Mike Norris will make his debut with the No. 5 team tonight
On Tuesday, Clint Bowyer Racing announced that Don O’Neal would be temporarily stepping out of the #5 machine for Clint Bowyer Racing.
The national dirt late model team fields two cars full-time on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series schedule. Josh Richards is the pilot of the #14 and Don O’Neal pilots the #5.
However, O’Neal is now out with an off-track injury. He’s expected to remain out of the car for the next 8-12 weeks. That will put his return around September.
On Thursday, Clint Bowyer Racing announced the fill-in driver. Mike Norris will temporarily take over the seat of the #5 dirt late model. His new gig starts tonight at Tazewell Speedway in Tennessee.
“Called Mike Norris last night on his way down to the shop. Made me feel really good listening how excited he was. He’s been kicking ass last few weeks. Excited to see him fill in for Don O’Neal and watch him take advantage of his opportunity,” team owner Clint Bowyer said via twitter.
Norris has been running toward the front at all the big shows he attends. This news has drawn a popular reaction from fans and drivers alike.
Colton Flinner: “Congrats to my good buddy Mike Norris on getting the Clint Bowyer racing ride! Very well deserved!”
Team announces Don O’Neal injury
Earlier in the week, Clint Bowyer Racing released the following press release:
Clemmons, N.C. (June 25, 2019): Clint Bowyer Racing (CBR) driver Don O’Neal will miss an extended period of the Lucas Oil Late Model Series (LOLMS) schedule to recover from an off-track injury suffered at Gaffney, S.C. O’Neal will undergo surgery this week, and then begin 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 CBR owner Clint Bowyer. “I know Don is disappointed in this setback, but he’ll be back very soon.”
At this time, CBR is formulating a plan to field the No. 5 DeKalb/Crawford Outdoor Rocket during O’Neal’s time away, with an announcement soon to follow. The No. 5 will continue to compete in the 2019 LOLMS Championship
O’Neal, a mainstay on the LOLMS and 2014 Series Champion, hopes to make his return in eight to 12 weeks.