For Immediate Release: April 12, 2005

Jay Blake
Follow A Dream, Inc.
P: 508.420.8319
C: 508.566.5200

Motorsports Worlds’ Only Team
with Totally Blind Crew Chief Wins NHRA Spring Nationals

“Follow A Dream” Race Team Beats Former World Champ

HOUSTON, TX—The motorsports world’s only totally blind crew chief, Jay Blake, says “victory tastes sweet,” as he celebrates the first place win for his Follow A Dream team, who won at the NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals race outside of Houston, TX on Sunday, April. 10th. Blake’s racing team, led by driver Dave Ray of Plaistow, NH, races an alcohol-fueled funny car in the sportsman’s division of NHRA (National Hot Rod Association).

The win was truly a David v. Goliath story, with the team struggling during qualifying rounds, performing well below their March 2005 Gainesville, FL performance. Blake, a professional motivational speaker whose face is synonymous with positive thinking, rallied the team. By Sunday night, they were paired up against former World Champ and multi-national event winner, Bob Newberry. The cars left the starting line with Blake’s driver Ray getting the jump. The Follow a Dream Team recorded a 5.65 second run at 254 mph for their first NHRA National Event win. As the team and many onlookers cheered, Blake leaned down and kissed the starting line. The spectators, who knew Blake’s personal story of tragedy and triumph, went wild cheering for the team and the blind man who had the vision and the perseverance to never give up. Since losing his sight in adulthood, Blake pursued and realized his dream of becoming a crew chief on a professional NHRA racing team. His proven gift for empowered positive thinking has resulted in a secondary career as a professional motivational speaker. Blake still has yet to achieve his goal of becoming the world’s fastest blind man, but the logistics for achieving...
Torco Race Fuels Motorsports
Wilson Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release March12, 2005
Contact: Mark Rowe / Wilson Racing

Wilson Racing hopes history repeats itself again!

Baytown, TX., This past weekend's NHRA / POWERADE Drag Racing Series event, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at Houston Motorsports Park, Baytown, Texas was the fourth stop for the TORCO Race Fuels / Wilson Racing Team for 2005.

Wilson Racing Qualified 8th with a 5.47 and remained very consistent all weekend. They defeated the # 1 Qualifier in the 2nd round and then won on a hole-shot with a better starting line reaction time to out run a quicker competitor in the semi-finals by a margin of only .0149 or approximately 5 feet. "We are very excited to have made it to our 2nd final this early in the season and to be 5th in the National Points standings. We know there is still room for improvement and our Team is working together towards our next goal. Now that we are running consistently in the 5.40's, we want to be able to run 5.30's" stated Wilson.

This weekend's NHRA / Lucas Oil Division 3 Drag Racing Series event, at Indianapolis Raceway Park just outside of Indianapolis, April 15th-17th is in the second NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional Event and the first Division 3 event for 2005 for the Torco Race Fuels / Wilson Racing Top Alcohol Dragster Team.

The Torco Race Fuels / Wilson Racing Team is looking to repeat history again this weekend after they made it to the finals for the second time this year at Houston Motorsports Park in Baytown, Texas just outside of Houston. "We were very excited to have been one of only two blown cars to quality this weekend, not to mention we made it to the finals for the second time this year at Baytown." stated Wilson. "We just hope we can repeat history again this weekend and win the Division 3 opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park...
Submitted by: Shanna Snyder-Bell
Contact email address:

Snyder Begins Division 3 Title Defense

This weekend, defending event champion Mick Snyder will begin his Division 3 title defense at the North Central Division Lucas Oil Sportsman Series season opener. Snyder, driver of the Snyder Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car sponsored by TORCO Racing Fuels, opened the 2005 race season last month in Gainesville, Florida at the Gatornationals with a semi-final finish.

The Team based out of DeMotte, Indiana is looking forward to racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park this weekend. “It is always nice to race close to home, we have a lot of fan support here. Since our entire crew is from Indiana, it gives some of our friends and family a chance to come watch what we do every weekend,” said Snyder.

“We are excited to begin the title defense, too. Last year, after winning this race, we were able to keep the lead throughout the season. Hopefully, we will be able to start strong again this year.”

The Team would like to thank our major sponsor TORCO Racing Fuels and our associate sponsors Coan Converters, Design 500, Flatout Gaskets, Lencodrive Racing Transmissions, Long Printing, R & R Racing Products, Snyder Auto and Spitzer Race Cars for their continued support.

Qualifying for the race will begin on Friday afternoon at 4 PM followed by two more shots on Saturday at 1 and 4:30 PM. Eliminations will begin at 1 PM on Sunday.

Please visit the Snyder Motorsports official website at

The Snyder Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car entry is sponsored by TORCO Racing Fuels. By logging onto you can access their full line of innovative products including racing gasoline, additives, and clothing.

[ April 12, 2005, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: RiverQueen ]
IHRA Points

Funny Car

1. Rob Atchison 100
2. Terry McMillen 93
3. Mark Thomas 74
4. Mark Poyser 69
5. Thomas Carter 56
6. Terry Munroe 52
7. Chris Foster 51
8. Jim Sickles 50
9. Burl Brown 10
Jeff Burnett 10
Trevor Lebsack 10
Top Alcohol Dragster
Point Standings
Position Driver Points N/D
01 Ashley Force 273 3/2
02 Chris Demke 201 1/2
03 Aaron Olivarez 200 3/2
04 Duane Shields 180 2/2
05 Jeff Wilson 176 3/1
06 Randy Meyer 146 2/1
07 Steve Federlin 145 1/1
08 Robert Perkins 117 1/2
09 Arthur Allen 116 1/1
10 Edwin Schmeeckle 111 1/2
11 Ben Harper 106 1/2
11 Guy Kelly 106 1/1
13 Darryl Hitchman 105 2/1
14 Shelly Howard 85 0/1
15 Gene Snow 83 2/1
16 Karl Brounkowski 74 1/1
17 Mike Austin 73 1/2
17 Arthur Gallant 73 2/0
17 Larry Miersch 73 1/2
20 Hillary Will 64 1/0
21 Michael Gunderson 53 1/0
22 Mark Niver 52 1/2
23 William Zivkovich 43 0/1
24 Jack Beckman 42 1/1
24 Jon Capps 42 1/0
24 Ron Griffis 42 1/1
24 Ken Perry 42 1/0
24 Robin Samsel 42 1/1
24 Joey Severance 42 1/0
24 Jeff Veale 42 1/0
31 Kevin Brown 41 1/1
31 Vitali Kazakevich 41 1/1
31 Carl Magee 41 1/1
31 Brandon Pierce 41 1/1
35 Wayne Morris 40 1/1
36 Don Fiorelli 32 0/1
36 Richard Garlets 32 0/1
36 James Thompson Jr 32 0/1
36 Clifford Whitley 32 0/1
40 Mark Albert 31 1/0
40 Richard Bourke 31 1/0
40 Lee Callaway 31 1/0
40 Dave Hirata 31 1/0
40 Rich McPhillips 31 1/0
40 Dan Mercier 31 1/0
40 Scott Murray 31 1/0
40 Bill Reichert 31 1/0
40 Greg Tacke 31 1/0
49 Johnny Ahten 30 1/2
50 Jason Cannon 20 1/1

Top Alcohol Funny Car
Point Standings
Position Driver Points N/D
01 Jay Payne 211 3/1
02 Tate Branch 169 2/1
03 Steve Gasparrelli 159 1/2
03 Dennis Taylor 159 1/2
05 Bob Newberry 149 2/0
06 Mark Billington 128 1/1
07 David Ray 127 2/0
08 Doug Gordon 117 1/2
09 Frank Manzo 116 2/0
10 Bret Williamson 95 1/2
11 Jackie Stidham 85 1/1
12 Shawn Jones 83 1/1
13 Steve Burck 74 1/1
13 Jimmy Jones 74 1/1
15 Cy Chesterman 73 2/0
15 Vern Moats 73 2/0
15 Mark Woznichak 73 1/2
18 Brian Hough 64 1/0
18 Richard Mc Clain 64 0/1
18 Larry Miner 64 0/1
18 John...
Bar's Leaks Motorsports
Branch-Etterman Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2005
Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications

Branch reaches quarterfinals in Houston

BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite having a perfect record in divisional competition at Houston Raceway Park, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Tate Branch is still in search of that elusive first national event win after a quarterfinal finish at this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals. Branch qualified the Bar's Leaks Repair-It/ Branch-Etterman Racing Camaro second in the field, but encountered tireshake in the quarterfinals.

Branch, from Artesia, N.M., qualified the Dave Scheelk tuned machine second with a 5.708 at 244.96 mph. In round one, he defeated Gage Chaffee with a 5.775 at 251.86 mph. In his second round battle with Shawn Jones, Branch's tireshake-plagued 5.749 at 252.80 was not enough to hold off Jones' 5.721 at 246.71 mph.

"We're really fighting a tireshake problem right now," said Branch. "I'm confident that Dave [Scheelk] will get it figured out. Right now we just have to pick up the pieces and head to Vegas. We've ran well there in the past, and hopefully we can return to that level."

Team co-owners George and Jane Etterman will take the rig straight from Baytown to Las Vegas for this weekend's Nationals. Stay tuned to for the latest news in alcohol racing.

For more information on the team, log on to the team's website,

Visit these websites to find out more about our sponsors' fine products: - Find out about Bar's Products complete line of automotive products - Sell your rig or racecar by enlisting the racing consignment specialist, Will Hanna. Find out more on - Find out more about Haulmark trailers, the name you can trust for the long haul. - NRC...
Callaway Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2005
Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications

Callaway makes progress in season debut

BAYTOWN, Texas - Despite shooting for higher goals than a first round loss, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Lee Callaway is pleased his Tejano Salsa/ backed team is heading in the right direction. After being plagued by severe tireshake at nearly every event last season, Callaway's Stacy McLemore led team seemed to get a handle on the problem at this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park.

Callaway, who lives within earshot of the track in Baytown, Texas, qualified his Tejano Salsa/ blown alcohol dragster in the ninth position with a 5.475 second elapsed time at 257.97 mph. In round one, he had to square off with the only other blown alcohol dragster in the field, Jeff Wilson. Wilson took the win in a close race with a 5.491 at 257.43 mph to Callaway's 5.524 at 257.94 mph. Callaway then had his hands full after the run as his parachutes did not deploy. Using the brakes alone, Callaway was able to escape disaster and stopped the car just as the front end entered the sand trap at the end of the track.

"I've always been a firm believer in throwing both parachutes no matter how long the shutdown area is," stated Callaway. "That run was a prime example why. When I didn't feel the parachutes hit, I knew immediately I had to stop the car with the brakes. It started bouncing pretty bad, and I would have to wait for it to settle down, then hit the brakes again and ride it out until it would settle down again. It was bouncing pretty high, and it bottomed out a few times. If I had only threw one parachute, and if it didn't open, you've just wasted a bunch of time messing with that and waiting for it to deploy. By that time, you're too far into the shutdown area, and you're going off the end...
ParkerTech Racing Services

NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car

For Immediate Release:

March 31, 2005

Now Appearing…

Milford, Michigan – ParkerTech Racing Services made a dramatic appearance at the recent 36th Annual Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals, in Gainesville, Florida. For their 2005 NHRA season opener, Frank Parker, team owner, and his crew rolled out an un-announced brand new Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car – under the banner of VIPsports, their new sponsor.

Parker explained the low keyed debut: “Our team has always performed well on a very limited budget. VIPsports recognized that and believed we could do even better with proper support. With little time to prepare for our first race together, we agreed it would be better to forego the promotions and concentrate on the car.” And that concentration paid off.

The moment it came off the trailer, the VIPsports Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car began promoting itself. With a Dodge Stratus top fuel body, and McKinney alcohol chassis built specifically for the body, it is the first such purpose-built car in TAFC. That feature, and the swoopy VIPsports paint scheme, quickly made the car a favorite of fans and the talk of the pits.

With no track time on the new car, the team was disappointed at losing one qualifying session to rain. On the very first pass, the car got loose and driver Danny Townsend had to shut off early. The second pass was better, but a plug wire failure limited the team to a 5.796, at 248.13 mph, and the tenth qualifying spot. Townsend commented that, “Two poor runs usually bother me, but not this time, not with all the pent-up performance I could feel in the car.”

When the first elimination round went green, Townsend left Mick Snyder behind, with a .068 reaction time. But Snyder had a little more low-end grunt and countered Townsend’s advantage. Townsend found his grunt on the fast end of the track and almost put Snyder away. The VIPsports Dodge Stratus missed a second round...
Torco Race Fuels Motorsports
Wilson Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release April 4, 2005
Contact: Mark Rowe / Wilson Racing

Wilson Racing looking to bounce back at Baytown!

Winfield, Mo., - This weekend's NHRA / POWERADE Drag Racing Series event, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at Houston Motorsports Park, Baytown, Texas April 7th-10th is in the fourth stop for the TORCO Race Fuels / Wilson Racing Team for 2005.

The Torco Race Fuels / Wilson Racing Team is looking to improve after finishing as runner-up at the Division 4 opener at this same facility only four weeks ago. "We smoked the tires in the finals and gave it away". stated Wilson."We have been looking forward to returning to Houston this weekend in the hopes of another opportunity to earn a win".

"We really need to step it up this weekend for many reasons. We want to remain in the top 10 in the NHRA / POWERADE Drag Racing Series and we are currently 6th in the Nation. Not to mention the fact that this weekend is our last event prior to the Division 3 opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park. We won that event last year and that is a great way to make another run at the Points Championship in one of, if not the toughest Division in the country." stated Wilson.

"We have had our fair share of problems this year but have continued to be competitive and that is due to Team work. I have said it before and I will say it again, this sport is all about Team work and we are fortunate to have a great team that works well together while having a lot of fun all at the same time.", stated Wilson. "This year we want to keep going strong and there is no better place than the Divisional opener in Indy to keep the season on a positive note".

We appreciate all the support we continue receive from all of our sponsors week after week." commented Wilson. (Torco Race Fuels, STARCON, Spitzer Race Cars and Composites, Mickey...
Plumbing Concepts Racing
Accelerated Motorsports
Media Relations

For Immediate Release April 3, 2005

Contact: Randy Fish

Tucson Tricky, Heavy Hearts Abound

ANAHEIM, CA — Going into this past weekend’s Lucas Oil Series Division 7 event, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car racer, Dennis Taylor, was anticipating the opportunity to compete on a fresh racing surface in Tucson. Following Thursday’s testing for Mickey Thompson Tires and the culmination of qualifying from Friday and Saturday, anticipation quickly turned to consternation. The new asphalt portion of the racing surface proved treacherous, at best, and by most accounts it was similar to racing on an ice skating rink. Taylor’s three qualifying attempts were consistent, but not up to the Plumbing Concepts Team’s expectations. Dennis ran 5.938, 5.935, and 5.951 seconds, landing in the number six position to start Sunday’s Eliminations.

When race day dawned, a pall was cast over Tucson International Raceway, as competitors learned of a tragic testing accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday that claimed the life of Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard and that of her son Brian. Dennis Taylor and his entire team were terribly shaken by the news and pass along their heartfelt condolences to Dr. Paul Howard, daughters Jennifer and Tracy, Tuner, Tom Conway, and Shelly’s entire family.

The racing fraternity in Tucson was forced to grit its collective teeth and report to the staging lanes when called upon Sunday. That was a bit more difficult for Dennis Taylor, since he’s devoted his career to manufacturing racing safety equipment and his long list of valued friends stretches across all racing disciplines. The Plumbing Concepts Camaro prevailed in its Round 1 match-up with Brett Williamson, as Taylor left first, remained consistent, and recorded a 5.92-second victory to Brett’s fine 5.98.

Round 2 saw familiar foes...