ROSSBURG, OH – June 11, 2011 – Don O’Neal finally has a victory in a crown-jewel dirt Late Model event.
Ending a frustrating career-long pursuit of a signature triumph, O’Neal surged forward from the 12th starting spot to capture Saturday night’s DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned Dream XVII at Eldora Speedway.
O’Neal, 46, of Martinsville, Ind., passed Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., for the lead on lap 87 and held on the remainder of the 100-lap distance to earn the MasterSbilt house car team a whopping $100,000 – the largest first-place payoff offered anywhere in the country for a dirt Late Model event in 2011.
What a long time coming,” said O’Neal, expressing relief over his coveted win in a major race. “This is pretty awesome. I drove the wheels off this thing for a hundred laps and finally we got ‘er done at the end.”
A former DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion known for his hard-charging style, O’Neal crossed the finish line 0.700 of a second in front of the legendary Moyer, who swept last year’s Dream and World 100 at Eldora and was bidding to become the first driver to win three of the track’s marquee events in a row.