K&N's Don O'Neal Ready to Recruit NHRA Victories and More in 2012

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K&N's Don O'Neal shown here in the staging lanes in Indy, a track he looks to do well at in weeks to stay alive in the JEGS All-Stars.
K&N's Don O'Neal shown here in the staging lanes in Indy, a track he looks to do well at in weeks to stay alive in the JEGS All-Stars.
Never one to let moss grow under his feet, NHRA Super Comp racer Don O'Neal has big plans and even higher expectations for his 2012 season and will be getting down to some serious business in weeks to come. After a successful 2011 with his Army Strong/K&N Mullis dragster, O'Neal has positioned himself with a good shot at representing NHRA Division 3 in this season's running of the JEGS All-Stars event and his game plan right out of the gate is to make getting into the elite shootout a done deal.

"We are four points out of first place," said the Chicago, Illinois resident. "We are behind Steve Mikus and after the year he had last year and his start this year, we have our work cut out for us. Getting qualified for the 2012 JEGS All-Stars is the biggest thing we are concentrating on for the beginning of the season. To get the job done, we need to do well during the first two Division 3 events of the season, Indy and Norwalk. Those are the final two events to gain points for the run-off this summer at Route 66. To be able to accomplish that would be such a huge deal and give us great momentum right at the start of the year."

"For the remainder of 2012, we will continue to chase the Lucas Oil series in Super Comp with the hopes of at least finishing in the top five," O'Neal continued. "I'm not saying that we don't normally do it, but this year we went through a little more of rebuild and freshen up and we did build just a little bit of a different combination, engine-wise, something that Todd and the guys at Huntsville came up with. We did so much from sending the rear-end back to Moser, had the carb gone through and more, because we wanted to make sure that when we rolled out of the trailer at Indy, that we weren't taking any chances of anything breaking. Obviously, you can always have some crazy thing happen, it's all mechanical and parts and anything can happen. You would like to be as prepared as possible and do everything you can to go into such an important couple of events as ready as you could possibly be, so you don't have that in the back of your mind and not worry about that kind of pressure."
Nothing but pure focus and determination in the eyes of Don O'Neal behind the wheel of his Army/K&N dragster.
Nothing but pure focus and determination in the eyes of Don O'Neal behind the wheel of his Army/K&N dragster.

O'Neal juggles a multitude of duties at and away from his extensive schedule of racing at NHRA tracks across the country. Up until 2010, O'Neal was a recruiter for the U.S. Army and while he may not be what he calls a 'regular recruiter,' he points out that his current responsibility is just as important and in some ways, even a little more gratifying. "I now recruit U.S. Army Medical," he explained. "So now I recruit doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists just anything that has to do with hospitals or taking care of patients, that's what I focus on recruiting-wise out of Chicago. When you start thinking about you are trying to find individuals that have the experience and professionalism to take care of soldiers after they are hurt or their families while they are gone, then being able to see them take care of these all of these people by providing the Army the strength and ability to treat and heal, that just really just drives the nail home at that point."

Even with the large hurtles that the present economy continues to present many businesses, O'Neal is embracing new ways to promote the companies that support his racing effort and doing what seems to be even more, with less. "We are going to do a whole lot more along the lines of social media," he explained. "We have some huge, huge things planned for 2012 for our race operation for Facebook and Twitter that includes a contest later in the year. We are looking at raffling off one of my helmets to try to raise money for either a wounded warriors' foundation or some type of veterans' organization. So we are kind of developing these programs as we go, to try to bring the attention to all and everyone that we represent."
O'Neal, near lane, keeps a wheel and a close eye on his competitor as he streaks toward the finish line.
O'Neal, near lane, keeps a wheel and a close eye on his competitor as he streaks toward the finish line.

Anxious to get every aspect of his season underway, the former NHRA U.S. Nationals Super Comp finalist is quite pleased to be able to do so with many new parts from the various companies that he stands by with the same driven passion that he shows for the charities he supports. "Going in to do battle at these racing events, there is nothing like the good feeling of knowing that everything is fresh," he said. "Limited worries because there is nothing like the fact of not having to worry about your oil filter collapsing or losing oil pressure because of a filter, not when you are dealing with all K&N products. Just to go further, K&N's air intake system and air filters, talk about keeping my motor protected. No worries about rocks or whatever being able to get anywhere near anything important down in the motor. By using K&N products, you are decreasing the worries that you have in your head going to the starting line. You don't have to worry about your motor not being protected the best it can be and you can go on and just worry about racing your race."

Just before O'Neal gets to tending to the business of his JEGS All-Stars hopes, he will kick off the season with an event in St. Louis that will allow him to spread his wings a little from the Super Comp class. "I like running the NHRA National Opens, because it allows me to run several races in one weekend," he pointed out. "I don't race wide-open a lot like I will be able to during this race by entering the Super Quick class at that event and to start off the year and be able to get a lot of solid runs to break everything in and to make sure that everything is the way it needs to be, it's going to be just what we need. With the Open, we can run Super Quick, Super Comp and get into the bracket race, too. That will just help to knock the rust off and get us rolling for the season ahead by refreshing yourself and your racing and start building your confidence going forward."

Don O'Neal and his Army/K&N dragster will head out on their 2012 season opener for the above mentioned NHRA Open April 14-15 at the recently re-opened Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit