Follow A Dream Norwalk Report

Jay Blake’s Permatex/Follow A Dream team overcame early qualifying trouble at the Summit Racing Nationals at Norwalk for a semifinal finish, knocking out two of the top teams in the country and climbing to seventh place in the national standings in the process.
Stranded at the Philadelphia airport by weather, crewmen Scott Osborn and Mark Reardon had to rent a car for the long drive out to Ohio and arrived right after the second of three qualifying sessions. Electrical gremlins kept the car from firing in the first session, and tireshake held driver Todd Veney to a backpedaling 6.00 in the second session. On the bump and facing the very real prospect of a dreaded DNQ in last-shot qualifying, the team responded with a 5.62 to move all the way up to the No. 5 qualifying position.
In the first round, Veney drew the hottest driver in the country, John Lombardo Jr., who had swept both the Allstars race and the Route 66 Nationals a week earlier in Chicago. He advanced with a 5.61, one of the quickest runs of the entire round, and a speed of 258 mph, the team’s best of the season. A 5.64 in the quarterfinals was just enough to cover former world champ Tony Bartone, the winningest active driver in Top Alcohol Funny Car, who was just 12-thousandths of a second behind at the finish line with an almost identical 5.65.
In the semi’s, Veney slipped to a 5.81 and lost to No. 1 qualifier and eventual winner Steve Harker’s 5.65. “The car was carrying the front end and headed toward the wall, and when I blipped the throttle to get the front end down he got around me,” Veney said. “I never saw him until the end. It was still a good weekend, though. Beating guys like Lombardo and Bartone was huge.”
“It was a total team effort,” Blake said. “What Mark and Ozzie went through to make it to the race is what the Permatex/Follow A Dream is all about.”