Zach Barklage - A name to remember

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (July 16, 2003) - Zach Barklage, the promising 19-year-old Pro Mod driver, jumped from the frying pan into the fire when he made the switch from bracket racing to Pro Mod. In circle track vernacular it would be like moving from the short track bullrings to superspeedways in one quick season.

At the age of 15, Barklage started out racing a bracket car on his local area tracks before putting a blower driven engine in his bracket car and moving to Pro Mod. Beginning at 16, the Eldon, Mo. driver cut his teeth learning his trade on outlaw tracks before moving to the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, at Indy last year.

Barklage has the following to say about his progression since he joined the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, "We've come a long way and learned a lot. I've failed to qualify yet, but we're working extremely hard. At the last race in St. Louis we got close, qualifying 10th. This is a difficult class to qualify for because you have 23 or 24 cars trying for only eight available spots. We're doing better. We're going to get there. One thing that would help our program is a sponsor."

Currently, Barklage is backed by his father's business, Mark Barklage Drywall. "I feel extremely fortunate to have my dad's backing for our racing program, but I feel we would be a lot more competitive if we were able to sign on with a name sponsor. It would enable us to do engine R and D (research and development) and race with the type of equipment that would enable us to qualify race after race after race. This class is very competitive and a sponsor would insure that we could compete with the teams that have both experience and dollars," added Barklage.

Currently, the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge is on hiatus from their 10-race schedule and won't resume until the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park over the Labor Day weekend. During the break, Barklage is using the time to adjust to the new blower overdrive rule that will be in effect when the Pro Mods take to the Indy quarter-mile.

Instead of the previous 29-percent overdrive the new rule now calls for 25-percent. The percent of overdrive is how much faster you can spin the supercharger than the crankshaft. So, 29-percent over means you're spinning the supercharger 29-percent faster than the crank. Anytime you take percentage away you reduce the speed of the supercharger, thus in essence reducing the boost. Boost equates to horsepower so you're reducing horsepower and performance. "We've been going to the local tracks, using races they have to test," said Barklage. "We're running the 25 over getting ready for Indy. Indy would be a great place to crack the quick eight qualifiers."

Zach Barklage, a "star" in the making. Zach Barklage, a name to remember.

-nhra-