Wallace launches MARS with Clarksville victory
By Brian GarrisonO'Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (March 20) — Racing to his first victory on the O'Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series since 2006, polesitter Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., led all 30 laps at Clarksville Speedway. Wallace earned $3,000 in the preliminary feature at the quarter-mile oval's Tuckassee Toilet Bowl Classic. | Slideshow
Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., started outside the front row and finished second in the MARS season opener while four-time and reigning series champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., was third. Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., was fourth as the top four finishers all finished where they started. Eric Turner of Hermitage, Mo., rallied from 12th to round out the top five while Jeremy Payne of Springfield, racing as a teammate to Phillips, rallied from 23rd to finish ninth.
Action continues Saturday at Clarksville with the weekend's $5,000-to-win Late Model finale.
Notes: Wallace's GRT Race Car is sponsored by Wincrest Farms, C&S Cable Construction and Delph Communications. ... The MARS tour merged with the Allstate Dirt LateModel Racing Association last fall and now runs under the direction of long-time promoter Randy Mooneyham. ... MARS was making just its second trip to Clarksville. Leslie Essary of Crane, Mo., won the first-ever series race at the Tennessee track on Aug. 24, 2002. ... Among drivers failing to make Friday's feature lineup: Duane Chamberlain, Steven Ashby, Mike Chandler, Brent Kreke, Jason McBride, Dustin Mooneyham and Justin Rattliff.
MARS @ Clarksville: (1) Wendell Wallace, (2) Ryan Unzicker (3) Terry Phillips, (4) Tony Jackson Jr., (5) Eric Turner, (6) Ray Cook, (7) Tony Albright, (8) Terry English, (9) Jeremy Payne, (10) Jon Henry, (11) Chuck Proctor, (12) Matt Potter, (13) Rusty Schlenk, (14) Carnell Parker III, (15) Steve Sheppard Jr., (16) Richie Hedrick, (17) Brandon Sheppard, (18) Mike Hammerle, (19) Brandon McCormick, (20) Dane Dacus, (21) Billy James, (22) Charles Zimmerman, (23) Brad Looney, (24) Perry Delaney. Fast qualifier (among 39 cars): Wallace, 13.158 seconds. Dash winner: Wallace. Heat race winners: Hedrick, Cook, Henry, English. Consolation winners: Dacus, B. Sheppard. Provisional starters: McCormick, Payne, S. Sheppard, Zimmerman.