Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team reached its second consecutive final in Division 1 competition and dropped a close race with perennial Top Alcohol Funny Car champ Frank Manzo, 5.65 to 5.67. Manzo had low e.t. of all three rounds, with times of 5.67, 5.67, and 5.65, but Follow A Dream driver Todd Veney was right there with a 5.70, 5.69, and 5.67.

“We didn’t win, but it was a great weekend anyway,” Blake said. “Anytime you can be that close to Mr. Manzo, you know you’re doing something right. The team is really starting to jell, working well together, and the results are starting to show. We have a great shot at finishing second in the Division this year, and we’re gearing up for a great finish to the season.”

Veney qualified No. 3 with a 5.69 and defeated Wayne Morris in the first round, 5.70 to 5.86. In the semifinals, Tom Carter, the No. 2 qualifier and recent runner-up at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., fell to the Follow A Dream crew, 5.69 to 6.00. No driver all weekend – even Manzo – ran better than a 5.84 in the tricky left lane until Follow A Dream tuner Tom Howell delivered a 5.67 in the final, but Manzo had just enough to win by a couple of hundredths.

“I can’t stand losing, even in the final round and even to someone like Frank, who wins all the time, but you can’t be that upset about a weekend like this,” Todd said. “At least we got to race him this time. The only other time I raced here [in 2003], we got to the final against Frank but had to let him take a single because the engine blew up in the semi’s.”

After two weekends off, the team finishes the 2010 season with four races in five weeks – two divisionals, and two nationals: Division 1 events in Englishtown (Sept. 11-12) and Atco, N.J. (Oct. 1-2), and nationals in Charlotte (Sept. 17-19) and Reading (Oct. 8-10).