WHEEL, Tenn. — Home state native Mike Marlar wheeled his way to victory lane Sunday night at Duck River Raceway Park to win his second-career World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series feature.
Marlar held off series points leader Brandon Sheppard to notch the emotional triumph.
“I love racing with the World of Outlaws,” said Marlar. “I don’t get to do it a lot but when they come to Tennessee or sometimes I will venture out and go racing with them. They are an awesome group of guys to race with… It’s fun to go racing at a top level like this.”
Marlar drove through the night after racing in Illinois to take on the Outlaws in his home state. Luckily for him, the long haul paid off, to the tune of $10,000.
Polesitter Brandon Sheppard was able to gain an early lead over the field, stretching the distance to 1.589 seconds by lap 15. The action ensued for second between Marlar and Devin Moran, until Moran got a right rear flat that sent him to the pits on lap 23.
The caution for Moran allowed for the field to reset, ultimately shutting the door on Sheppard’s lead. Using his knowledge of the track to his advantage, Marlar began trying different lines to outrun the Rocket1 machine and on lap 35 he made the pass for the win.
Before Sunday night, Marlar’s only prior win with the series was in 2014 at Tazewell Speedway.
Though a second-place result extended his championship lead, Sheppard lamented the race as one that he felt he should have won.
“I’m pretty happy with our finish but I know in my head that I probably gave that race up,” said Sheppard. “Mike did a really good job and he out-did me there basically. I stayed in the same line and he kind of knew exactly where I was going to go and used it to his advantage. He got down in front of me on the front stretch here and I should have known it was time to start moving around a little bit.”
In 12 races so far this season, the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series has seen nine different drivers appear in victory lane.
RESULTS: World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series; Duck River Raceway Park; May 14, 2017
A-Main (50 laps): 1. 157- Mike Marlar ; 2. 1- Brandon Sheppard ; 3. 7- Rick Eckert ; 4. 116- Brandon Overton ; 5. 15- Steve Francis ; 6. 91- Tyler Erb ; 7. 3s- Brian Shirley ; 8. 25- Shane Clanton ; 9. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr. ; 10. 2c- Joey Coulter ; 11. 44- Chris Madden ; 12. 1*- Chub Frank ; 13. 98- Eric Hickerson ; 14. 9- Devin Moran ; 15. 18- Eric Wells ; 16. 14m- Morgan Bagley ; 17. 93- Donald Bradsher ; 18. 17r- Brad Skinner ; 19. 69*- Carder Miller ; 20. 18s- David Seibers .
CREDIT: World of Outlaws