The NHRA NGK 4 Wide Nationals are days away from kicking off at Zmax Dragway. However, for defending 4 Wide Top Sportsman racer Don O’Neal, just being able to compete will be a successful weekend by all accounts. O’Neal and his wife have had a stressful 4 months to this point.
“We are going to make it someway, somehow to be there to stage to defend our first National Event Win at the NGK Nationals,” stated O’Neal, driver of the NGK Top Sportsman Camaro. “However, we have no idea how we are going to perform. Our lives have been turned upside since November 1st when we got the call that Diane has cancer,” continued O’Neal.
“We just came off a great season, we had new marketing partners to announce, our new car at PRI, back-to-back Top 10 seasons, we had a lot to be excited about, however, that phone call changed everything to a point,” said O’Neal.
O’Neal and his wife Diane along with the support of the Strassweg family and countless companies embarked on taking a LS Factory Stock Showdown engine and inserting it in a NHRA Pro Stock Camaro to compete in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Competition in the class of Top Sportsman. Should be an easy task, correct? Of course not.
“I can not ask for a better group of people helping complete this project. Everyone has done anything and everything to help,” O’Neal said. “We know that we have our backs against the wall, however, we are very lucky that we are able to compete. My wife and I do this together, with great support from the Strassweg family and our partners, it’s what we do and it’s become who we are. She has worked extremely hard being part of this crazy life and I want her to see the fruits of her labor.”
The project has great support from NGK, VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants, Tub O’ Towels, Boxo Tools, Magnuson Superchargers, Patterson-Elite, Brodix, RHS, Simpons Safety, Comp Cams, Diamond Pistons, MGP Connecting Rods, Crower, Holley, Mickey Thompson, Weld Wheels, AFCO, Stainless Works, Carts Gone Wild, Magic Dry, Racepak and host of tecnhincal support.
“When we roll to the water box for Q1 I can assure everyone of one thing, there will not be a dry eye in my helmet. We are taking a lot of medicine, treatments and therapy right now trying to get Diane healthy. I hope that a little racing therapy will help give us more wind in our sail,” a teary-eyed O’Neal concluded.