Knee Injury Sidelines Don O’Neal

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Knee Injury Sidelines
Don O'Neal (5) battles Josh Richards at Smoky Mountain Speedway. (Jim Denhamer photo)

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. – Clint Bowyer Racing driver Don O’Neal will miss multiple Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races as he recovers from an off-track knee injury.

The injury was suffered at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. on June 14. O’Neal underwent surgery on Wednesday and has begun the recovery process.

“Don O’Neal has been a longtime member of the CBR family and we are cheering him along for a speedy recovery,” said team owner Clint Bowyer. “I know Don is disappointed in this setback, but he will be back at the track very soon.”

In O’Neal’s absence, two-time Lernerville Speedway track champion and recent Firecracker 100 preliminary night winner Michael Norris will pilot the No. 5 DeKalb/Crawford Outdoor Rocket during LOLMDS events at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway and Kentucky’s Florence Speedway this weekend.

Clint Bowyer Racing confirmed Norris in a Twitter post released on Thursday.

The team has confirmed that the No. 5 will continue to compete in the hunt for the 2019 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series owner’s championship, though a long-term plan beyond the upcoming weekend has yet to be announced.

O’Neal, a mainstay on the LOLMDS and the 2014 series champion, is expected to be out of action for eight to 12 weeks while he recovers.