Veteran Rebounds From Wreck 4 Days Earlier To Win At OPS
Donnie Wentworth never had any doubts that he’d be back. He just wasn’t sure he’d be back in such a big way.
Wentworth took the lead with seven laps remaining on Thursday night at Oxford Plains Speedway and then scooted away to win the 40-lap Late Model feature on Oxford Casino Fireworks Night for his first victory of the season.
“I’ve got to thank my crew, because I brought this thing home in pieces (Saturday),” said Wentworth, who was the runner-up in the Oxford track championship standings last season. “I went out on Lap 0 the last time we tried this. It was a fun night. I raced with a bunch of friends – thanks to Doug (Coombs) for racing me clean, Al Hammond, a bunch of them.
“The group at Crazy Horse Racing, you can’t beat them.”
Though a traditional fireworks display capped Wentworth’s win Thursday, the on-track fireworks earlier in the week left the No. 63 PitStop Fuels/K&K Excavation Chevrolet a mangled mess. Wentworth was involved in a multi-car incident before even getting to the green flag last Saturday night – necessitating two long days in the shop to get the car race-ready once again.
With the short turnaround of a holiday week and a Late Model event scheduled for Wednesday night (postponed until Thursday by rain), Wentworth enlisted the help of Mickey Green. Green serves as crew chief for Austin Theriault on the ACT Late Model Tour.
“What a difference a couple of days makes,” Wentworth said. “I think we worked 16 hours on Sunday and a good part of the day Monday on (the car). Crazy Horse Racing was very gracious. They opened the doors to us at 7 a.m. Sunday morning.
“I don’t know anything in the world that has the high highs and the low lows that stock car racing has. I went from putting everything I have that has anything to do with racing in a pile and having a yard sale with it to talking to (Crazy Horse Racing owner Mitch Green) about a brand new car tonight. It goes from one extreme to the other.”
Wentworth started mid-pack in the 24-car field and used the outside groove to motor his way to the front. He’d caught the early race leader by Lap 32 and needed less than two laps to make the pass for the lead around the top of the .375-mile oval.
Several times in Victory Lane Wentworth credited his car builder – Crazy Horse Racing – with playing a major role in his success. He said he was never worried that he would have to miss a race.
“I wasn’t,” Wentworth said. “I tore the thing up pretty bad, but I just have undying confidence in my guys that are there and Crazy Horse Racing. Again – I’m putting them on a pedestal – but if I tore the clip off this thing and told Mitch, ‘The sky is going to fall if this thing doesn’t race Saturday night,’ we’d be on the trailer headed for Crazy Horse Racing right now. That faith never wavers.”
Wentworth, last year’s Oxford Winner’s Circle Challenge winner, leapt to fourth in the Oxford Late Model standings with the win.
“We really hadn’t had a chance to find out what the car’s had,” he said. “I’ve just tore it up three weeks in a row – and, unfortunately, I didn’t tear it up racing. It was dumb stuff that tore the car up, so tonight we got to work with the car and it was great.”