Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team got knocked out early at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Atco Dragway and slipped from second into a third-place tie in the East Region Top Alcohol Funny Car standings. The team, which won the East Region championship in 2012 and finished second last year, dropped a first-round race with No. 1 qualifier and former world champ Tony Bartone, 5.59 to 5.71.

“The car left hard and I didn’t see him for a long time, but he pulled ahead in high gear,” said driver Todd Veney, who qualified eighth with a 5.81. “We picked up a whole tenth of a second from qualifying and ran exactly what the guy who ended up winning the race [D.J. Cox] ran all day long, but against the No. 1 qualifier, it wasn’t enough.”
“It wasn’t a great weekend, but sometimes that’s going to happen,” said Blake. “It rained on and off all weekend and delayed the race a full day, but everybody on the team pulled together when it was finally time to run. We just didn’t have quite enough that time for Bartone.”
With 224 regional points, Veney is tied with Cox and Matt Gill for third place in the East. Second-place Dan Pomponio is ahead of them by a single point, and Mickey Ferro, who was runner-up at this race, leads the most wide-open points race in years. Five events have produced five different winners, and no one has been to the final round more than twice.
The Permatex/Follow A Dream team’s next stop is the biggest race of the year, the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend.