Follow A Dream Misses U.S. Nationals

Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team missed qualifying for the Top Alcohol Funny Car program by one spot at the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Seventeenth in a 16-car field, driver Todd Veney ran a best of 5.76 at 251 mph – three-hundredths of a second short of the 5.73 bump. “There’s no getting around it,” Blake said. “That was a huge disappointment.”
A newly reconditioned supercharger, back on the car for the first time in the opening qualifying session, failed to generate the required boost, and the problem was compounded when the data recorder failed to work for the first time all year, leaving tuner Tom Howell with no information to use for adjustments. The 5.78 at 246 mph on that pass was followed by a similar 5.76 at 248 the next day, but with the computer operating properly, Howell pinpointed the problem immediately and the crew installed another supercharger for Sunday’s final qualifying session.
Tenuously in the field at the No. 14 spot before that run, Veney was knocked off the ladder by Sean Bellemeur, who clocked a 5.72 one pair ahead of him. With more boost and much more power, the car left hard on that last-ditch attempt, rattled the tires at the top of low gear, and ran another 5.76 when Veney backpedaled to get out of tire shake.
“We had our problems, obviously, and you can’t have that at a race like Indy,” Veney said. “It’s been years since we didn’t qualify, and under normal circumstances Tom could probably make the car run a 5.73 in reverse, but at the U.S. Nationals, 5.70s aren’t enough.”
The Permatex/Follow A Dream team’s next event is Sept. 12-14 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, where earlier this year the team reached the semifinals at the 4-Wide Nationals.