WEEDSPORT, NEW YORK (May 17, 2015) – After Saturday night’s racing got rained at Williams Grove, the World of Outlaws (WoO) and the Jason Johnson Racing (JJR) team headed to upstate New York to race at Weedsport, New York in the Empire State Challenge for the first time since 1993. There were 34 cars lined up in the pit area ready to hit the 3/8th mile clay surface for some high speed action.
After warm-ups were completed, the team readied the forty one car for time trials. After pulling on his Shell Shock custom painted helmet, the Warrnambool hot shoe was the twelfth car to push off and fire his Kistler Engine for two quick spins around Weedsport Speedway in the Waco Metal/Schoenfeld Headers Maxim. Jamie powered his right foot down and circled Weedsport Speedway’s dry surface in 14.444 seconds. His second lap was slower at 14.561, but his first lap was 22nd quick overall.
After time trials for the modified, the track crew went to work to do a little track preparation before the sprint car heat races. The sun was still shining bright when the eight lap heat races got started, but it was go time. Four heats with five transfer spots coming out of each heat. Jamie was in the second heat race and would line the Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT)/ISC Racers Tape machine up on the outside of row three beside Myerstown, Pennsylvania native Brent Marks. When the initial green flag was waved, it was quickly replaced with a yellow one when front row starter Danny Dietrich was deemed too early on the throttle. When they finally went racing, they dragged race down the front stretch. Jamie was working high and looking low trying everything to steal the final transfer sport from Paul McMahan, but he would come up one spot short when the black and white cloth waved over race winner Jared Zimbardi.
Taking his last shot to get into the feature event, Jamie “The Real Deal” Veal was determined to give it everything he had to put the JJR entry into the Empire State Challenge big show in front of a packed house. Knowing he only had 12 laps to race his way in to the A-Main from his 5th starting spot, he was ready to get his elbows up in his ButlerBuilt Professional Seat System. When the green flag waved, the front row of Jacob Allen and Brandon Rahmer brought the field up to speed. Jamie was wheeling and dealing as he powered his way around the high side as he fought for the transfer spot with Justin Barger. A red flag for Mark Smith stopped the field and the racing action. Veal regrouped and when the green lights re-illuminated around the track, the Aussie speed chauffeur took off in the Priority Aviation Services/MSD Performance #41 Maxim and took over the final transfer position on lap three. He continued to pass cars securing the third position and setting his sights on second running Jacob Allen. Veal continued his pursuit, but when the checkered flag flew over Brent Marks for the Last Chance Showdown victory, he brought the car home in the show position.
When the modified engines quieted after their main event was won by Stewart Friesen, the invading WoO competitors were ready to race for the victory in the 35-lap, $10,000-to-win Empire State Challenge event. Pole Sitter Donny Schatz led the field to the green flag. Veal was on the top side of the track as the field made its way through the first set of turns in the Fischer Body Shop/Momentum Racing Suspensions Maxim. He kept pounding the loud pedal searching for passing lanes to secure a higher spot in the running order. The pace was fast and furious. Jamie was working hard inside the cockpit using his KSE Racing Products to steer his way forward. After a few caution flags, he found himself driving forward and running across the finish line with a respectable 14th place finish behind race winner Donny Schatz.