Three weeks after and 60 miles south of the originally scheduled date, the final round of the Lucas Oil Series event that began in Englishtown, N.J., was completed in Atco, N.J. The race between reigning world champion Frank Manzo and Permatex/Follow A Dream driver Todd Veney ended abruptly when the output shaft on the Permatex Chevy broke about 100 feet off the starting line, sending Manzo to a 5.63 win.
“It was a lousy way to lose, but Frank’s hard to beat under any circumstances,” Veney said. “The car got into some tire shake in low gear and the output shaft took the brunt of it. Overall, it was still a good race for us. The final-round finish got us back up to sixth place in the national standings, and we just about have second place in the Division [behind Manzo] wrapped up.”
Eliminations for the Atco event were postponed by cold, wet weather that track officials felt was unsafe for racing. Veney landed in the top half of the field with a backpedaling 5.84 at 238 mph on his lone qualifying attempt. The team is number 4 on the grid and has a first-round matchup with Dan Pomponio of nearby Berlin, N.J.
The only race left on the Permatex/Follow A Dream team’s 2010 slate is the Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Blake’s favorite event of the year. “It’s the race where the whole dream began in 1998, the biggest race of the year to me,” Blake said. “I had two speaking engagements this week that went really well and spoke before 1,400 people.  The whole team and I are really looking forward to this weekend.”