Easter Sprintcar Trail victory caps career-best summer for Veal

A SEASON which he could only dream of has finished with yet another breakthrough win for Warrnambool sprintcar driver Jamie Veal.

Veal, 25, claimed his maiden Easter Sprintcar Trail title after winning night three of the series at  Allansford’s Premier Speedway on Sunday.

The victory followed his second-placing at Avalon Raceway on Friday and third at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway on Saturday.

The results were enough to hand Veal the overall honours. He finished with 645 points, just clear of Daniel Pestka, 635.

Pestka, of Strathalbyn, won the opening two nights. He needed to finish fourth or higher to hold on, but could only manage a credible sixth.

Albury driver Grant Anderson was a hard-charging second on night three while pole-sitter Trevor Green, of Adelaide, was third.Veal, who won a memorable night two of the 2014 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in January, said he was satisfied with his latest title.

He had scored podium finishes at Easter in previous years but had never won a leg, let alone the series.

“It’s good to get an Easter win, I’ve got to be happy with that. Nothing beats that night before the Classic (final). That was a pretty good win,” he said.

As a result, Veal finishes a career-best summer as one of the hottest drivers in Australia  — a standing which comes after seven years in the seat.

His season resume includes winning a maiden World Series Sprintcars round at Adelaide’s Speedway City and a SRA Victoria series round at Avalon.

He also secured the Premier Speedway track championship by winning on Sunday, from Green and Brisbane gun James McFadden.

“We’ve had a pretty good run. The last six shows I’ve been on the podium. 

“I haven’t finished out of the top-eight since the middle of January,” he said.

He put the remarkable showing — back driving his family-owned V35 J&J — down to “little things you pick up on the way”.

“A bit of confidence here and there makes a difference. It takes a long time, it takes five years at least to get up to speed,” he said.

“I’m always in the seat. I’ve probably done 40 shows this year. I’m just race fit. I get in the car, everyone is comfortable.”

Using a back-up engine after damaging his main one in Sydney last weekend, Veal qualified fifth-fastest and ran first and fifth in his heats.

He started the A main poorly but was fortunate to receive a second chance when Michael Cunningham and Tim Rankin came together in turn two.

Veal accounted for Mount Gambier’s Steven Lines and Egel after the restart, passed Green on the inside of turn four and led 29 of the 30 laps.

“I said to the guys at the start ‘we’re going to have to win this at the start’... there was a fair bit on the line,” he said.

Veal said he would take six weeks off before heading to the United States where he will contest the 32nd Ohio Sprint Speedweek.

n Dale Walsh defeated emerging prospects Michael McDonald and Michael Coad to win the Super Rod Cup at Premier Speedway on Sunday.

The Cobden driver won a heat and led from start to finish in the A main.  The top three and Howard Stansfield jostled for the lead throughout.

“I’ve had an engine issue the last three, four, five weeks. Thanks to Jason Grayland, he stopped racing the last few weeks to get it going,” Walsh said.

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