A clean sweep: O'Neil, Chisholm dominate Fall Jamboree at Deer Creek
Jake O'Neil and Jim Chisholm looked right at home at Deer Creek Speedway over the weekend, sweeping their respective divisions at the annual Fall Jamboree.
Jake O'Neil is from Tucson, Arizona, but after his performances at Deer Creek Speedway over the past month, he might as well call Spring Valley his second home.
To cap a spectacular month on the race track, O'Neil swept both A Mains over the weekend at the annual Featherlite Fall Jamboree at Deer Creek. Those victories -- for which he earned a total of $17,500 -- came on the heels of his victory in the USMTS Labor Day Duel at Deer Creek back on Sept. 5.
Equally important to O'Neil as the Jamboree wins is the fact that his name will be placed in the history book alongside some of the best Modifieds drivers in the country, as winners of the Fall Jamboree, the event that annually closes the season at Deer Creek.
The Jamboree is traditionally a three-day event, but it was shortened to two days this year due to COVID-19 concerns. That means O'Neil won't get the opportunity to match a record set by Oklahoman Jason Hughes five years ago, when he swept all three Jamboree features.
“Man, it’s just awesome. I don’t know what to say," O'Neil said. "This is very surreal. I didn’t really expect this. This weekend kind of went our way with our draws and being able to start up front and, man, I don’t know.”
O'Neil's success at Deer Creek is no accident. The 28-year-old raced there in a regular Saturday-night points race and hit on a setup that worked for him. What exactly did he do to his car to make it so dominant? That's a secret.
“I come here on a local night and I tried something I probably never tried on a race day,” O’Neil said in victory lane on Saturday. “For whatever reason, it worked and every time I come back I put the same setup on... I tell you what, this race car I feel like anybody could drive it. If I can drive it, anybody could drive it.”
O'Neil started fourth in the 32-car A Main on Saturday and worked his way into second place by the fifth lap. He then needed just three laps to track down leader Brad Waits and leave him in his wake. O'Neil never lost the lead, and held off Jake Timm by seven-tenths of a second at the finish line.
“I knew I needed to get out there early and try to set the pace, but at the same time I was really worried about my tires,” O’Neil said. “At the end I was kind of hanging on there. I felt it vibrating and I thought a tire was going down, and I was doing everything I could to just hold on.”
USMTS national points leader Rodney Sanders finsihed third, with Zack VanderBeek (New Sharon, Iowa) in fourth and defending Jamboree champion Jacob Bleess of Chatfield in fifth.
CHISHOLM STAYS HOT AT THE CREEK
Jim Chisholm roared to his third consecutive USRA B-Modifieds track championship at Deer Creek Speedway this season.
Saturday, he made some more history, setting a record that will be all but impossible to top. The 17-year-old from Osage, Iowa, swept both A Mains in the USRA B-Modifieds division at the Jamboree, giving him five consecutive Jamboree feature wins. Chisholm swept all three of the features at the 2019 Jamboree.
He earned $1,200 for his victory on Saturday, holding off Dan Hovden at the end by just more than a half-second.
SATURDAY'S FALL JAMBOREE FULL RESULTS