Veale’s Speedy Statement!
After last season you knew it was only a matter of time and Ontario’s Jeff Veale Racing Team has finally delivered! Using speed to their advantage they recently won their first ever NHRA Lucas Oil Series TAD event title….
That success came on April 5th when driver Jeff Veale emerged victorious during the NHRA Division One Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held at Virginia Motorsports Park (near Richmond). Driving his family run injected-nitro dragster which is based from Stoney Creek, Veale was – simply put – the class of the field winning over 11 other event entries.
After qualifying #3 with a 5.356 secs, his father/tuner Gary turned up the wick on the competition. They exceeded the 280 mph three times including an astounding 282.60 mph (!) which flashed up in the semi final round.
Jeff defeated Wayne Morris and Richard Bourke in rounds one and two before besting lady racer Jackie Fricke in the championship final. He won that as his 5.339 secs at 274.50 mph easily outpaced Fricke’s tire-smoking effort.
Jeff was also credited with low ET of the event – a 5.277 secs — which also occurred in the semi final round.
The VMP event marked a significant turnaround for Jeff’s team which was coming of a DNQ effort at it’s previous race, the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville.
“The event before we were really struggling,” Jeff admitted. “We went testing and backed the car off quite a bit to get it to go down the track. It all fell into place for us here and it sure feels good to get a win in my first ever NHRA final round.”
Since late last year, Jeff’s propensity for running big top end speeds has certainly be a topic of discussion within the NHRA class category. Not only is the 282.60 mph the fastest run ever by a Canadian driver in the class (topping previous Canadian record holder – Alberta’s Don St. Arnaud) it is according to our records second only to Bill Reichart’s 284 mph on the NHRA’s all time fastest listing (!)
“NHRA’s new nitro percentage rules has helped us,” Jeff added. “We started getting some big speeds last year and we want to carry forward with that. That 282 (mph) felt amazing. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do. The car is competitive and we are certainly happy about that but we are still seeking more consistency.”
The Veale’s next objective is a score in the TAD category at the NHRA national event level. “I think we have that potential now and it’s certainly a goal for us,” he added.
One week after the win at Virginia the team flirted with exactly that while racing at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at Concord. Once again they set top speed of the meet (at 280.14 mph) and had a strong event effort before losing out in round two to Bill Reichart (5.267 secs to 5.319 secs).
Posted by: Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Phil Hutchison (Northeast Drag Review.com)