O’Neal Steals Volusia Loot
BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Don O’Neal passed race-long leader Jimmy Mars on the final lap to win the UMP DIRTcar late-model feature Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Mars started second and beat Jimmy Owens into the first corner of the half-mile dirt track and was gone from there. He had a comfortable lead when the caution flag waved with three laps to go in the 30-lap event.
O’Neal was third for the restart and passed Brady Smith and into second. He went after Mars down the backstretch and the leaders made contact. Mars led that lap, but O’Neal tried the outside again and made the move work this time and took the $7,000 victory.
“That yellow flag gave me a new life,” O’Neal said. “I had nothing to lose running in third, so I hauled it off in there — the top was pretty good in one and two. He saw me on the outside of him and squeezed me out there. It was all good.”
Mars settled for a disappointing runner-up.
“Don did a hell of a job,” Mars said. “I heard him out there and tried to get to the top, but it wasn’t there. A late-race caution kind of sucks, but it is what it is.”
Mars led Owens and Jonathan Davenport early on before O’Neal worked into second by lap 12 from his fifth starting spot. Smith wasn’t far behind and soon took third.
As Mars worked through lapped traffic, Smith took second from O’Neal with eight laps to go. John Blankenship slowed in turn one bringing out the final yellow on lap 27.
O’Neal stole the victory over Mars, Smith, Josh Richards, who started 14th and Monday night winner Billy Moyer.
Don O’Neal, Jimmy Mars, Brady Smith, Josh Richards, Billy Moyer, Jimmy Owens, Dale McDowell, Dan Schlieper, Jonathan Davenport, Scott Bloomquist, Tyler Reddick, Pat Doar, Kent Robinson, Jack Sullivan, John Mason, Jason Feger, Dennis Erb, Jr., Tommy Kerr, John Blankenship, Earl Pearson, Jr., Chub Frank, Tim McCreadie, Casey Roberts, Rick Eckert, Tim Fuller.