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Daily Dirt 06/23/2024 13:34:48

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June 9
Eldora Speedway,
Rossburg, OH
Sanction: DIRTcar Supers (Dream XXIX first semifeature) - $12,000
Information provided by: Todd Turner, Kevin Kovac and track reports (last updated June 10, 10:21 am)
Marlar dominates Friday's first Dream prelim
Dream XXIX first semifeature
  1. Mike Marlar
  2. Jonathan Davenport
  3. Ricky Thornton Jr.
  4. Chris Ferguson
  5. Kyle Strickler
  6. Brian Shirley
  7. Jimmy Owens
  8. Kyle Bronson
  9. Kent Robinson
  10. Carson Ferguson
  11. Spencer Hughes
  12. Devin Moran
  13. Ashton Winger
  14. Johnny Scott
  15. Shane Clanton
  16. Trent Ivey
  17. Stormy Scott
  18. Tim Lance
  19. Tyler Clem
  20. Camaron Marlar
  21. Daulton Wilson
  22. Tyler Millwood
  23. Jeep Van Wormer
  24. Steven Roberts
presented by
Josh James/joshjamesartwork.com
Mike Marlar celebrates his $12,000 in victory lane.
What won the race: Leading all 25 laps from the pole, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., outran Jonathan Davenport to win Friday’s first preliminary feature for Dream XXIX. Marlar had to patiently navigate slower traffic en route to winning the caution-free feature by a second ahead of Davenport. Marlar earned $12,000.
Key notes: Eldora Speedway hosts the 29th annual Dream. … The three-day event featured preliminary features Thursday (won by Tim McCreadie and Ricky Thornyton Jr.) and Friday (won by Mike Marlar and Hudson O’Neal). … Points were accumulated Thursday and Friday to help set the lineup for Saturday’s heat races. … Saturday’s finale features a 100-lap, $129,000-to-win, $5,029-to-start main event.
On the move: Johnny Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., started 23rd and finished 14th.
Winner's sponsors: Marlar’s Longhorn Chassis is sponsored by Delk Equipment, Petroff Towing, Tri-Rivers Enterprise (Mark and Kim Dotson), Can-Am Auto Salvage, Auto Parts 4 Less, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Capital Capsigns, VP Racing Fuels, Stanley Best Heating & Air, Midwest Sheet Metal and Bilstein.
Current weather: Clear, 68°F
Car count: 96
Fast qualifier: Jimmy Owens
Time: 15.863 seconds
Polesitter: Mike Marlar
Heat race winners: Jimmy Owens, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jonathan Davenport, Mike Marlar
Consolation race winners: Jeep Van Wormer, Stormy Scott
Next series race: June 10, Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH) $129,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff reports

ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 9) — Mike Marlar’s most anxious moments during Friday’s Dream XXIX preliminary feature at Eldora Speedway likely had nothing to do with runner-up Jonathan Davenport. Instead, posing the biggest danger to Marlar’s success was slower traffic, including a gaggle of cars right in front of him as the laps wound down in the 25-lap, caution-free race.

Marlar, however, remained poised enough to keep Blairsville, Ga.’s Davenport — a five-time World 100 winner, the 2016 Dream winner and last season’s Eldora Million winner — behind him as he negotiated the traffic without the aid of a caution. Marlar, of Winfield, Tenn., built a 2-second lead with six laps remaining, more than enough to sustain Davenport’s late-race charge.

The winner did get a scare while lapping Tyler Millwood of Kingston, Ga., on lap 12, but he didn’t let family stand in his way while lapping his younger brother Cameron Marlar on lap 18.

“It was really tough,” said Marlar. “Our tires kind of die after a few laps and the steer tire is mainly the one that dies. This is such a slick track, you can't be hustling, but you got to get turned. So it's pretty tough getting through there, but we got through there. I seen Jonathan there once and I shut the door on him there. I don't know how it went the last lap, but I know I slammed the door pretty hard, so I appreciate him giving me room for sure.”

Ricky Thornton Jr. of Chandler, Ariz., a prelim feature winner on Thursday, completed the top three as the top three finishers ran that way for the entire 25-lap distance. Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., started sixth and improved two positions to finish fourth, while fifth-starting Kyle Strickler of Mooresville, N.C., finished where he started.

Davenport thought he may have had a shot a slipping by Marlar, but when Marlar finally went around his brother Cameron, Davenport knew his chances were growing slim.

“We caught him right there as we was getting to lap traffic. I just tried to keep pace with him and see where he was better than I was or where I was better than him,” said Davenport. “Once we got to lapped traffic, he slipped right by his brother right at the right time and the gap kind of closed up. That was right as the rubber was starting to come just a little bit over here and I was running it really hard.

“I thought there was more rubber there, but I slipped up and I just let off and let him get going. I was afraid I was gonna catch my right front tire on his left rear and mess something up. But thanks to my guys here, we pulled a couple old tricks out of the bag there and I think we got a direction to go. The car felt a whole lot better tonight than it did last night. We're still not good enough to win (Saturday’s 100-lap finale), but we got a direction to go.”

Thornton, who cruised to a convincing win on Thursday, was never really in contention on Friday, despite starting alongside Marlar on the front row. He finished more than 4 seconds behind Davenport and was 5.274 seconds behind Marlar.

"The track was a little bit different tonight,” said Thornton. “I wish I could have got a little bit of better start, but for how slick it is, it's kind of hard to get started on the outside. Congrats to Mikey, he looked really good there. J.D., he looked really good too. He didn't really have to rely on the rubber there in turn three. But overall, a real good night.”

Notes: Marlar has five wins on the year. His last victory was an Ultimate Heart of America Series win at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway on May 10. … Heat winner Jimmy Owens started fourth and finished sixth. … Davenport, Thornton and Hudson O’Neal are the only three drivers to win a heat race both Thursday and Friday. … After two nights of prelims, which featured a split field both nights, Davenport is atop the point standings that help in setting the lineup for Saturday’s six heat races. Davenport spun the Wheel of Misfortune, which determines the invert for Saturday’s heats, and got a three, so the top three cars in each heat race will be inverted. … Marlar feels good about his chances in Saturday’s $129,000-to-win main event. “We came up here a long time and ran second, third and so close so many times to winning this,” he said. “Still haven’t won it yet, but I definitely feel good. Feel better about it. (Car owner) Ronnie Delk just got me really good equipment and got really good people working on it for me. That makes all the difference. You're only as good as your car at the end of the day and I got a really good car.”

Feature lineup

(25 laps)
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 2: Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Kyle Strickler, Chris Ferguson
Row 4: Brian Shirley, Ashton Winger
Row 5: Kyle Bronson, Carson Ferguson
Row 6: Tim Lance, Kent Robinson
Row 7: Tyler Clem, Trent Ivey
Row 8: Camaron Marlar, Devin Moran
Row 9: Shane Clanton, Spencer Hughes
Row 10: Steven Roberts, Daulton Wilson
Row 11: Jeep Van Wormer, Stormy Scott
Row 12: Johnny Scott, Tyler Millwood

Consolation results

(Top two transfer)
First consolation: Jeep Van Wormer, Johnny Scott, Chase Junghans, Doug Drown, Dustin Sorenson, Zach Dohm, Austin Kirkpatrick, Jordan Koehler, Kody Evans, Brenden Smith, Casey Noonan, Bryant Dickinson, Brad Eitniear.

Second consolation: Stormy Scott, Tyler Millwood, Jason Feger, Dakotah Knuckles, Mack McCarter, Brandon Overton, Rod Conley, Ross Bailes, Jason Riggs, Chase Frohnapfel, Cory Workman, Devin Gilpin.

Consolation lineups

(12 laps, top two transfer)
First consolation
Row 1: Jeep Van Wormer, Kody Evans
Row 2: Chase Junghans, Johnny Scott
Row 3: Doug Drown, Zach Dohm
Row 4: Jordan Koehler, Dustin Sorenson
Row 5: Brenden Smith, Austin Kirkpatrick
Row 6: Casey Noonan, Brad Eitniear
Row 7: Bryant Dickinson, Forrest Trent
Second consolation
Row 1: Tyler Millwood, Stormy Scott
Row 2: Mack McCarter, Jason Riggs
Row 3: Jason Feger, Rod Conley
Row 4: Chase Frohnapfel, Devin Gilpin
Row 5: Cory Workman, Dakotah Knuckles
Row 6: Brandon Overton, Ross Bailes

Heat race notes

Jimmy Owens overtook Chris Ferguson on a lap-seven restart en route to capturing the first heat. The 2009 Dream winner said he’s improving his new Koehler Motorsports Rocket car by “leaps and bounds” with every circuit he turns at Eldora. … Continuing his strong Eldora debut, 20-year-old Tyler Clem moved forward in the first heat to finish a close fourth behind Kyle Bronson. He transferred to feature action for the second consecutive night driving the Big Frog Motorsports No. 58. … Ricky Thornton Jr. led the second heat from start-to-finish after surging from third to the lead on the opening lap, but he had to survive a slip off turn two on lap seven that nearly allowed Ashton Winger to overtake him. “I was trying to play it safe … and I just caught the hole (at the top of the corner) wrong,” said Thornton, who once again sported right-rear spoiler damage on his SSI Motorsports Longhorn after the race; he also bent the bodywork in Thursday’s heat and feature. … After rebounding from a broken driveshaft after he turned a qualifying lap, Jonathan Davenport nearly met disaster on the first lap of Heat 3 — his car bounced between turns three and four and he made contact with Mack McCarter — but he maintained control and rallied to win the race. He took advantage of a lap-eight restart to slide underneath Brian Shirley for the lead. “Just a lot of luck there,” Davenport said. … Brandon Overton appeared headed to victory in the third heat until lap eight when his car snapped to the right entering turn one due to a blown right-front tire and smacked the outside wall. A red flag was displayed for a few minutes while the safety crew tended to the three-time Dream champion, who climbed out of the car and then rode to the pit area in the ambulance; he had the wind knocked out of him but was checked out in the infield care center and walked back to his pit area to help his crew repair the damaged machine. … Mastering the bottom of the track in the fourth heat, Mike Marlar ran down and passed Kyle Strickler for the lead on lap seven and held on following a restart one circuit later to emerge triumphant. He rebounded from a qualifying effort that saw him slap the wall between turns one and two and bend his car’s spoiler. … Kyle Strickler finished second in Heat 4 after regaining the position on the final lap from Kent Robinson, who slowed with a deflating tire but salvaged a third-place finish.

Heat race results

(Top five transfer)
First heat: Jimmy Owens, Chris Ferguson, Kyle Bronson, Tyler Clem, Shane Clanton, Jeep Van Wormer, Chase Junghans, Doug Drown, Jordan Koehler, Brenden Smith, Casey Noonan, Bryant Dickinson.

Second heat: Ricky Thornton Jr., Ashton Winger, Carson Ferguson, Trent Ivey, Spencer Hughes, Kody Evans, Johnny Scott, Zach Dohm, Dustin Sorenson, Austin Kirkpatrick, Bradley Eitniear.

Third heat: Jonathan Davenport, Brian Shirley, Steven Roberts, Tim Lance, Camaron Marlar, Tyler Millwood, Mack McCarter, Jason Feger, Chase Frohnapfel, Cory Workman, Brandon Overton.

Fourth heat: Mike Marlar, Kyle Strickler, Kent Robinson, Devin Moran, Daulton Wilson, Stormy Scott, Jason Riggs, Rod Conley, Devin Gilpin, Dakotah Knuckles, Ross Bailes.

Heat race lineups

(10 laps; top five transfer)

First heat
Row 1: Chris Ferguson, Shane Clanton
Row 2: Jordan Koehler, Jimmy Owens
Row 3: Chase Junghans, Kyle Bronson
Row 4: Doug Drown, Tyler Clem
Row 5: Brenden Smith, Jeep Van Wormer
Row 6: Casey Noonan, Bryant Dickinson
Second heat
Row 1: Trent Ivey, Carson Ferguson
Row 2: Ricky Thornton Jr., Ashton Winger
Row 3: Dustin Sorenson, Johnny Scott
Row 4: Spencer Hughes, Zack Dohm
Row 5: Kody Evans, Forrest Trent
Row 6: Brad Eitniear, Austin Kirkpatrick
Third heat
Row 1: Mack McCarter, Brandon Overton
Row 2: Brian Shirley, Jonathan Davenport
Row 3: Tim Lance, Camaron Marlar
Row 4: Jason Feger, Tyler Millwood
Row 5: Steven Roberts, Chase Frohnapfel
Row 6: Cory Workman
Fourth heat
Row 1: Kyle Strickler, Stormy Scott
Row 2: Devin Moran, Ross Bailes
Row 3: Mike Marlar, Devin Gilpin
Row 4: Kent Robinson, Jason Riggs
Row 5: Rod Conley, Daulton Wilson
Row 6: Dakotah Knuckles

Pre-race notes

Weather conditions for Friday’s second night of Dream XXIX action are once again spectacular: afternoon highs reached the upper 70s with clear skies. … Tim McCreadie tops the event points standings following the first preliminary program with 595 points, leading Mike Marlar (573), Jonathan Davenport (572), Mason Zeigler (564) and Ricky Thornton Jr. (556). … Officials offered some further clarification on where crew members are allowed to hand-communicate with their drivers, telling teams they still can’t signal while standing against the inside pit wall but can do it from atop their trailers or the stands. … Two-time Dream champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., loaded up his Tim Lance-owned car shortly before the start of Friday’s hot laps and scratched from further weekend action. Moyer timed second-fastest in his group on Thursday but blew the rearend of his machine in his heat; his team determined that residual damage from the malfunction was too extensive to immediately repair. … Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., sits 32nd in the points standings after a quiet Thursday performance, but he said his David Wells-owned car — a 2023 Longhorn Chassis that he hasn’t raced since February’s World of Outlaws competition at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. — didn’t like the choppy track conditions early in the night and came on during the second 25-lap feature when he advanced from 22nd to finish ninth. … Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., finished fourth in Thursday’s second 25-lapper and enters Friday’s prelims ranked 12th in the points standings, but he felt he should have had better results in the opener. “I screwed up my car for the feature,” the 2012 Dream winner said. “I took too much load out of the right-rear. You can’t drive in hard laying on the right-rear.”

Time trial results

Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.863
Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga., 15.918
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.935
Ross Bailes (79), Clover, S.C., 15.963
Jordan Koehler (114), Mount Airy, N.C., 15.965
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20rt), Chandler, Ariz., 16.112
Brian Shirley (8), Chatham, Ill., 16.114
Devin Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, 16.128
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 6.140
Carson Ferguson (93), Lincolnton, N.C., 16.146
Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga., 16.149
Stormy Scott (2s), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.251
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., 16.251
Trent Ivey (88), Union, S.C., 16.253
Mack McCarter (51), Gatlinburg, Tenn., 16.283
Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C., 16.373
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 16.413
Dustin Sorenson (28s), Rochester, Minn., 16.433
Tim Lance (48), Brimfield, Ill., 16.461
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 16.511
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 16.511
Johnny Scott (1st), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.532
Camaron Marlar (99m), Winfield, Tenn., 16.544
Devin Gilpin (1G), Columbus, Ind., 16.547
Doug Drown (12), Wooster, Ohio, 16.603
Spencer Hughes (11), Meridian, Miss., 16.610
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 16.629
Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 16.670
Tyler Clem (58c), St. Petersburg, Fla., 16.736
Zack Dohm (17), Cross Lanes, W.Va., 16.738
Tyler Millwood (31), Kingston, Ga., 16.746
Jason Riggs (81r), College Grove, Tenn., 16.968
Brenden Smith (17ss), Dage City, Fla., 17.011
Kody Evans (4G), Camden, Ohio, 17.033
Steven Roberts (111), Sylvester, Ga., 17.038
Rod Conley (71R), Wheelersburg, Ohio, 17.049
Jeep Van Wormer (55), Pinconning, Mich., 17.179
Forrest Trent (101), Morristown, Tenn., 17.207
Chase Frohnapfel (145), Canal Winchester, Ohio, 17.224
Daulton Wilson (18D), Fayetteville, N.C., 17.258
Casey Noonan (1N), Sylvania, Ohio, 17.411
Austin Kirkpatrick (11K), Harrisburg, N.C., 17.700
Brad Eitniear (4), Defiance, Ohio, 18.034
Cory Workman (W1), Gratiot, Ohio, 18.379
Dakotah Knuckles (21k), Ewing, Va., 19.431
Bryant Dickinson (5D), Ionia, Mich., 19.662
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., no time
Vic Hill (1), Mosheim, Tenn., no time

Event schedule

(Subject to change)
Friday
10 a.m.: Ticket office opens (ticket and pit pass sales)
11 a.m.: Grounds cleared and secured
Noon: All gates, suites and concessions open
12:30 p.m.: Technical inspection begins
5 p.m.: Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m.: Hot laps
7:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
Competition
- Late Model time trials
- Late Model heats (10 laps)
- Late Model consolations (12 laps)
- Late Model first feature (25 laps)
- Late Model second feature (25 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: M. Marlar, Thornton Jr.
Row 2: Davenport, Owens
Row 3: Strickler, Ch. Ferguson
Row 4: Shirley, Winger
Row 5: Bronson, Ca. Ferguson
Row 6: Lance, Robinson
Row 7: Clem, Ivey
Row 8: C. Marlar, Moran
Row 9: Clanton, Hughes
Row 10: S. Roberts, Wilson
Row 11: Van Wormer, S. Scott
Row 12: J. Scott, Millwood

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