Drag Illustrated Issue 168, May 2021 - Page 15

TRIBUTE : DIANE O ’ NEAL

Diane O ’ Neal proudly stands alongside the Top Sportsman Monte Carlo driven by her husband , Don O ’ Neal , in the staging lanes as the couple prepares for the final qualifying session at the 2018 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals . Two days later , Don went on to win his first national event . Later that year , Diane began a three-year cancer battle that ended
April 14th . Even after her cancer diagnosis , which was compounded by MS , Diane continued to join Don at races and the PRI Show as his crew chief and biggest fan . The beloved couple gradually began to spend less time at the races and more time in hospital rooms , with Don standing by Diane ’ s side through every step of the fight . “ Diane will forever be remembered for her huge heart and even bigger smile , someone who never met a stranger ,” Don says .
Photograph by Lester Barnes zMAX Dragway | Concord , North Carolina | Friday , April 28 , 2018
May 2021 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 15