Hartman wins tuneup for Florence's North-South
UNION, Ky. (July 24) — Fourth-starting Bart Hartman, making a key move on the backstretch on the first lap to grab the second spot, overtook polesitter Duane Chamberlain two laps later Saturday at Florence Speedway and cruised to a 50-lap victory worth $5,000. | Video
The unsanctioned event was a tuneup for Florence’s Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100, a $50,000-to-win Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event scheduled for Aug. 13-14.
"It’s a brand new Rocket Chassis and we made some adjustments to it and it worked pretty well all over the racetrack," Hartman said. "It was real good up off of (turn) four — that’s where we made the pass for the lead — the car was real good tonight. (Crew chief) Austin (Hargrove) did a heckuva job on it."
Hartman was far ahead of second-place Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., who rallied from his 12th starting spot in making his first start in the backup car of Kentucky driver Eric Wells.
"I really used a lot of it up getting there," Marlar said. "Maybe if we’d have had a caution, maybe I’d like to have taken a shot at (Hartman). But could’ve, would’ve, should’ve — I should’ve done my job in the heat tonight and I’d have been up front."
Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., was third followed by fast qualifier Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va., who started fifth. Outside front-row starter Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., rounded out the top five.
Chamberlain, of Richmond, Ind., was the first driver out in the 25-car field while Wells, of Hazard, Ky., rallied from 14th to finish sixth.
Hartman, making his first start at Florence since being suspended for using an illegal tire in a May 15 race at the northern Kentucky track, was glad to get the victory but knows he’ll have to be that much faster at next month’s big-money North-South.
"The locals are so fast here," Hartman said, "you’ve gotta have your A-game on."
Notes: Hartman’s Rocket has a Cornett powerplant and sponsorship from UrgentCash and Jarrett’s Body Shop. ... Hartman won the 2005 North-South 100. ... He was 12th quickest among 38 qualifiers and won his heat race. ... Cody Mahoney dropped out with a 23rd-place finish after shredding a tire in turn one ... Ten of 25 starters finished on the lead lap. ... Seventeen cars were running at the finish. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: John Mason, Bob Lander, Scott James and Dustin Neat.
North-South Tuneup: (1) Bart Hartman, (2) Mike Marlar, (3) Darrell Lanigan, (4) Eddie Carrier Jr., (5) Justin Rattliff, (6) Eric Wells, (7) Brandon Green, (8) Matt Miller, (9) Jerry Rice, (10) Jason Jameson, (11) Mike Jewell, (12) Josh Williams, (13) Wayne Chinn, (14) Rod Conley, (15) Bill Blair Jr., (16) Zack Dohm, (17) Mike Meyers, (18) Audie McWilliams, (19) Jesse Lay, (20) Barry Doss, (21) Tim Prince, (22) Chris Wall, (23) Cody Mahoney, (24) Steve Landrum, (25) Duane Chamberlain. Fast qualifier (among 38 cars): Carrier, 16.709 seconds. Heat race winners: Chamberlain, Rattliff, Lanigan, Hartman. Consolation winner: Doss. Provisional starter: Landrum.