|Joined: ||Tuesday Oct 12th, 2010|
|Location: ||Oregon USA|
|Journey Sweeps Veeder Memorial
By Steve Veltman
Defending Salem Indoor Midget champion Allison Journey repelled a field of all male challengers to capture the Earl Veeder Memorial race held in Salem, Oregon last Saturday night. The diminutive speedster who made a successful transition to 360ci Sprint cars last season, led all 25 laps of the action packed event. Nipping on her rear bumper at the checkered was Wilsonville (OR) ace Rob Lindsey followed by Pat Bliss in the potent Tom Maples Ford.
Earlier in the evening, Beaverton’s Mitch Hoffses set the pace in the Karl Hoffses Esslinger. His 11.047 topped Bliss’s 11.279 and a surprisingly quick pair of laps laid down by Salem’s own David Veeder. Veeder put together a ride in Eric Young’s Fontana and repaid the favor with his best performance in recent memory. His 11.314 lap edged out Journey (11.413) for third fast and earned him a starting spot in the four car Dash.
The Dash was all Journey however, starting on the pole and leading every lap. Veeder was second followed by Bliss. Hoffses failed to finish after contact with the outside retaining wall.
The Hoffses mount was good to go for the first heat and he won it handily. Veeder held off veteran midgeteer Lindsey for second with rookie Gerry Grossen of Hillsboro (OR) in fourth. The second heat produced win number two for Journey after Bliss was late to the grid. Journey led flag to flag in her Ford Focus with Portlander Stephen Veltman second in his Pontiac. Bliss settled for third after several runs at Veltman. Fourth went to circle track afficianado Joel Pagel in the Doug Pirtle Pontiac.
Things got off to a bumpy start in the Feature beginning with the Hoffses car stumbling into turn one. Lindsey made contact with Veeder and stalled- Both Veltman and Grossen spun to avoid damage to their racers. The order for the single file restart was Journey, Veeder, Bliss, Pagel, Hoffses, Veltman, Lindsey and Grossen. After the restart Journey resumed at the point, Bliss challenged Veeder for second and Pagel fended off Hoffses. The battle for fourth escaladed after Lindsey zipped underneath Veltman and joined the Pagel/Hoffses melee. There was contact as the threesome entered turn two and this time Hoffses got the short end, stalling and receiving the black flag. Bliss subdued Veeder on the restart while Journey set the pace. Lindsey battled past Pagel and set his sights on Young’s Fontana. Under an extended green period, Veltman too slipped by Pagel and broke into the top five. Lindsey caught and passed Veeder for third. Up front Journey was comfortably leading Bliss whose Ed Pink Ford was clearly overpowered for this slick venue. Veltman popped out of gear losing two positions to Pagel and Grossen who were running in tandem. Journey had a full straightaway on Bliss when he washed high and Lindsey stole the second spot. In the closing laps Journey caught the tail-enders on the short course and Lindsey was able to close right up.
The top four (Journey, Lindsey, Bliss and Veeder) finished under a blanket with Pagel, Grossen and Veltman rounding out the field.
Journey was thrilled with her victory and captured the lion’s share of the bonus cash provided by race sponsors: Hillyer’s Tire & Wheel, Trailerware (makers of Track Mat), and K-Seal permanent leak re