Just a few races into the 2023 season a switch seemed to flip for driver Hudson O’Neal and the Rocket Chassis house car organization he joined late last year. When the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series rolled into East Bay Raceway Park on February 6th, the Rocket 1 Racing team found its stride and hasn’t fallen off since. The results since that time have been nothing short of remarkable.
O’Neal currently leads the Lucas Oil standings and sits second in the Castrol FloRacing Night in America rundown just six points behind Mike Marlar.
Since East Bay, O’Neal has scored six wins in his last 18 starts. Along with those victories have come and additional seven podium results and four more efforts of fourth through sixth place. In that three month time span, there has only been one finish outside the top-10 which came in a FloRacing event at Eldora Speedway(12th).
To show the team’s adaptability, those seven wins have come across four separate sanctioning bodies- the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Castrol FloRacing Night in America Series, World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series, and the DIRTcar Late Model Series.
Following a thrilling win in the FloRacing feature at Lincoln Speedway in Lincoln, Illinois this past Thursday night, a race in which all grooves of the race track had to be used, O’Neal pointed to team owner Mark Richards and the members of his crew as the reasons for his amazing run of consistency.
“My guys- Mark, Danny, Joel, Austin, Cody, my girlfriend- they all work hard to give me a great race car to let me do that, move all around this race track and get by lapped cars,” O’Neal declared to FloRacing.com in his post-race interview. “Man, it was a fun race. I don’t know how it was for you fans but that was awesome on my end. That’s what a driver dreams of, to be able to have a race like that. It’s really cool, but like I said, it would not be possible without Mark Richards, Steve Baker, Rocket Chassis and everybody back at the shop. They give us great race cars to be able to come out here and do this and I’m just lucky enough to be able to drive it.”
O’Neal appeared poised to keep his strong run of performances alive on Friday night in a Lucas Oil event at the Farmer City Raceway in Farmer City, Illinois after he turned the second fastest lap in Group B time-trials then went on to win the fourth heat race to earn a second row starting position for the main event but rain put a damper on those activities before the feature could take to the track.
O’Neal and the rest of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series are scheduled to be in action on Saturday night when that tour makes its first ever stop at the famed Fairbury Speedway. The racing program at Farmer City will pick up where it left off on Monday evening.
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Hudson O’Neal holds off Sheppard for FloRacing triumph at Lincoln
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