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(March 7) – It was far from the season opener that Austen Wheatley had imagined.
Luckily for Wheatley, there was a second night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which played host to a pair of World of Outlaws’ races last Wednesday and Thursday.
“The first night was terrible,” Wheatley said. “The second night was a solid night to get the kinks out of the way and some laps under my belt.”
Engine issues plagued the 18-year-old from Lake Stevens, Wash., in the opener. In fact, Wheatley missed hot laps and his spot in qualifying because the engine wouldn’t fire. Once it finally did, the engine never ran well and the night ended when Wheatley pulled into the pits midway through the B Main.
“We couldn’t figure out exactly what it was so we swapped engines for the second night,” he said. “We got a decent qualifying lap in and overall a solid night of racing.”
Wheatley qualified 18th and drove from sixth to fifth in his heat race. He then tied his second-best career World of Outlaws finish by placing 20th.
“We know all the changes we made over the winter helped,” Wheatley said. “I think this year we will be a lot faster.”
Wheatley returns to the track this Saturday with the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., for the Mini Gold Cup.
QUICK RESULTS –
March 2 – The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Qualifying: 25; Heat race: 9 (9); B Main: 7 (7).
March 3 – The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Qualifying: 18; Heat race: 5 (6); Feature: 20 (16).
SEASON STATS –
2 races, 1 feature, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 0 top 15s, 1 top 20
UP NEXT –
Saturday at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., with the World of Outlaws at the Mini Gold Cup
FAVORITE NUMBER –
7.29: How many tenths of a second faster Wheatley was in qualifying on March 3 than the previous night.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –