PORTSMOUTH, Ohio -- Mike Marlar ran away with the Independence 50 on Thursday night at Portsmouth Raceway Park - earning his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season.
At the drop of the green flag, Marlar sprinted to a comfortable lead and held the point for the entire race. Marlar had to withstand a 5-lap shootout to the finish with second-place running Josh Richards and Jimmy Owens after a lap-45 caution.
Richards moved into the second spot on lap four and tried to stay within striking distance of Marlar, but at stages during the race Marlar held a more than a straightaway advantage over Richards. Owens, who started sixth moved into third past Hudson O'Neal on lap 33 as he tried to track down Richards inside the last ten laps of the race before settling for the third spot. O'Neal and Jonathan Davenport completed the top five.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for twelfth time in his career, Marlar commented that his third heat race win over his good friend Owens is what set the stage to get the victory tonight. "I want to thank Jimmy for running me clean in that heat race. We went back-and-forth for most of the race. It was probably one of the best heat races you will ever see. Jimmy could be standing here right now if he would've won that race. He had a really good race car tonight as well."
"These Rocket XR1 chassis are stout. This track has been kind of tough on us for a while now, but it feels good to win in front of this crowd. The track crew did a great job with the track today. It was fast all over, it was probably the best I have seen this place. This car could go anywhere I drove it on the track. Thanks to the entire crew for their help. My wife Stacy is from Ohio and a lot of her family is here this weekend."
Owens was elated with the win. "We have been coming here a long time and I would say it's the best I have seen this place. I had a good race with Hudson and then I thought I could catch Josh then that caution with five to go came out. I am not sure if it helped me or not. But we hung in there and got another good finish."
Richards continued his string of strong finishes at Portsmouth. "This place has been really good to me over the past two years. The track was in really good shape tonight. We had the car set-up for the top and it really paid off. Congratulations to Mikey on the win, he was just too good tonight for anybody. We have been running really well and I hope the momentum carries over to Tyler County tomorrow. It is one of my top five favorite tracks. I will have a lot of friend and family there."
The winner's Ronnie Delk-owned, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by: Marathon Oil, Mark Martin Timber and Farms. Franklin Enterprises, RS Equipment Sales and Rentals, Integra Shocks, and VP Fuels.
Completing the top ten were Zack Dohm, Tyler Erb, Tim McCreadie, Shanon Buckingham, and Michael Norris.
Lucas Oil Feature Finish (50 Laps):
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||EARNINGS|
|1||2||157||Mike Marlar||Winfield, TN||$12,000|
|2||3||14||Josh Richards||Shinnston, WV||$6,300|
|3||6||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||$4,300|
|4||10||71||Hudson O'Neal||Martinsville, IN||$3,450|
|5||7||49||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||$3,350|
|6||9||17d||Zack Dohm||Cross Lanes, WV||$1,800|
|7||5||1T||Tyler Erb ®||New Waverly, TX||$2,300|
|8||8||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||$2,000|
|9||4||50||Shanon Buckingham||Morristown, TN||$1,900|
|10||22||5||Michael Norris||Sarver, PA||$1,100|
|11||13||12d||Doug Drown||Wooster, OH||$1,075|
|12||18||8||Jacob Hawkins||Fairmont, WV||$1,050|
|13||12||71R||Rod Conley||Wheelersburg, OH||$1,025|
|14||16||21||Billy Moyer, Jr.||Batesville, AR||$1,700|
|15||1||1M||Devin Moran ®||Dresden, OH||$1,700|
|16||23||1||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||$1,900|
|17||24||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL||$1,700|
|18||14||17T||Shannon Thornsberry||Martin, KY||$1,000|
|19||25||2s||Stormy Scott||Las Cruses, NM||$1,700|
|20||11||22F||Chris Ferguson||Mount Holly, NC||$1,000|
|21||21||C9||Steve Casebolt||Richmond, IN||$1,000|
|22||19||71C||RJ Conley||Wheelersburg, OH||$1,000|
|23||15||22||Gregg Satterlee||Indiana, PA||$1,000|
|24||17||12J||Jason Jameson ®||Lawrenceburg, IN||$1,000|
|25||20||4B||Jackie Boggs||Grayson, KY||$1,000|
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Heath Lawson