ON THIS DAY: World of Outlaws Late Models History on May 14
Jeff Bylsam Photo
Remembering World of Outlaws Late Model races at Eagle, Butler and Duck River

For Steve Francis, Clint Smith and Mike Marlar, the date May 14 meant a second career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victory for them all. Events at Nebraska’s Eagle Raceway, Michigan’s Butler Speedway and Tennessee’s Duck River Raceway Park highlight today’s date in history for the Outlaws.

Here’s how those races played out:

May 14, 2004 – Eagle Raceway (Eagle, Nebraska)

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky. topped a 33-car field in the series debut at Eagle Raceway, a high-banked one-third mile oval in Eagle, Nebraska, in 2004. The win aboard the Moring Motorsports, Valvoline/Mopar No. 15 marked Francis’ second win of 2004 and the second of his 28 career World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series victories.

Polesitter Brian Birkhofer paced the opening six laps before Scott Bloomquist powered by and commanded the next 41 laps. Lap traffic ultimately played a role when Francis capitalized on the moment to overtake Bloomquist on lap 47. From there, he never looked back and took the win over Bloomquist, Dan Schlieper, Rick Eckert and Chub Frank in the 60-lapper. Bloomquist, the eventual 2004 World of Outlaws champion, established a NEW TRACK RECORD of 13.597 seconds that night and it still stands to this day.

Feature Results (60 Laps): 1. 15-Steve Francis; 2. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 3. 9-Dan Schlieper; 4. 24-Rick Eckert; 5. 1*-Chub Frank; 6. 12-Rick Aukland; 7. 17m-Dale McDowell; 8. 15b-Brian Birkhofer; 9. 21-Billy Moyer; 10. 14-Kyle Berck; 11. 44-Clint Smith; 12. 23-John Blankenship; 13. 39-Tim McCreadie; 14. 75-Bart Hartman; 15. 32d-Darren Miller; 16. e1-Mike Balzano; 17. 1k-John Anderson; 18. w56-Gary Webb; 19. 56w-Mike Wallace; 20. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 21. 25-Kerry Hansen; 22. 52-Steve Kosiski; 23. 58-Dave Eckrich; 24. 83-Scott James.
Lap Leader(s): Birkhofer 1-6; Bloomquist 7-46; Francis 47-60.

Steve Francis [15] races through traffic in the closing laps of his May 14, 2004 win at Eagle Raceway. (Jeff Bylsam Photo)

May 14, 2005 – Butler Speedway (Butler, Michigan)

Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga. was unstoppable when the series debuted at Butler Speedway, a three-eights mile oval in Butler, Michigan, in 2005. Leading from flag-to-flag, Smith controlled all 50 laps from the pole position as he earned the second of 12 career victories with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series.

Behind by 0.392 seconds was Darren Miller in second, followed by Rick Eckert in third, Tim McCreadie in fourth, and eventual 2005 Rookie of the Year, Josh Richards, in fifth.

Feature Results (50 Laps): 1. 44-Clint Smith [1]; 2. 32d-Darren Miller [4]; 3. 24-Rick Eckert [2]; 4. 39-Tim McCreadie [6]; 5. 1-Josh Richards [3]; 6. 1*-Chub Frank [8]; 7. 21-Billy Moyer [5]; 8. 17m-Dale McDowell [7]; 9. 15b-Brian Birkhofer [9]; 10. 15-Steve Francis [11]; 11. 5m-John Vandenberg [13]; 12. 0-Scott Bloomquist [12]; 13. 18b-Shannon Babb [16]; 14. 9-Dan Schlieper [14]; 15. 29-Darrell Lanigan [17]; 16. 87n-Rich Neisler [18]; 17. 25-Kerry Hansen [15]; 18. 75-Greg Martin [10]; 19. 0x-Zack Olger [20]; 20. 78-Elex Layton [24]; 21. 3-Rick DeLong [22]; 22. 0p-Kris Patterson [19]; 23. C9-Steve Casebolt [21]; 24. 91-Rusty Schlenk [23].
Lap Leader(s): Smith 1-50.

 

May 14, 2017 – Duck River Raceway Park (Wheel, Tennessee)

Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn. played the role of hometown hero in this 2017 show at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tennessee. His win at “Duck-Tona” snapped a three-year winless drought with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and gave him the second of eight career victories.

Brandon Sheppard handled the opening 34 laps from pole position, but Marlar’s experience at the quarter-mile paid off when he used the high-side momentum to rocket by Sheppard on lap 35 and drive off for the win. Sheppard, the eventual 2017 World of Outlaws champion, finished second with Rick Eckert, Brandon Overton and Steve Francis rounding out the top five.

Feature Results (50 Laps): 1. 157-Mike Marlar [4]; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard [1]; 3. 7-Rick Eckert [5]; 4. 116-Brandon Overton [8]; 5. 15-Steve Francis [11]; 6. 91-Tyler Erb [3]; 7. 3s-Brian Shirley [6]; 8. 25-Shane Clanton [12]; 9. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr. [9]; 10. 2c-Joey Coulter [14]; 11. 44-Chris Madden [15]; 12. 1*-Chub Frank [19]; 13. 98-Eric Hickerson [10]; 14. 9-Devin Moran [2]; 15. 18-Eric Wells [7]; 16. 14m-Morgan Bagley [17]; 17. 93-Donald Bradsher [13]; 18. 17r-Brad Skinner [18]; 19. 69*-Carder Miller [20]; 20. 18s-David Seibers [16].