CONCORD, N.C. – He may not be a regular with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series, but Mike Marlar certainly showed them he knows how to get it done during qualifying night for the Textron Off-Road World Finals on Thursday.
Marlar posted the fastest overall lap in time trials, picking up his ninth-career fast time with the series as a result. The Winfield, Tenn. Native toured the four-tenths-mile Charlotte oval in 14.385 seconds (100.104 mph) with his flat-black No. 157 to lead the way over a 75-car field.
As a result of his efforts, Marlar earned the pole position for Friday’s first heat race.
“Getting to be on the pole tomorrow makes life a lot easier when you get to start out front,” said Marlar. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to stay there but you’re already there, so they have to pass you which is always a good thing.”
Josh Richards, Brandon Kinzer, Dale McDowell and Dennis Erb Jr. completed the overall ‘Fast Five’ in Friday qualifying.
With a split-flight format and 75 cars on the grounds, the top three from each flight earned the poles for their respective heat races.
Joining Marlar as Friday heat race polesitters are Richards, Kinzer, McDowell, Erb and Tim McCreadie.
Richards, the four-time and outgoing World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series champion took the Best Performance Motorsports No. 1R, which won last year with Brandon Sheppard at the World Finals, to the overall qualifying lead during time trials for Saturday’s portion of the festivities.
The Shinnston, W.Va. native timed in at 14.536 seconds (99.064 mph) in a throwback paint scheme to his first two seasons racing for his father Mark in the Rocket house car.
“We feel good. The car has been really fast and it feels good to be back here at Charlotte. It’s one of my favorite tracks,” said Richards. “These are the last two races we plan on running all year so we just want to go out and try to win and run as best as we can. Charlotte is a high-speed track and I’ve been fortunate to always run pretty well here. I just love how you can drive this place — it’s unique.”
McDowell, Erb, Marlar and Nick Hoffman completed the overall ‘Fast Five’ for Saturday’s program.
Joining Richards as polesitters for Saturday’s slate of heat races are McDowell, Erb, Marlar, Sheppard and T.J. Reaid.
Night two of the Textron Off-Road World Finals kicks off at 12 noon on Friday, when the pit gates open for fans. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…