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World of Outlaws Johnny Mulligan Classic
Ponderosa Speedway | Junction City, Kentucky
Friday, July 14, 2023
Race Recap  

MIKEY’S NIGHT: Mike Marlar Makes 22nd to 1st Run at Ponderosa For Johnny Mulligan Classic Win

On a night honoring one of his former sponsors, Mike Marlar pulled off an epic climb Friday at Ponderosa Speedway. 

The 2018 World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series champion thrilled the record-setting crowd, driving from 22nd to first, passing Bobby Pierce with five laps to go to win the Johnny Mulligan Classic. 

Chris Madden, the pole sitter, led the first seven laps of the 50-lap battle before Pierce took the lead on Lap 8. But as the Oakwood, IL driver pulled away from “Smokey,” Marlar ascended from his 22nd starting position. 

When the race’s first caution fell for Shane Clanton on Lap 25, Marlar had already gained 13 spots, and his rise to the top had only just begun. 

The Winfield, TN driver moved up five more spots by the completion of Lap 31, leaving only three more obstacles—Madden, Brandon Sheppard, and Pierce. 

Mike Marlar
Mike Marlar uses the outside lane to rise to the front in the Johnny Mulligan Classic/Jacy Norgaard photo

He only needed three laps to pass the first test, sliding Madden in Turns 3 and 4 to take over third on Lap 34. Marlar stayed there for 10 laps before a caution for debris on Lap 44 set up the final stage of his climb. 

When the race resumed, Marlar used the same move to pass Sheppard as he did Madden, sliding his way to second with six laps to go. That left Pierce as the obstacle between him and the checkered flag. 

Marlar only needed one more lap to catch the “Smooth Operator,” pulling even with him on the backstretch, hoping to use that same slide job for a third time. But he didn’t need to. He kept his momentum rolling on the bottom, passing Pierce as they exited Turn 4. 

From there, Marlar led the final five laps to score his second Series win of 2023, kicking off the Summer of Money for the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models with a $15,000 triumph. 

It’s a win that has special meaning for Marlar, honoring a man who helped his racing program in the past. 

“Johnny Mulligan Plumbing was one of my sponsors,” Marlar said. “It’s one of the reasons I came to this race tonight. To win a race in his memory and with his family and my friends, and the way it all happened. Doing all that, it’s just amazing. It was just an amazing night. God’s sure been good to me today.” 

While Marlar needed to pass 21 cars to earn his 15th career World of Outlaws victory, his pass for the win came easier than expected. He said he knew exactly what to do once he saw Pierce’s tire. 

“[Pierce] hit the yuke tire off of [Turn] 2,” Marlar said. “When I went down in three, I was going to slide him, but I knew it was going to be too tight. I was going to be patient and not fully slide him. I was going to just slide to his door on exit.  

“But when I looked over, I saw that he had a bunch of glaze or oil or something on his tire. And I guess it was that plastic off his nose. So, his nose was down on his tire, and he couldn’t turn in that corner. I was able to slip in front of him, and I was good.” 

Bobby Pierce
Bobby Pierce led 38 laps of the Johnny Mulligan Classic/Jacy Norgaard photo

Pierce settled for second, narrowly missing out on his sixth World of Outlaws win of the season. The current Series points leader said he didn’t realize how good Marlar was until he saw his Longhorn Chassis go by him. 

“I saw on the restart the 157 was on the board, and I knew he’d been having a heck of a night and struggling,” Pierce said. “So, I knew he must’ve been fast, and I knew Brandon was right there the whole time. But until he passed me, I wasn’t really sure how fast [Marlar] was.  

“I made a costly mistake and hit that tire. I think he was going to pass me either way, but I’m really glad we finished second. If a caution would’ve came out, a restart would’ve been tough. He just did everything right.” 

With his second-place finish, Pierce extended his points lead to 56 over Madden, who finished fourth. 

Sheppard, the four-time Series champion, crossed the line third—his second straight podium finish. The New Berlin, IL driver said he fought the handling of his car all night and couldn’t do what he wanted in the corners. 

Mike Marlar and Brandon Sheppard
Mike Marlar completes the slide job on Brandon Sheppard for 2nd place/Jacy Norgaard

“We were just too tight all night,” Sheppard said. “I just couldn’t turn down the hill coming off the corner. I had to make it more of a circle than what I needed to. That was making me kill some speed, especially in [Turns] 1 and 2. All in all, it was a pretty good night. It’s kind of one of those nights you take third and move on.” 

Kentucky’s Tanner English rounded out the top five. Germfree Labs Rookie of the Year leader Nick Hoffman finished 10th. And Bobby Pierce scored the Simpson Performance Products Quick Time Award. 

UP NEXT: The Summer of Money continues for the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models as they make their lone Indiana stop at Brownstown Speedway on Saturday, July 15, for the Hoosier Dirt Classic—another $15,000-to-win battle.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model race live on DIRTVision.   

CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Feature (50 Laps): 1. 157-Mike Marlar[22]; 2. 32-Bobby Pierce[2]; 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard[4]; 4. 44-Chris Madden[1]; 5. 96V-Tanner English[6]; 6. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[12]; 7. 97C-Michael Chilton[8]; 8. 19R-Ryan Gustin[23]; 9. D8-Dustin Linville[15]; 10. 9-Nick Hoffman[7]; 11. 11-Gordy Gundaker[14]; 12. 1ST-Johnny Scott[11]; 13. 16-Justin Rattliff[13]; 14. 3S-Brian Shirley[9]; 15. 2S-Stormy Scott[17]; 16. 97-Cade Dillard[5]; 17. 40B-Kyle Bronson[3]; 18. 25-Shane Clanton[10]; 19. B1-Brent Larson[24]; 20. 54-David Breazeale[21]; 21. 30-Todd Cooney[16]; 22. 14W-Dustin Walker[25]; 23. 15-James Rice[18]; 24. 13W-David Webb[20]; 25. 10-Joseph Joiner[19] Fox Factory Hard Charger: Mike Marlar [+21] 

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Feature Results
122+21157Mike Marlar 500.0005Running150$15,000
22032Bobby Pierce 50-2.18938Running146$7,000
34+1B5Brandon Sheppard 50-2.691Running144$4,000
41-344Chris Madden 50-3.2017Running142$3,500
56+196VTanner English 50-4.259Running140$3,200
612+628Dennis Erb Jr50-4.539Running138$3,000
78+197CMichael Chilton 50-6.701Running136$2,700
823+1519RRyan Gustin 50-7.420Running134$2,500
915+6D8Dustin Linville 50-7.671Running132$2,300
107-39Nick Hoffman 50-7.722Running130$2,200
1114+311Gordy Gundaker 50-8.666Running128$2,100
1211-11STJohnny Scott 50-9.466Running126$2,000
1313016Justin Rattliff 50-9.472Running124$1,700
149-53SBrian Shirley 50-10.244Running122$1,600
1517+22SStormy Scott 50-10.632Running120$1,400
165-1197Cade Dillard 50-10.992Running118$1,300
173-1440BKyle Bronson 50-11.338Running116$1,200
1810-825Shane Clanton 50-11.653Running114$1,200
1924+5B1Brent Larson 50-12.196Running112$1,200
2021+154David Breazeale 49-1 LapsRunning110$1,200
2116-530Todd Cooney 48-2 LapsRunning108$1,200
2225+314WDustin Walker 47-3 LapsRunning106$110
2318-515James Rice 28-22 LapsDNF104$1,200
2420-413WDavid Webb 21-29 LapsDNF104$1,200
2519-610Joseph Joiner 12-38 LapsDNF104$1,200
FOX Factory Hard Charger: Mike Marlar
Last Chance Showdown 1 Results
1102SStormy Scott 100.00010Running0$0
23+110Joseph Joiner 10-2.179Running0$0
35+254David Breazeale 10-3.215Running0$0
44020TCTristan Chamberlain 10-5.318Running100$110
56+119RRyan Gustin 10-6.228Running0$0
68+26JRParker Martin 10-8.631Running100$110
77042Jesse Enterkin 10-9.627Running100$110
82-67RKent Robinson 3-7 LapsDNF100$110
Last Chance Showdown 2 Results
11015James Rice 100.00010Running0$0
22013WDavid Webb 10-1.042Running0$0
34+1157Mike Marlar 10-1.720Running0$0
43-195Brandon Williams 10-4.957Running100$110
55011KAustin Kirkpatrick 10-7.988Running100$110
66014WDustin Walker 10-9.973Running0$0
78+1B1Brent Larson 5-5 LapsDNF0$0
87-111RJosh Rice 0-10 LapsDNS100$0
Heat 1 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
110B5Brandon Sheppard 80.0008Running
22097Cade Dillard 8-1.284Running
3303SBrian Shirley 8-2.242Running
46+216Justin Rattliff 8-3.567Running
5502SStormy Scott 8-5.876Running
64-210Joseph Joiner 8-6.442Running
77054David Breazeale 8-7.772Running
88042Jesse Enterkin 8-11.412Running
Heat 2 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
12+140BKyle Bronson 80.0002Running
24+297CMichael Chilton 8-0.731Running
35+21STJohnny Scott 8-1.554Running
46+2D8Dustin Linville 8-1.884Running
53-27RKent Robinson 8-2.420Running
68+220TCTristan Chamberlain 8-2.652Running
71-619RRyan Gustin 8-3.2376Running
87-16JRParker Martin 8-3.891Running
Heat 3 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
11032Bobby Pierce 80.0008Running
26+496VTanner English 8-2.574Running
33025Shane Clanton 8-3.425Running
44011Gordy Gundaker 8-4.656Running
57+215James Rice 8-5.710Running
65-195Brandon Williams 8-8.520Running
78+111KAustin Kirkpatrick 8-9.169Running
82-611RJosh Rice 1-7 LapsRunning
Heat 4 Results
Pos.Start+/-#DriverLaps CompletedBehindLaps LedStatus
11044Chris Madden 80.0008Running
23+19Nick Hoffman 8-1.241Running
32-128Dennis Erb Jr8-2.715Running
45+130Todd Cooney 8-5.401Running
57+213WDavid Webb 8-6.147Running
64-2157Mike Marlar 8-6.300Running
78+114WDustin Walker 8-8.832Running
86-2B1Brent Larson 8-9.431Running
Qualifying Flight 1 Results
18B5Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL12.8950.000
21319RRyan Gustin Marshalltown, IA12.915-0.020
31297Cade Dillard Robeline, LA13.042-0.147
4140BKyle Bronson Brandon, FL13.058-0.163
5163SBrian Shirley Chatham, IL13.093-0.198
697RKent Robinson Bloomington, IN13.108-0.213
7310Joseph Joiner Milton, FL13.147-0.252
81197CMichael Chilton Salvisa, KY13.169-0.274
9102SStormy Scott Las Cruces, NM13.243-0.348
1051STJohnny Scott Las Cruces, NM13.330-0.435
111416Justin Rattliff Campbellsville, KY13.338-0.443
1215D8Dustin Linville Lancaster, KY13.351-0.456
13454David Breazeale Four Corners, MS13.419-0.524
1476JRParker Martin Miledgeville, GA13.786-0.891
15642Jesse Enterkin Milton, FL14.093-1.198
16220TCTristan Chamberlain Richmond, IN14.193-1.298
Qualifying Flight 2 Results
11332Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL12.8600.000
21544Chris Madden Gray Court, SC13.012-0.152
31111RJosh Rice Verona, KY13.031-0.171
4328Dennis Erb JrCarpentersville, IL13.033-0.173
51025Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA13.041-0.181
689Nick Hoffman Mooresville, NC13.159-0.299
7111Gordy Gundaker St. Charles, MO13.164-0.304
812157Mike Marlar Winfield, TN13.200-0.340
9595Brandon Williams Crossville, TN13.324-0.464
10730Todd Cooney Des Moines, IA13.357-0.497
11996VTanner English Benton, KY13.449-0.589
124B1Brent Larson Lake Elmo, MN13.464-0.604
131615James Rice Verona, KY13.556-0.696
141413WDavid Webb Nicholasville, KY13.578-0.718
15211KAustin Kirkpatrick Charlotte, NC13.690-0.830
16614WDustin Walker Polk, MO14.134-1.274
Hot Laps Results
12932Bobby Pierce Oakwood, IL12.8510.000
22596VTanner English Benton, KY12.937-0.086
32625Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA13.036-0.185
42711RJosh Rice Verona, KY13.077-0.226
528157Mike Marlar Winfield, TN13.136-0.285
61319RRyan Gustin Marshalltown, IA13.158-0.307
71297Cade Dillard Robeline, LA13.196-0.345
83144Chris Madden Gray Court, SC13.235-0.384
9249Nick Hoffman Mooresville, NC13.253-0.402
101711Gordy Gundaker St. Charles, MO13.276-0.425
1115D8Dustin Linville Lancaster, KY13.305-0.454
121928Dennis Erb JrCarpentersville, IL13.354-0.503
131197CMichael Chilton Salvisa, KY13.437-0.586
141416Justin Rattliff Campbellsville, KY13.495-0.644
1520B1Brent Larson Lake Elmo, MN13.531-0.680
16102SStormy Scott Las Cruces, NM13.541-0.690
17163SBrian Shirley Chatham, IL13.550-0.699
183013WDavid Webb Nicholasville, KY13.571-0.720
19220TCTristan Chamberlain Richmond, IN13.580-0.729
208B5Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL13.591-0.740
21310Joseph Joiner Milton, FL13.608-0.757
2251STJohnny Scott Las Cruces, NM13.642-0.791
233215James Rice Verona, KY13.648-0.797
24140BKyle Bronson Brandon, FL13.649-0.798
2576JRParker Martin Miledgeville, GA13.674-0.823
2697RKent Robinson Bloomington, IN13.735-0.884
272195Brandon Williams Crossville, TN13.742-0.891
282214WDustin Walker Polk, MO13.750-0.899
292330Todd Cooney Des Moines, IA13.766-0.915
301811KAustin Kirkpatrick Charlotte, NC13.850-0.999
31642Jesse Enterkin Milton, FL14.284-1.433
32454David Breazeale Four Corners, MS14.315-1.464
DIRTVision Highlights  
Event Info  

World of Outlaws Johnny Mulligan Classic
Friday, July 14, 2023
Ponderosa Speedway
365 Phillips Ln
Junction City, Kentucky 40440 

Event Description
A Midsummer battle at the Pond awaits the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models as they travel to Ponderosa Speedway.

Series Racing
World of Outlaws Late Model Series

To Win Amount

Feature Laps Length

Ticket Options  
Frequently Asked Questions  
To Win Amount

Track Info  

Ponderosa Speedway
365 Phillips Ln
Junction City, Kentucky 40440 

Track Phone
(859) 854-6808

Track Size

Track Type
Clay oval

Late Model Track Record
12.186 by Tim McCreadie on 4/30/21

Track Map
Competitor Info  
Competitor Downloads

Tire Rules
Left Front Tire: Hoosier (Open)
Left Rear & Right Front Tire: Hoosier (90) NLMT2, (90) NLMT3 Right Rear Tire: Hoosier (92) NLMT3, (92) NLMT4 **Grooving & Siping will be allowed**

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