DON O’NEAL GRABS FOURTH BROWNSTOWN SPEEDWAY VICTORY OF 1999
BROWNSTOWN, IN – MAY 22 – The possible bugs of debuting a brand new race car would not stop Don O’Neal from scoring the Late Model feature win Saturday night at Brownstown Speedway. The victory for the Martinsville, IN hotshoe was his fourth at Brownstown this season and came behind the wheel of a brand new C.J. Rayburn Race Car.
O’Neal and veteran, Jim Curry, started on the front row of the feature event, with O’Neal jumping to the lead immediately, followed by Curry, Scott Smith, John Gill, and James Huff. On the move early on in the race was consy winner, Duane Chamberlain, who broke into the top ten on lap 3 after starting 16th. The caution flag would appear on lap 6 for a spin by Mike Darlage, regrouping the field for a restart. On the restart, O’Neal began to pull away from the field and by lap 10, settled into a comfortable pace working the hub in corners and drifting high on the straights. Meanwhile, Chamberlain’s march to the front had gotten him to 7th, and rookie Late Model driver, Bryan Barber, was knocking on the door of the top ten battling with Mark Barber.
The top five remained the same as the caution flew for the last time on lap 16 for a stalled Tom Benham in turn one. After the restart, O’Neal once again began to pull away from the field as John Gill began to move closer to the front. Gill raced up on the rim and drove by Scott Smith on lap 18 for the third spot and began closing in on runner-up Curry. On lap 20, Gill shot past Curry for the second position, only to lose the spot on the next lap, but regained the position again on lap 22. This battle for runner-up honors gave O’Neal all the breathing room he would need to drive his O’Neal Wood Products #71 C.J. Rayburn Race Car entry to the checkered flag first. Gill held off Curry for second, while Smith and James Huff completed the top five. Greg Johnson, Chamberlain, Marty O’Neal, Barber, who started 17th , and Frankie Coomer, who started 18th rounded out the top ten.
In UMP Modified action, outside pole sitter, Brent Londeree, snatched the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 20 lap feature event. By lap 3, Londeree and Brad Erwin, were five car lengths ahead of a furious battle for third, between Nelson Gingery, Randy Petro and Adam Sasser, with Sasser spinning his mount on lap 5 and having to restart at the rear of the field. By lap 10, the front five were Londeree, Erwin, Gingery, John DeMoss, and Petro. Petro would pass Gingery and DeMoss on lap 12 to take the third spot, only to lose third to DeMoss one lap later on lap 13.
Meanwhile, Erwin pulled along side Londeree at this point and took the lead on lap 14. Erwin would then begin to motor away from the pack and put the Erwin’s Body Shop/Car Quest of Seymour and Brownstown #18 MasterSbilt in victory lane. Trailing the North Vernon, IN pilot at the finish were Londeree, DeMoss, Petro, and Daryl Herbert, who started 18th on the field. The second five were led by Gingery, followed by Matt Bocknecht, who battled back from a spin on lap 2 while running second. Rob Brickert, Sasser, and Richie Lex trailed Gingery and Bocknecht to complete the top 10.
The UMRA Midgets were in action with 44 entries and Fortville, IN driver, Terry Goff, was victorious after starting the main event in the 12th spot. Jim Weir, Carey Goff, Jason Willis, and Bob McClure trailed the winner with Robert Nichols, Jr., Eric Roberts, Collin Ambrose, Mike Smith, and Matt Lux, the second five.