Inside Line Promotions
– WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (Nov. 7) – Austen Wheatley started 11th and finished 11th in twin features last Saturday at the USCS Flip Flop 50.
However, finishing where he started wasn’t an easy task for the 18-year-old from Lake Stevens, Wash., who dropped to the back in both main events because of on-track incidents at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark.
“We were really fast,” he said. “We could have won that second feature. Just with some of the people racing there, it was hard to pass and there were some questionable things out there.
“I slid this guy twice and cleared him, then going down the frontstretch he clipped my bumper and turned me into the fence both times. They were throwing dirty slide jobs like five-wide.”
After driving from sixth to fifth in his heat race on Friday, Wheatley entered Saturday’s doubleheader 11th in points. He started on the inside of the sixth row in the first main event, but fell toward the back within the first three laps.
“I was just dodging cars and trying not to wreck at the start,” he said. “You didn’t know what line some of those guys were going to pick or if they’d stay in that line.”
Wheatley worked his way through the field and eventually ended where he started. Since he finished in the middle of the 22-car event and the second feature was inverted, Wheatley was again placed 11th to start the second main event.
“It was really, really slick, so it was right on the fence,” he said. “It was just slide jobs. There really wasn’t a bottom. Off turn two I could run the bottom and slide people in turns three and four, but there was no bottom in three and four.”
After tightening the car up a lot for the second feature, Wheatley moved forward at the start. Within four laps he had climbed into the top five. However, on a restart just past the midpoint of the feature, Wheatley was spun out by a car behind him.
“We were one of the fastest cars and could have won that main event,” he said. “I went to the bottom and evidently a driver behind me went in too hot and turned me around.”
After restarting in the back, Wheatley again rebounded in the closing laps to finish where he started.
“That was a lot of work to not really go anywhere in the results,” he said. “We had a lot of speed. It was just unfortunate that I got caught up in other people’s situations. I guess that’s just part of racing.”
He will race this Friday and Saturday with the ASCS National Tour at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M., for the first time.
For live updates on Wheatley and the rest of the races throughout the weekend, check out www.insidelinepromotions.com.
QUICK RESULTS –
Nov. 4 – Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. – Heat race: 5 (6).
Nov. 5 – Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. – Feature #1: 11 (11); Feature: 11 (11).
SEASON STATS –
50 races, 31 features, 0 wins, 1 top five, 6 top 10s, 13 top 15s, 24 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday and Saturday at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M., with the ASCS National Tour
FAVORITE NUMBER –
11: Position Wheatley started and finished in both features last Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark., with the USCS.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
ON THE AIR –
Click on the link below for video of Wheatley’s bad crash on his qualifying night at the Knoxville Nationals on the Dirt Report on Speed TV:
Here is another link to the wreck from the Knoxville Raceway network and High Vista Video Productions:
Wheatley has gray and white t-shirts, gray sweatshirts, and charcoal gray hats and beanies for sale. For more information, visit www.austenwheatley.com.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Astro Titanium
Established in 1999, Astro Titanium manufactures quality titanium fasteners for sprint cars and midgets. Based out of Noti, Ore., owner Dave Sims has developed his business into a titanium leader on a national scale. For more information, visit www.astrotitanium.com.
“Astro Titanium and Dave Sims have been with me since the beginning of my career,” Wheatley said. “Anytime we have a problem, we call Dave up and he helps. He’s a really personable guy and his products work great.”
Wheatley would like to thank his sponsors, including Wolfweld, The Oil Medics, SpeedMart, Fire-Down Graphics, Advanced Racing Suspensions, DMI, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Goodyear and Redlined Welding & Construction for their continued support.