Don O’Neal outran his teammate Darrell Lanigan to score a stunning sweep in the 29th annual Pittsburgher 100 at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Saturday night in Imperial, PA.
O’Neal led flag to flag to win the event for the first time in his career. Josh Richards, who was the reigning winner of the event, finished behind the Clint Bowyer teammates to complete the podium and make up some much-needed series points over Tim McCreadie.
O’Neal was not handed the win by any stretch of the imagination. He withstood several cautions that bunched up the field and gave the competition a shot at the top spot. His superiority on the track was seen in his restarts, however. He pulled out to a healthy lead from the line each time the green waved.
While O’Neal has had the car to battle for the lead on several occasions, this is only his second win of the year.
“Another podium finish sounds good, and this time we got the win,” O’Neal said. “Last week, we had two runner-up finishes and tonight the car was just fantastic. In fact all weekend long it was just perfect.”
O’Neal was equally dominant in Friday night's qualifying and heat races, setting a new track record and winning his heat to set him on the pole. Michael Norris, Mike Marlar, and Richards also won their heats.
“We have been really solid here recently, and it’s a great way to end the season,” Lanigan said.
While a win sounded great to Richards, he knew he did not have the car to beat O’Neal and was satisfied by improving his points standings.
“There was quite a race among the top five after Don [O’Neal],” Richards said. “He was unbeatable here tonight. This was a good points finish for us. We’ll head to Portsmouth with at least a decent shot at the title.”
As Richards, Scott Bloomquist, and McCreadie fight for the points battle, every position matters. Richards' podium finish bumped him from third to second in the battle. Richards now sits 40 points behind McCreadie, who finished sixth, and 35 points in front of Bloomquist, who finished 18th.
Earl Pearson Jr. won the first B-main to make it into the feature before finishing fourth. Jimmy Owens completed the top five.
Top 10 Finishers
1. Don O'Neal
2. Darrell Lanigan
3. Josh Richards
4. Earl Pearson, Jr.
5. Jimmy Owens
6. Tim McCreadie
7. Hudson O'Neal
8. Boom Briggs
9. Mason Zeigler
10. Rick Eckert