O’Neal Dodges Raindrops and Cautions for Repeat Win
Brownstown Indiana – April 10 – Martinsville, IN hotshoe Don O’Neal made it two-for-two in 1999 at Brownstown Speedway by taking the rain and caution plagued Late Model feature Saturday night. Joe Johnson led wire-to-wire to capture the Street Stock feature win and Jim Holman scored the Hoosier Mini-Stock main event victory.
As the Late Model feature pulled onto the track, raindrops began to fall as Dash for Cash winner Mark Barber and former go-kart racer Duane Chamberlain brought the field to the green flag. Barber and Chamberlain would battle for the lead at the start, before Don O’Neal assumed the top spot on lap 3. As O’Neal began to stretch his lead, Barber, Chamberlain, Marty O’Neal, Jim Curry, and Richie Hedrick waged war behind the leader. The first caution flag appeared on lap 8 for a spin involving Mike Bechelli and Matt Boknecht that would eventually send both drivers pitside for the night. On the restart, O’Neal again pulled away only to see the caution again on lap 10 for Consy winner Billy Meredith. At this point, the rain began to fall even heavier, but track officials kept the cars circling the track until the breif shower subsided. This created an extremely tacky racing surface with several cars lifting the left front tire off the ground for the rest of the event. The ensuing restart took two tries, as on the first attempt , Scott Smith’s entry rolled to a stop at the exit to turn four. The next attempted restart saw fourth place running Richie Hedrick’s engine go sour at the start/finish line and in his attempt to exit the track, Jeff Wilson had no place to go and made heavy contact with the Hedrick mount, causing a red flag situation and ending both drivers good runs on a sour note. Once the race resumed, O’Neal would again pull away as the race stayed green untill 2 laps to go when defending track champ Marty O’Neal came to rest at the top of turn one. On the green/white/checkered restart, Don O’Neal drove away again and "the real deal" put his O’Neal Wood Products/C.J. Rayburn Race Cars #71 in victory lane. Duane Chamberlain earned his best-ever Brownstown finish by coming home second after passing third place finisher Mark Barber with 5 laps remaining. Former track champs Jim Curry and James Huff completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten were Steve Casebolt Jr., Greg Johnson, Cale Kern, Todd McKinney and Marty O’Neal.
In the Street Stock division, Jason Hehman and Joe Johnson brought the field to the green flag with North Vernon, IN’s Johnson leading at the end of the first lap and staying out front until the checkered flag was thrown. Defending track champion Tim Clark made a valiant charge at the end of the event, but was forced to settle for runner-up honors for the evening. Tom Allman, Hehman, and Tom Plotz earned positions three through five at the finish. Jerry Adams, Jay Baker, Cory Brown, Jerry Hepworth, and Roy Bruce were the drivers that made up the second five in the Street Stock feature.
The Hoosier Mini-Stocks were in action and Jim Holman took the feature win. Following Holman to the finish were Phil Fultz, Henry Happle, Tom Mahoney, and Jim Moon. Completing the top ten were Robbie Snow, Willie McRoberts, A.J. Bright, Billy Moore, and William McRoberts.