Marlar Captures World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory at Tazewell Speedway
Tennessee driver tops Clanton, Eckert for his first series win in 50-lap feature
By Chris Tilley
TAZEWELL, Tenn. – April 12, 2014 – Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., took advantage of Tim McCreadie’s misfortune and went on to capture Saturday night’s Scion of Knoxville 50 World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at Tazewell Speedway.
This was Marlar’s first-career World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory, and he became the series’ seventh different winner this season in seven races after holding off Shane Clanton and Rick Eckert to the checkered flag as championship leader Darrell Lanigan finished fourth with last year’s top rookie Eric Wells rounding out the top five.
“We actually scaled back on racing this year and I think we’re going to have one of our best year’s yet,” said an excited Marlar in victory lane.
“My steering is bent, my arms are tired, but with all the help from my family and friends, Ronnie Delk (car owner), all of the work they put in, we’re going stay in there and drive it all we can,” stated Marlar after talking about his near mishap with lapped car Mark Gant.
McCreadie and Marlar brought the field of 24 to life for the start of the 50-lapper with McCreadie jumping to the high side and the early lead. Marlar tucked under T-Mac for second with Lanigan moving from his eighth spot to the fifth position by the second circuit. By the sixth lap, sixth-starting Clanton and his Capital Race Cars entry passed Eckert for the third spot.
“We’re good, just need a little lady luck to start up front and maybe we can win one,” said runner-up Clanton of Zebulon, Ga.
Eckert of York, Pa., held on to a third place-finish and said tire choice was the key.
“He was a little bit softer on the left rear tire, that one restart he took the bottom off two and snuck by me and I just couldn’t get him back cleared,” said Eckert.
Brandon Overton of Appleton, Ga., finished sixth while Rookie-of-the-Year contender Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., finished seventh. Morgan Bagley of Tyler, Texas, Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and Rick “Boom” Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., rounded out the top 10.
Eight caution flags slowed the main event. The first yellow flag would wave on lap three as Boom Briggs got crossed up in turn four collecting three more. Lap nine would see leader McCreadie slowing for a right rear flat tire. Bryan Hendrix spun at the top of turn two in front of the top-four cars and brought out the yellow on lap 17. Debris brought out the next yellow on lap 26. The next yellow flag would wave on lap-29 as the rescue squad had to come out of the infield and attend to a spectator. Jack Sullivan would slow in turn three for a flat tire on lap 31 to bring out the next yellow flag. The lap-39 caution flag would be for Chub Frank’s right-rear flat. Jeff Wolfenbarger would slow for the final yellow with two laps to go with a flat tire.
Twenty-four cars entered the event, which brought the WoO LMS to Gary Hall’s track outside Tazewell for the lone season visit.
Eckert turned the fastest overall lap of Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, circling the blistering-fast 1/3 mile oval in 11.390 seconds. Heat winners were Eckert, Wells and McCreadie.
Darrell Lanigan continues to lead the overall World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship with six top-five’s and seven top-10s through seven feature events.