Pair of fifth-place runs at Golden Isles; fourth in Winter Nationals opener at BRP
Rocket1 Racing and Hudson O’Neal continued their Speedweeks 2023 efforts over the past five days with the opening rounds of the 2023 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) campaign.
O’Neal and the team recorded a trio of Top-5 finishes with their Rocket1 Racing / Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches No. 1 Ace Metal Works / XR1 Rocket Chassis / Durham Racing Engine Super Late Model.
“I feel like every time we hit the track that we are gelling more and more as a team. I’m learning the way they do things and they are also learning the way I’ve been used to doing things, and I’m really happy with our progress. The results are starting to show on the track, and we are getting close to the first win of the year,” O’Neal said. “We’ve got a great team in place, and I’m excited to be in the position I’m in.”
Rocket 1 Racing returned to the road with Hudson O’Neal piloting the Valvoline No. 1 Late Model at Golden Isles Speedway (Brunswick, Ga.) on Thursday afternoon as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) season officially kicked off with the 2023 edition of the Super Bowl of Racing.
After his scorching 14.921-second lap in time trials earned him the Allstar Performance fast time award, O’Neal secured his spot into the opening night feature with a runner-up showing in his heat. With $10,000 on the line, Hudson was running third in the final 10 circuits when another competitor sent him spinning. He salvaged a 19th-place outing from the tail.
For another $10,000-to-win program on Friday, Hudson followed up the second-fastest lap in his time trial group with a heat race triumph. Losing two spots in the 40-lap feature, O’Neil registered a fifth-place finish, which came behind Kyle Larson, Ricky Thornton Jr., Brandon Overton, and Earl Pearson Jr.
On Saturday, O’Neal secured his spot into the $25,000-to-win Super Bowl of Racing finale with an eight-lap heat victory. Scoring his second consecutive Top-5 finish, Hudson raced to a fifth-place performance in the 60-lap affair. He trailed Brandon Overton, Ricky Thornton Jr., Tanner English, and Brandon Sheppard to the checkers.
In a field of 39 LOLMDS entries on Sunday at Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, Fla.) for the BRP Winter Nationals, Hudson’s third-place finish in his heat race pinned him on the sixth row for the main event. Wheeling his way into the top-five, O’Neal marched forward eight spots to cross the line in fourth.
The five-day swing drew to a close on Monday night at with the final round of the BRP Winter Nationals. Hudson raced from fifth-to-third in his heat race to lock into the 11th-starting spot for the $10,000-to-win finale. Unfortunately, he was spun on the first circuit. Tagging the back of the field he rebounded to a 17th-place finish.
Hudson is currently sixth in the latest LOLMDS point standings.
Full results from the weekend are available at www.LucasDirt.com.