PETERSEN MEDIA: Eager to get to the track on Friday night to try some changes to his setup with his Chalk Stix and Schure Built Suspensions FK Shocks, Austin O’Neal would do very well during his debut at I-80 Speedway as he pocketed a fourth-place finish.
“We made wholesale changes over the last week, and I felt really comfortable in hot laps and was immediately happy with the direction we were heading,” O’Neal said.
Taking the green flag from fourth in his heat race aboard the Marmon/Keystone/Weld Racing backed No. 11 entry, O’Neal jumped right into third before a close quarter move saw him move into second.
With the move getting returned, O’Neal would end up second in the heat race which was still good enough to lock him into the Top-Six redraw where the three-pill put him in the second row of the feature event.
Going green for the 20-lap feature, the pole sitter would not take off at the cone and the bottle neck resulted in O’Neal slipping back to sixth as the outside lane freight trained the inside lane.
Working the bottom for the first five laps and not able to make up any ground, O’Neal would change his plan and get to ripping around the top of the ½ mile Nebraska facility.
A yellow on lap-10 proved advantageous for O’Neal as he was able to nail the restart and pounce into fifth before hooking up in an entertaining battle with Stu Snyder for fourth.
Breaking Snyder’s momentum, O’Neal took over fourth in the closing laps as the track started laying rubber. Able to nurse his tires home in the final laps, O’Neal hung on to pick up his best finish of his young season with a fourth-place finish.
“It is still really early in our season, and I think we learned some things and made really good adjustments all night,” O’Neal said. “It gives us a really good baseline for big tracks moving forward and that is always a good thing.”
Austin O’Neal Racing would like to thank Marmon/Keystone, Weld Racing, River Valley Ag, Kaw Valley Companies, RacinBoys, HMC Performance Coatings, Mel Hambelton Ford Racing, Champion Oil, Taffs Carpets, Rod End Supply, Clemons Home Team, Mettec Titanium, V&L Properties, Toby’s Coatings, NGK Spark Plugs, Maxim Racing, Capital Sign Co., Wesmar Racing Engines, and Schure Built Suspensions for their support.
BY THE NUMBERS: Races-4, Wins-0, Top 5’s-1, Top 10’s-1
ON TAP: O’Neal is tentatively scheduled to compete at Knoxville Raceway this weekend.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Austin O’Neal by following him on Twitter @austinonealrcgn, or by ‘Liking’ him on facebook at www.facebook.com/austinonealracing.
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