Don O’Neal Wins Second Career Pittsburgher
Story By: Jeremy Shields/LOLMDS
Photos By: Heath Lawson/LOLMDS
IMPERIAL, PA (October 5, 2019) – Don O’Neal won his second Pittsburgher 100 in the last three years on Saturday Night at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. In taking home the $20,000 first place prize, he also earns his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory of 2019 and became the 18th different Series winner this season.
Davenport led from the start of the race and appeared to be on the way to his first Pittsburgher 100 victory. Throughout the latter half of the event, he fought off O’Neal’s constant challenges, but was pulling away when a caution came out for a stalled car in turn four. Under the lap 93 caution, Davenport slowed to a stop in the middle of the backstretch, and was pushed back to the hot pit area to add fuel to his Longhorn Chassis.
Earl Pearson Jr. charged from the 23rd stating spot to finish second behind O’Neal. Tim McCreadie rallied from two pitstops to finish in third. Jimmy Owens fought his way back to finish fourth after tangling with another car just shy of half way and having to restart at the tail, and 2-time Pittsburgher 100 winner, Gregg Satterlee, rounded out the top five.
Davenport sprinted to the lead at the start of the race with Hudson O’Neal and Shanon Buckingham following in second and third. That trio held the top-three positions for the first ten laps of the race. Don O’Neal then began to challenge his 19-year-old son in a battle for second. The two O’Neal’s ran side-by-side for several circuits in the race for second behind Davenport who was building a commanding lead over the field. After clearing his son, Don O’Neal began to track down Davenport. By lap 70 he had pulled his car alongside of Davenport’s in the battle for the top spot.
Don O’Neal used the late-race restart to pull away from a hard-charging Pearson to pick up the 46th Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of his career. “Man, I needed this win bad. We have a had a good car over the last month. I am pumped! Our car was better on the long green flag runs. I thought I could get by Jonathan a couple times late in the race. I tried to make him [Davenport] run a little bit harder than he wanted to and I wanted him to know I was there. My car kept wanting to die on the last caution, so I am glad the race ended when it did.”
Pearson was pleased with his well-earned finish. “We had a pretty good run tonight. We struggled all night before the feature and changed a lot on the car after the B-Main. We are definitely proud that all of our hard work paid off. The track was racy, and you could move all around it. Congratulations to Don on the win. It’s pretty crazy how these 100 lap races turn out sometimes with the veteran guys running up front.”
McCreadie charged back late in the race to join O’Neal and Pearson on the Lucas Oil podium. “I don’t know what cut the tire down earlier in the race. My car was really crooked for the early part of the race and that was making it hard on the left rear. The car got better after we pitted.”
The winner’s Clint Bowyer Racing, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and is sponsored by DEKALB Asgrow, Crawford Outdoor, Cometic Gasket, Ford Performance, Ditzfeld Transfer, Integra Racing Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, and Peak Antifreeze and Coolant.
Completing the top ten were Tyler Erb, Billy Moyer Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, and Hudson O’Neal.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway – Imperial, PA
Miller Welders Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Tim McCreadie / 18.696 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Jonathan Davenport / 18.713 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Shanon Buckingham, Tim McCreadie, Jacob Hawkins, Ryan Montgomery, Johnny Scott, Doug Drown, Mike Marlar, Earl Pearson, Jr., Jon Hodgkiss, Dylan Yoder-DNS
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Michael Norris, Gregg Satterlee, Billy Moyer, Jr., Josh Richards, Tyler Erb ®, Kyle Bronson, Andrew Wylie, Reid Millard, Trever Feathers
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Jonathan Davenport, Don O’Neal, Stormy Scott, Colton Flinner, Chub Frank, Chuck Kimble, Derek Stefanick, Mason Zeigler
Lucas Oil Products Penetrating Oil Heat Race #4 Finish (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): Hudson O’Neal, Jimmy Owens, Devin Moran ®, Jared Miley, Gary Stuhler, Dan Angelicchio, Bryan Bernheisel, Joe Kienzle, Kelvin Kohan-DNS
Lucas Oil Products Red “N” Tacky Spray Grease B-Main Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Tyler Erb ®, Johnny Scott, Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson, Doug Drown, Earl Pearson, Jr., Andrew Wylie, Reid Millard, Jon Hodgkiss-DNS, Trever Feathers-DNS, Dylan Yoder-DNS
FAST Shafts B-Main Finish (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Chub Frank, Scott Bloomquist, Bryan Bernheisel, Dan Angelicchio, Gary Stuhler, Chuck Kimble, Derek Stefanick, Joe Kienzle, Mason Zeigler-DNS, Kelvin Kohan-DNS
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Earl Pearson, Jr.
Tyler Erb ®
New Waverly, TX
Billy Moyer, Jr.
Bear Lake, PA
South Park, PA
Las Cruces, NM
Allison Park, PA
Las Cruses, NM
Devin Moran ®
Lap Leaders: Jonathan Davenport (Laps 1 – 93); Don O’Neal (Laps 94 – 100)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Don O’Neal
Margin of Victory: 0.644 seconds
Cautions: Tim McCreadie (Lap 6); Debris (Lap 15); Scott Bloomquist (Lap 26); Jimmy Owens, Hudson O’Neal (Lap 48); Devin Moran (Lap 55); Ryan Montgomery (Lap 62); Stormy Scott (Lap63); Josh Richards (Lap 93); Johnny Scott (Lap 99)
Series Provisionals: Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Bronson
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr. (Advanced 21 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Jonathan Davenport
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Don O’Neal
Eibach Springs Rookie of the Race: Tyler Erb
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Rocket Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Brian Leonberg (Don O’Neal)
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Jonathan Davenport (Lap #7 – 19.209 seconds)
Hot Rod Processing Tough Break of the Race: Jonathan Davenport
STEEL-IT Most Laps Led: Jonathan Davenport (93 Laps)
PFC Brakes Pole Award: Shanon Buckingham
Time of Race: 73 minutes 11 seconds