Marlar outruns McGuire for $5,000 at Butterball
By Michael DespainO'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series
RICHMOND, Ky. (July 18) — Taking command after the final restart, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., led the final nine laps of the 22nd annual Butterball Wooldridge Memorial at Richmond Raceway for his third straight victory on the O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series. Marlar earned $5,000 for his series-leading 17th career victory and fourth of 2009. | Slideshow
McGuire, who led 21 laps through the 50-lap race's middle stages, finished second followed by Dustin Neat of Dunnville, Ky., David Webb of Nicholasville, Ky., and fast qualifier Mike Jewell of Scottsburg, Ind. Webb's fourth-place finish boosted him into the series points lead over two-time and reigning series champion Victor Lee of Stanford, Ky., who finished 18th in a race slowed by seven caution flags and a red-flag period.
Jewell took the lead at the outset with McGuire, Neat, Webb and Marlar in pursuit, and Marlar quickly moved up to third after four laps. Lee's flat left-rear tire on the 12th lap bunched the field and erased Jewell's five-length lead.
Cautions slowed the action again on lap 13 (Aaron Hatton's spin), lap 15 (turn-three pileup that briefly sent Bobby Wolter Jr's machine airborne and caused a red-flag cleanup) and lap 18 (Dustin Linville's flat tire).
McGuire raced past Jewell on the 21st lap to take command, just before two more cautions on lap 22 when Lee hit the turn-one guardrail and then a three-car tangle botched the restart.
McGuire led the field back into action for 18 straight green-flag laps with Marlar taking second from Jewell. McGuire and Marlar set a torrid pace up front, building nearly a full straightaway lead on Neat and Webb, who dropped Jewell back to fifth by the 32nd lap.
With the frontrunners working lapped traffic on lap 36, a caution for debris three laps later cleared the way for Marlar's final charge. Marlar made a high-side move exiting turn four to lead the 42nd leap and pulled away for the victory.
Notes: Marlar's Estes-powered Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Doors-N-More, DWT Racing, G&R Hydraulics, Marlar and Sons Auto Dismantling, Performance Battery, Stephens Trucking and Wayne Bowen Racing Supply. ... The PPM Racing Products Hard Charger honors went to Dennis Roberson, who started 16th and finish sixth. ... Next up for the series is a $3,000-to-win event on July 25 at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park.
Butterball Woolridge Memorial: (1) Mike Marlar, (2) Josh McGuire, (3) Dustin Neat, (4) David Webb, (5) Mike Jewell, (6) Dennis Roberson, (7) Tim Tungate, (8) Jason Barrett, (9) Chris Combs, (10) Jeff Watson, (11) Jerry Rutherford, (12) Jason Keltner, (13) Bobby Wolter Jr., (14) Justin Rattliff, (15) Bobby Carrier Jr., (16) Buzz Williams, (17) Dustin Linville, (18) Victor Lee, (19) Jim Robinson, (20) Donnie Everman, (21) Delane Browning, (22) Aaron Hatton, (23) Johnny Wheeler, (24) Todd Coffman. Fast qualifier (among 31 cars): Jewell, 15.257 seconds. Heat race winners: Jewell, Neat, Webb, McGuire. Consolation winners: Rattliff, Kelnter. Provisional starters: Lee, Williams, Robinson, Everman.