Austen Wheatley spent his weekend with “The Greatest Show on Dirt”, as the series took to North Dakota, and the youngster had a touch of bad luck on Friday night, before riding a Roller Coaster on Saturday.
Friday night saw Wheatley and his King Racing Products/BR Motorsports/Oil Medics team check into the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND.
With 37 cars in the pit are, Wheatley struggled in time trials as he turned in the 26th fastest lap of the night.
Starting seventh in his heat, the Lake Stevens, WA driver was able to work up to the fifth spot to earn the final transfer spot into the feature, where he would start 24th.
The feature was short lived for the young driver as his throttle linkage broke on the opening lap, and he was forced to the pits before getting a chance to race.
“The little things like that are frustrating,” explained Wheatley. “There has been so many odd little things breaking this year it really makes you sick to your stomach.”
Saturday the series took over the Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, ND and Wheatley had one of his best runs of 2012 going early in the night.
Timing in 11th quick, Wheatley went on to win his heat, and put his Redlined Welding & Construction/Astro Titanium Wolfweld No. 44w machine in the dash and the feature event.
A 10th place effort in the dash put him in the 10th starting position for the 30-lap feature event.
Wheatley’s feature event would be nothing short of a wild ride.
On the initial start, Wheatley got out of shape and spun his machine to a stop, forfeiting his top-10 starting position and tagging the rear of the field.
Restarting in 24th, Wheatley slowly worked his way back up to the 15th spot by the 6th lap, where he was involved in another wreck and again forced to restart 24th.
Again coming from the tail-end of the field, Wheatley was masterful as he ran the top of the racetrack as he seemed to pass cars at will threading through traffic as he got into the fifth spot on the 23rd lap.
As the red flag flew, Wheatley spun his machine out as he attempted to stop before passing the red, and it was declared he would have to tag the back of the field for the third time.
Over the final seven lap, Wheatley would work up to the 14th spot as the race concluded.
“Our car was rolling really well in Fargo (North Dakota),” explained Wheatley. “Made a mistake early, but rebounded and got up into the fifth spot. I could not believe I got sent to the back because I spun trying to get stopped in a hurry, but I guess that will happen.”
Austen and his team would like to thank King Racing Products, BR Motorsports, The Oil Medics, Wolfweld, Redlined Welding & Construction, Schoenfeld Headers, Astro Titanium, BMRS, Fire-Down Graphics and ButlerBuilt for their support in 2012.
ON TAP: Austen will now look over several different schedules, and figure out where he will head off to next.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay updated with Austen by following him on twitter @MiniWheats44w, or by visiting his website www.austenwheatley.com.