In 1997, Jay Blake lost his senses of vision, taste, and smell in the midst of a horrific accident caused by the explosion of an industrial fork lift tire. Blake stayed positive as he learned how to live without those senses and continued to follow his ambitions. Years later, his self-determination in the face of adversity has prevailed in the form of his successful Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car program.
Blake has been hands-on with his race cars as the only totally blind crew chief in motorsports. He has worked with longtime tuner Tommy Howell, who retired this past offseason, and 2016 tuner Anthony Terenzio to field a competitive entry. Blake has four national event wins between drivers David Ray and Todd Veney, and he recently recorded his first 5.4-second runs with new driver Phil Burkart Jr. at the East Region event at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Between events, Blake participates in speaking engagements where he shares his inspiring tale and encourages those in his audience to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles stand in their way. The mission of the Follow A Dream nonprofit organization is to "demonstrate the power of positive thinking, self-determination, and teamwork through NHRA Drag Racing."