O'Neal rebounds with $5,000 Florence victory
UNION, Ky. (Sept. 19) — Gaining a measure of redemption after his late-race loss in last month's North-South 100, Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., captured Florence Speedway's Fall 50. The fourth-starting O'Neal earned $5,000 for the unsanctioned victory at the half-mile oval in northern Kentucky. | Slideshow
Fifth-row starter Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., finished second followed polesitter Duane Chamberlain of Richmond, Ind. Front-row starter Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind., and fifth-starting Audie McWilliams of Walton, Ky., rounded out the top five in the second-to-last Late Model event of the season at Florence. Brandon Green and Jerry Rice, locked in a tight battle for the track's Late Model title, finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
Chamberlain jumped into the lead from his pole position with James, O'Neal and Jason Jameson giving chase. Justin Rattliff drew a lap-six caution, the first of three, when he got into the turn-two wall. A second caution appeared a lap later for Green and Josh Williams.
O'Neal restarted second and stalked Chamberlain for two laps before taking command on lap nine. With O'Neal out front, Marlar worked his way toward the front, taking fourth from James on the 14th lap and then third from Jameson on lap 18.
The field was bunched after Chris Wilson's lap-28 yellow, and Marlar quickly took second from Chamberlain. Marlar's rally wasn't enough to catch O'Neal, who won his second race of the season at Florence.
Notes: O'Neal's Racing United Marketing Team fields a MasterSbilt Race Car with a Jay Dickens Racing Engine and sponsorship from Superior Cleaning, Sunoco Race Fuels, Envy Suspensions, Hoosier Racing Tires, Hanzo Logistics along with Jeff and Buddy Massengill. ... O'Neal, a regular on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, dominated most of the $50,000-to-win North-South 100 on that series on Aug. 8 before Jimmy Mars overtook him heading for the white flag. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Robby Hensley, Jeff Alsip, Greg Johnson and Mike Jewell, who scratched from the consolation race. ... Florence wraps up 2009 with its Season Championship Night on Oct. 3.
Fall 50: (1) Don O'Neal, (2) Mike Marlar, (3) Duane Chamberlain, (4) Scott James, (5) Audie McWilliams, (6) Terry Casey, (7) Freddy Smith, (8) Jason Jameson, (9) Eric Wells, (10) Brandon Green, (11) Steve Casebolt, (12) Jerry Rice, (13) John Gill, (14) Chris Wilson, (15) Casey Noonan, (16) Justin Rattliff, (17) Steve Landrum, (18) Daryl Herbert, (19) David Spille, (20) Jesse Lay, (21) Jason Whitaker, (22) Josh Williams, (23) Jeff Raisor, (24) Curtis Deisenroth, (25) Bill Blair Jr. Heat race winners (among 35 cars): Casebolt, O'Neal, Green. Consolation winner: Williams. Provisional starter: Blair.