Racing in Portland!

It was always about something else, and that wasn’t about racing.


Last year at the Portland Historics, Ceegar was falsely accused of hitting another car between Turn 4 and Turn 5. It didn’t happen, and there’s proof. What did happen was more complicated, and doesn’t really matter in the end. He had no black marks put on his record, and everything simmered down. A few of us weren’t sure that we wanted to go back when important decisions seemed a little arbitrary.

Racing is not about bumping chests or bumping fenders. Racing is about the love of cars, speed, competition, friendship, the workers, the fans. No, we don’t like it when someone does something stupid and dangerous.It’s already dangerous, and sometimes words get a bit heated. But sometimes bumping chests and bumping fenders gets in the way of the racing we love and love to share. Then we figure out it just has to be about the racing, and has to be just about the racing.

I called Cowboy to tell him I thought we should race at the Portland Historics.

“I’m in,” he said before I drew my second breath.

“Wait. I haven’t given you my arguments,” I said. “I’ve been thinking about this. Maybe even overthinking it.” That happens to me, and everybody knows it.

“Well, you can go ahead if you want to, but I’m in.”

I gave him my arguments: it’s about racing, the fans, the cars, etc. He waited me out.

“Okay. I’m in,” he said, as if I’d had to convince him.

I called Ceegar, next. It was his confrontation that led to several of us wondering if we wanted to support the current race promoter. I gave Ceegar the same spiel. But Ceegar explained that he’d made arrangements to take his wife and grandson salmon fishing in Alaska that weekend, and whether he wanted to race in Portland or not, he was going to honor that promise made to family. Family is one of the important landmarks on the road Ceegar travels, we all know that.

That left a call to Canuck.

“Let me think about it,” he said. It’s a long haul from Canada to Portland, and there are three races in July. It’s a commitment. But by saying he’d think about it, he’d opened the door a crack. I think Canuck will come and bring his wicked fast black Corvette “Alice” to do damage to the egos he’s left for the rest of us. Someone has to take it to Fireball, maybe the best driver out there and now driving a Cobra that seems part car and part demon, from what I’ve been told.

It’s going to be a good weekend at the end of July, weather permitting and if we all keep it together. Rose Cup will be two weekends before that. I’m stoked we’re going. It’s about the racing, after all, and there isn’t so much of that, not even enough of that, so we can afford to give up a weekend or damage a good race, especially in Portland. It’s never enough.

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About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

6 Responses to Racing in Portland!

  1. Bob Pengraph says:

    Glad to see the winds of change are blowing back in the right directions! It wouldn’t be the same if the big bore group in Portland. See you at the Rose Cup races!

    • Erik Dolson says:

      Thank you, Bob. Can’t wait to see you and Becky and everyone else at the races. It’s a new season! (though a long, long time since I’ve been behind the wheel of a race car).

    • Tom Cantrell says:

      The sad fact of this incident is that Mark has a wrecked car which was not his fault. Mark did not have the benefit of a sanctioning body reviewing the incident and talking to the parties involved. In fact the video of the incident was offered to SVRA and it was refused and Mark was told “that sometimes drivers think things happen in the heat of the moment which did not happen”. Sad, the facts are documented and clear but SVRA decided to look the other way to demonstrate their first opinion was correct and no other opinion could be correct. We all know there is no place for ego in vintage racing and there should be no place for ego in sanctioning bodies we race with.

      Mark will spend thousands of dollars to fix his car without the truth and support of the sanctioning body. Not one time did SVRA go to Dave and asked him what happened. SVRA says their job is to keep people safe while putting on a vintage event but that would mean all involved would be interviewed, that did not happen even when SVRA was told there was no contact with my car. Alex with SVRA had already decided I had contact with Mark and refused to go look at my car for evidence of contact. SVRA seems to be saying that this is their show and they run the show, facts are are what they say they are.

      The most important issue that has been overlooked in this incident is that Mark is saddled with thousands of dollars of repair and he did everything the rules and instructors taught us to do and their is not one person in SVRA to help him with either the truth or cost.

      This issue has not blown over for me and until SVRA calls Mark and apologizes for ignoring his evidence and their error to put ego over caution, I will not be returning to SVRA.

  2. Thomas Robertson says:

    Will you be in Seattle next week? I’m hoping to have Fr-Sun available and creating chaos in the paddock again.

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