Marstons Mills, MA -May 30, 2013-At the Lucas Oil Series event at Maple Grove Raceway, Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team was back in the finals for the second time this year. Driver Todd Veney made his two best runs of the season, 5.58 and 5.56, before falling to legendary Frank Manzo in a rematch of the 2011 final.
“The car ran great from the second qualifying run all the way through the semi’s, we didn’t hurt a part, and everyone did their jobs perfectly,” Blake said. “It would have been nice to get around Frank, but anytime you can make it to the final round, it’s a good weekend.”
Veney qualified No. 3 with a 5.61, the team’s best run since the Gatornationals in March, and got quicker in eliminations. In the first round, a 5.58 took out rookie Matt Gill, whose father, Paul, was runner-up here last year. In the semifinals, a 5.56, Veney’s quickest run since the 2012 Charlotte event, eliminated John Anderika, whose team finished second to Follow A Dream in the 2012 Eastern Region standings.
In the final, Veney smoked the tires off the line and had to backpedal, and Manzo was long gone with a 5.50, low e.t. of eliminations. “It was still a good weekend,” Veney said. “Frank is always hard to beat, and I read where he’s won this race 11 of the past 14 years and the Keystone Nationals 12 times in the past 13 years, so you can’t feel too bad. The car is back in the 5.50s, and [tuner] Tom Howell had it running faster every run – 257 mph on the last qualifier, 258 in the first round, and 259 in the semi’s.”
Next up is the Lucas Oil Series event June 14-15 at Lebanon Valley Dragway in upstate New York, where three years ago Veney got his first win with the Follow A Dream team.