PETERSEN MEDIA: Returning to the track for the first time since late July, Austin O’Neal was battling for a podium at the Midwest Fall Brawl at I-80 Speedway before a blown left rear tire on lap 22 ended his night, and also brought his season to an end.
“First of all I really have to thank Zach Wood and Speedway Motors Racing Engines for letting us run their house motor so we could get one final race in for 2022,” Austin O’Neal said. “For it being our first race since late July, I was really happy with how we felt, but I am really disappointed our new left rear couldn’t last the entire night.”
Drawing the pole for his heat race on Saturday night, O’Neal got off to a great start in his Marmon/Keystone/Weld Racing/River Valley Ag backed No. 11 entry. Getting out to the early lead, O’Neal was able to best the field that was made up of the likes of Justin Henderson, Jack Dover, Clint Garner, and Seth Braymer and lock into the Top-Six redraw.
Pulling the four in the redraw, O’Neal would put himself in the second row for the Midwest Fall Brawl feature event. The race had some hiccups getting started and ended up needing three attempts to finally get going.
When the race did come to life on an extremely slick surface, O’Neal slipped back to fourth as he battled with Carson McCarl for a spot inside the Top-Three.
Able to power around McCarl on the third lap, O’Neal moved into third and turned his attention to the lead duo as he worked the high side of the speedway. Settling into third, the Kearney, MO driver focused on hitting his marks and clicking off laps and leaders soon reached the back of the pack.
As the track started to take rubber, O’Neal continued to keep the leaders in his cross hairs until his left rear let go on the 22nd lap and brought his night to an abrupt end while running third.
“The ending to that race just fits with how our season went,’ O’Neal added. “The engine we ran is similar to what our new engine will be and I am really exicted to get that and get to the track in 2023. Aside from Zach and Speedway Motors making Saturday possible, I also want to thank Riley Kreisel for coming and helping on Saturday night. It is always great when a great driver can give us input and help our program out. I also need to thank my parents, Mike Seminara, and all our partners for their support in 2022.”
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-10, Wins-0, Top 5’s-2, Top 10’s-4
ON TAP: O’Neal’s 2022 season has come to a close.
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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