Marlar Hopes Pursuit Of Victory On World of Outlaws Late Model Series Is Over After Sunday (March 24) Visit To Duck River
Tennessee Standout Focused On Defeating WoO LMS Stars In National Tour’s Inaugural Event At Quarter-Mile Track In His Home State
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
WHEEL, TN – March 19, 2013 – Mike Marlar knows all too well what it feels like to lose a World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main, so it’s no surprise that he harbors a burning desire to experience the ecstasy of a Victory Lane appearance on the national tour.
There could be no better time for the veteran standout from Winfield, Tenn., to finally realize his goal of a World of Outlaws triumph than this Sunday evening (March 24) when the renowned full-fender circuit visits Marlar’s home state for a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win spectacular at Duck River Raceway Park.
Indeed, it’s checkered-flag-or-bust on the WoO LMS this weekend for Marlar, a 35-year-old talent who has come tantalizingly close to victory several times on the series over the past two years while driving for Bryson Motorsports.
“Actually, this weekend we’re going out of our way to go Outlaw racing because I just really want to win an Outlaw race,” said Marlar, who plans to precede his assault on Duck River by entering WoO LMS events on Friday night (March 22) at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., and Saturday night (March 23) at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss. “After coming up short (of a World of Outlaws A-Main score) a few times, after having a few near-misses, we’re really hungry to win one.
“If I can’t get one the first two nights (of this weekend’s WoO LMS tripleheader), it would really be neat to get my first Outlaw win in my home state (on Sunday). That would just be awesome, almost like it was meant to be.”
Marlar has finished as high as second in a WoO LMS A-Main on two occasions, most recently on Feb. 16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. He appeared headed to his first-ever series win that evening until slipping slightly off the preferred bottom groove on the 48th of 50 laps, allowing defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to grab the lead heading to the white flag and march on to a dramatic victory.
“That one was definitely disappointing,” said Marlar, whose other runner-up WoO LMS finish came in decidedly less heartbreaking fashion on June 28, 2012, in a Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. “I wouldn’t say we gave it away – Darrell took it – but we were in position to capitalize. I just look at it as being a product of those early-season blues – not really being in the rhythm good yet and making those little mistakes that you don’t really make when you get into the racing (season) more.”
Marlar also flirted with World of Outlaws glory in the 2012 Bubba Army Late Model Winter Nationals finale at BRP, leading more than half the 60-lap race before ceding command and finally hitting the turn-three wall on the final circuit when he ran out of racing room bidding to overtake 2011 WoO LMS champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., for the top spot.
“I definitely know how it feels to lose an Outlaw race,” smiled Marlar, who enters this weekend’s action having started 41 WoO LMS A-Mains in his career, nearly half (20) coming in the past two years. “Maybe that will make winning one feel even sweeter.”
Marlar would get a veritable sugar high if his breakthrough WoO LMS triumph would come on Sunday at Duck River, a quarter-mile, high-banked oval that is set to host the tour for the first time. For a driver with some big-money race wins on his resume (Hillbilly 100, Magnolia State 100), capturing a World of Outlaws event over a field of competitors that figures to rank as one of the best to ever grace Duck River’s pit area would certainly be a career milestone.
“There’s gonna be some real tough guys to deal with,” Marlar said of Duck River’s inaugural WoO LMS program. “It’s looking like there’s gonna be a great field.”
Lanigan, who set a single-season WoO LMS record in 2012, will lead a star-studded roster of tour regulars that includes Eckert, two-time champ Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., 2006 titlist Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., and Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga. Also carrying the World of Outlaws banner will be Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., who has two career wins at Duck River, Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., Scott James of Bright, Ind., and rookies Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., and Dillon Wood of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Other entrants expected include past Duck River feature winner Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., and Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala.
Marlar will head a solid group of Tennessee drivers that includes Vic Hill of Morristown, Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville and Todd Morrow of Chattanooga.
“I think it’s gonna be a good show,” said Marlar. “From everything I’ve heard, the new owners (Bob and Cathy Harris) really seem like they’re doing a good job with the place. I haven’t gotten to race there since Mr. Harris took it over (during the 2011 season), but everyone I’ve talked to says they’ve really been making improvements to the place.”
Marlar has only competed at Duck River a handful of times during his career. His last visit was for a season-ending two-day show in November 2006 (he finished fifth in the preliminary feature and third in the 75-lap finale), but the track left a strong impression on him.
“From my limited experience there, it’s probably one of the best tracks in Tennessee,” said Marlar, who lives about four hours northeast of Duck River. “Actually, you don’t feel like you’re in Tennessee when you’re there. It’s more of a Midwest-looking racetrack. It doesn’t have that red clay like a lot of your Tennessee tracks, and you can race over it. It’s a good little track.”
Duck River Raceway Park’s gates will open at 12 noon on Sun., March 24. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. with WoO LMS Ohlins Shocks Time Trials and racing to follow.
General Admission for the event, which also includes racing for the two-barrel Late Models and Mod Street Bombers, is $25. Children ages 6-12 are $10 and kids 5-and-under will be admitted free of charge. Pit passes will cost $35.
The tire rule for Sunday’s WoO LMS event (as well as the I-30 Speedway and Whynot Motorsports Park programs) mandates Hoosier 1300-compound or harder tires or American Racer 44-compound or harder tires, with the Southern punch-40 (durometer) rule in effect.
Duck River Raceway Park is located at 1100 Haskins Chapel Rd. in Wheel (Lewisburg), Tenn., about an hour’s drive south of Nashville.
More information is available by logging on to www.duckriverracewaypark.com or calling 931-684-8200 or 931-685-1009.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.