ANAHEIM, CA., July 11, 1988… The SCCA Escort Endurance Championship took the Saleen Mustangs to Portland International Raceway for the second race of the season on Saturday, June 11.
The driver line-up included Steve Saleen and Pete Halsmer in the #19; Lisa Caceres and Desire’ Wilson in #20; and Rick Titus and Calvin Fish in #21. The cars qualified in the same order in 4th, 5th and 6th position. After challenging for the lead, the #19 Saleen Mustang was soon sidelined with brake problems that could not be remedied in the pit stops. The #20 and #21 car suffered like problems, which cost the team valuable time off the track during the four-hour race. Finishing 3rd, 5th and 6th still keeps the team in a close battle for championship standings going into the next event at Brainerd, Minnesota, July 16.
Meanwhile, the Saleen Sportrucks were being prepared for another street race. This time over the potholes of Niagara Falls, New York on June 25. The #20 Ranger was driven by George Follmer and, remaining with the team for this event, Pete Halsmer took #21. Steve Saleen’s Ranger suffered through the weekend, but did make the inverted grid pole position with George and Pete side-by-side just two rows back.
On lap 2 of the 31-lap race, the forth-placed competitor in a Mitsubishi drove straight into a wall taking Halsmer and Follmer and three other trucks out of the race, due to a very close bump drafting style of the Racetruck Challenge. When the green flag fell again, Saleen had to ask his Ford Ranger for everything it had and more. Despite significant horsepower disparity, he finished second and was also awarded, for the second time this year, the Timex “Speedtrak Move of the Race”. This event is being televised on Sunday, July 17 on the TNN Network, “American Sports Cavalcade”. Look for the action!