O’Neal to battle for series title with new team

Martinsville native Hudson O’Neal, who now resides in Hope, and Mark Richards of Rocket Chassis located in Shinnston, West Virginia, will be joining forces for the 2023 racing season.

The team’s primary focus for the upcoming year is pursuing the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship with their Rocket1 Racing/Valvoline/Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works/XR1 Rocket Chassis/Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model. When not competing in LOLMDS events, the team will also enter a bevy of high-profile national level events along with select World of Outlaws (WoO) Case Late Model Series races.

“Before we know it, it will be time to head to Florida to kick off the new season at Speedweeks. We’re very grateful to welcome back all our existing marketing partners as well as welcoming O’Neal’s Salvage and Recycling and WR1 Sim Chassis as new partners. We also will be announcing additional new sponsors in the coming weeks, Richards said. “Our team is excited to embark on the new season with Hudson behind the wheel.”

The 2023 campaign for Rocket1 Racing and O’Neal opens Jan. 19-21, 2023, with the Sunshine Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida. The WoO tripleheader includes $8,000-to-win programs on Jan. 19 and 20, followed by a $20,000-to-win win finale on Jan. 21.

Brownstown Speedway will be holding three Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events in 2023. The first one will be the Indiana Icebreaker on March 18. The C.J. Rayburn Memorial moves to Brownstown the night before the Jackson 100 on Sept. 22. with the 44th Annual Jackson 100 taking place on Sept. 23, with a record $30,000-to-win payday.

Lux is All-Star midget champ

Matt Lux will be honored on Dec. 10 as the 2022 All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midget Champion. The series owned by Tony Stewart will hold its awards presentation in Rushville at the Root Building on the grounds of the Rush County 4-H Fairgrounds. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at the door.

Joey Paxson was second in points, followed by Tate Martz, Cory Clay and Rylan Gray. The remainder of the top 10 drivers were Ashlea Albertson, Matthew Hedrick, Dylan Powell, Logan Prickett and Johnny Goff.

Nelson Stewart led the next five drivers, with Robbie Roland, Landon Browning, Addison True and Hunter Rabourn. Completing the top 20 drivers were Johnny Heydenreich, Connor Wolf, Stephen Davis, Jake Kelly and Adam Bolyard.

Rice takes track title at Florence

Josh Rice won his first career late model track title in 2022 at Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky. His older brother James finished second in points, followed by Robby Hensley, Trevor Landrum and Austin Lay. The rest of the top 10 late model participants were Scott James, Jason Jameson, Dustin Nobbe, Tim McCreadie and Tristan Chamberlain.

Trent Green was the top point man in the crate late model division. Brad Rickels was second in points, followed by Billy Vaughan, Ethan Toedter and Phillip Ramirez.

Pete Holt won the open wheel modified division championship over Caleb Burgess, Nick Snell, Trent Green and Billy Green.

This week in racing history

From 40 years ago, the Doug Ault (late models) and Mark Elzey (street stocks) were named the track champions at Charlestown Motor Speedway.

Also from 1982, the top 10 in the Twin Cities Speedway points standings were announced. Steve Boley was the limited late model track champion over Lee Fleetwood, Chuck Gilpin, John Warner, and Jim Ruddick. The rest of the top 10 were Bud Seymour, Gregg Lyle, Bob Gullion, Jim Moore and John Mitchell. Clyde James was the street stock track champion over Willie Sallee, Scott McKeand, Earl Plessinger and Bill Franks. The remaining top 10 drivers were Tom Franks, R.C. Calton, Don Walp, Charlie Hartwell and Larry Gingery.

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected]