly unbeatable throughout much of the early and mid-stages of the 2007 season, amassing a stunning five event victories in his Nitroplate Camaro. When Brian Folk entered his final Pro-Am event of the 2007 campaign (IHRA sportsman competitors claim points both at the Summit Pro-Am Series events and Torco Nitro Jam National events) at Osceola Dragway in September, it appeared as though Folk and the remainder of the Super Rod field were competing for second place. It was in Osceola, however, that Folk’s fortunes began to change, based on what would originally be considered an unlucky break.

In Friday night testing, Folk destroyed the engine in his familiar Cavalier. Without a viable spare on the premises, and in contention for a sixth IHRA Division Championship, Folk enlisted Hank Mulligan, a family friend to drive to their Folk Race Cars shop, pick up the team’s new Camaro Roadster (which the Folk team had built from the ground up throughout the season, and had tested just once), and bring the machine to Indiana for eliminations the following day. Unbeknownst to Folk at the time, that decision would jumpstart one of the most phenomenal runs in IHRA Sportsman history.

Folk drove the Camaro Roadster to back-to-back victories at Osceola, not only claiming the Division 5 Super Rod title, but also giving him an outside shot at challenging Furr for the World Championship. A week later, Folk extended the cars unbeaten streak to an unheard of 14-0 when he drove to a victory at the re-scheduled IHRA Suzuki Motor City Nationals in Milan, MI. Suddenly, the Super Rod championship that had seemingly been determined months before was very much in question: as Folk went ahead of Steve Furr by a single round with his back-to-back-to-back triumphs.

Furr answered the call at the President’s Cup Nationals in Budds Creek, MD, improving his score by one round and tying Folk atop the national standings with just one event remaining: the IHRA World Finals in Rockingham, NC. Coming into the event, Furr definitely held the edge- despite the tie atop the standings, and the fact that both racers were improving a second round loss: Furr would win the tie-breaker should the two finish the season dead-locked. Folk also had the apparent disadvantage of competing in Rockingham, where he had never won an event, while Furr had dominated 9.90 competition at the facility over the last several seasons (including a stunning victory at last seasons World Finals to dramatically win the 2006 championship).

As eliminations commenced Sunday evening, both competitors displayed their resolve, and is was apparent that the battle would run deep into eliminations. Both Furr and Folk won their first and second round matches, each improving their previous score by one round and remaining tied with one-another in the points battle. As the ladder fell, the two were on a crash course to collide in round four with the World Championship on the line. In round three, however, Furr staged up alongside longtime Georgia competitor Peabody Harrell. There, despite an excellent run, Furr came up just short. His .013 induced 9.885 pushed him under the 9.90 index by just .002 more than Harrell, who posted a .017 and 9.887. Folk, who was paired with North Carolina standout and former IHRA World Champion Steve Corker, watched from the water box, knowing that with Furr’s defeat just one win light stood between him and his long awaited World Championship.

Folk and Corker left together, with Corker’s .021 holding a slight advantage over Folk’s .024. Like Furr and Harrell, Corker would break-out, with a 9.893 on the 9.90 standard, while Folk’s safe 9.929 would claim the round win and the IHRA World Championship. A jubilant Folk would then go on to the event win, knocking out James Sessoms in the final round to claim the IHRA World Nationals victory, and put an exclamation point on his championship season.

The Folk Race Cars Camaro is still undefeated in IHRA Super Rod competition, as Folk won his final two Summit Pro-Am events in Osceola, and his final two IHRA Torco Nitro Jam National events at Milan and Rockingham, posting an unprecedented 20 round win streak.

“I don’t even know what to say,” exclaimed Folk after his victory. “No one could have seen this coming, no one! It’s absolutely amazing!” And with that, Brian Folk is your 2007 IHRA Super Rod World Champion.

In addition to Folk’s Super Rod triumph, he also finished fourth in IHRA Top Dragster standings. Brian’s brother Nick also posted two top ten finishes: 3rd in Stock Eliminator, and 5th in Top Dragster. Both Brian and Nick also earned division titles in 2007, with Brian claiming the Division 5 Super Rod Championship and Nick winning the Division 4 Stock title.

“I’ve got so many people to thank, and I’m sure I’ll forget someone, but this title is for everyone that plays such a critical role in our racing operation. I want to thank my family: my wife Jill, our sons, my brother Nick, my Mom and Dad, and all of our friends. And I want to thank our sponsors who make it all possible: Auto Meter, K&N Filters, ATD Transmissions, Hoosier Racing Tires, Dart Machinery, Crane Cams, Spin Werkes Wheels, Glasstek, Holley Performance Group, Hillcraft.com, Undercover Motorsports, Shafiroff Racing Engines, VP Race Fuels, Nitroplate, Gebhardt’s Trailer Sales, Goza Racing Products, Moroso, Meziere Enterprises, Valvoline, Mr. Gasket Performance Group, J.W. Performance, B&M Performance, Aeromotive, Moser Engineering, Shogun, J&J Engine Diapers, and Folk Race Cars.”

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