FLAMBORO, ON – Fresh off of a season-high 9th place finish on July 1st, veteran Lisa DeLeeuw is showing newfound confidence and motivation as she readies to enter the second half of the 2017 campaign in the wildly competitive Mini Stock division.
‘’Rolling out of the pits (last) Saturday felt like a huge weight had been taken off our shoulders,’’ says the Flamboro, ON native with a smile. ‘’As far as we were concerned, we had been making the right decisions all season long and putting in the hours that we needed to and we weren’t seeing the results that we thought we should”.
“That’s always hard to deal with. I want to be a top-10 car every single night – and that’s exactly what our team deserves. To finally be there is such an awesome feeling”.
DeLeeuw returned to the Mini Stock division in 2017 after a two year foray into the speedway’s short-lived MIGHTY Division that was created to serve as a ‘developmental territory’ for Mini Stock talent. Now, after her two seasons away, DeLeeuw credits the experience with improving her overall as a competitor.
‘’There’s no question in my mind that dropping down [to the MIGHTY Division] for two years made me better, ‘’ says the multi-generational racer. “I went back to square one in a lot of ways and rebuilt myself”.
“I shored up a lot of holes in my driving style and it gave me a much better understanding of what I need to do to be successful. I’m happy for all that I learned and I’m excited to continue applying those lessons this season. I feel like I’m better now than I’ve ever been”.
And while she continues to improve since returning to fulltime Mini Stock racing, the longtime Sunset regular knows working up through the proverbial depth chart is far from a short term project.
‘’It takes a long time to see the improvement that you’re working towards in this division,’’ explains DeLeeuw. ‘’And that has a lot to do with how close the field is. You aren’t going to see overnight changes – no matter who you are”.
“It’s all about putting the time in and making the necessary changes lap-by-lap and night-by-night that will eventually take you where you want to be. We’ve paid a lot of dues in the last few years and it feels incredible to start seeing some progress”.
“A good year is made up of a whole bunch of little moments like what we had on Saturday,” offers the veteran. “We worked hard for a top-10 – and then we got there. Now, we need to get back in the shop and do everything in our power to finish 8th. And we’re going to keep doing that until the Velocity weekend”.
“We’re not looking to become heroes from one week to the next,” adds DeLeeuw. “We’re just putting one step in front of the other. It’s one step at a time every Saturday and as long as we’re moving forward we’re having a successful season”.