Inside Line Promotions
– LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Nov. 14) – Austen Wheatley started in the same spot both nights.
The 18-year-old from Lake Stevens, Wash., began his heat race fifth each night and he finished fourth, which forced him to run a B Main both times at the ASCS National Tour event at Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.
“I don’t think it was a bad weekend,” he said. “I think the first night it was mainly just where we drew.”
He started Friday’s B Main in third place and quickly moved into second, which was the final transfer to the main event. Wheatley maintained his position in a three-car battle through lapped traffic and he survived a late restart to advance to the feature.
The track remained hooked up throughout the main event. Wheatley, who started 21st, worked his way to 12th before losing a couple of positions in the final laps to finish 16th.
“We were fast in the feature, but everyone else was fast, too,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of passing going on. It was kind of narrow.
“Once I stopped riding and actually tried to pass people, I biked up the track and lost some spots.”
After his result in the heat race on Saturday, Wheatley was again relegated to a B Main, which he started fifth. The track was one lane around the top with a nasty cushion and Wheatley tried to capitalize.
He worked his way to fourth and then collided with another driver for third place midway through the 15-lap consolation. Wheatley, who was only one position out of transferring to the feature for the second straight night, was then pushed off the track in turn one on the restart.
“I think we were going to make it out of there,” he said. “Then another driver bonsaied us. I slid off the track in turn two and I got back on. Then I slid off the track in turn four and got into the wall. It didn’t hurt anything, but I just shut it down.”
Wheatley pulled to the infield early and finished 10th in the B Main.
“It was kind of a crucial drawing weekend,” he said. “If you didn’t draw in the front or in the very back and have people wreck out, you were in a tough spot.”
Wheatley will finish the season this Thursday through Saturday at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., with the ASCS National Tour for the 44th annual Western World Championships. This is his first time at the 3/8-mile track since 2009.
For live updates of Wheatley and all of the action this weekend, visit www.insidelinepromotions.com.
QUICK RESULTS –
Nov. 11 – Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M. – Heat race: 4 (5); B Main: 2 (3); Feature: 16 (21).
Nov. 12 – Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M. – Heat race: 4 (5); B Main: 10 (5).
SEASON STATS –
52 races, 32 features, 0 wins, 1 top five, 6 top 10s, 13 top 15s, 25 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Thursday through Saturday at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., with the ASCS National Tour for the 44th annual Western World Championships
FAVORITE NUMBER –
17: Preliminary feature finish in 2009 at the Western World Championships.
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 – Brown & Miller Racing Solutions
Based in Concord, N.C., Brown & Miller Racing Solutions distributes professional racing hoses and fittings. For more information, visit www.brms.net.
“We bought a hose machine and we do all our hoses,” Wheatley said. “BMRS just ships us what we need, so it’s really easy and convenient.”
Wheatley would like to thank his sponsors, including Wolfweld, The Oil Medics, SpeedMart, Fire-Down Graphics, Advanced Racing Suspensions, Astro Titanium, DMI, Goodyear and Redlined Welding & Construction for their continued support.