Mike Marlar celebrates a $15,000 World of Outlaws victory at Ponderosa.
What won the race: After starting 22nd, Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., steadily worked his way through the field, taking the lead with an inside move out of turn four on lap 46 and leading the final five circuits to win Saturday's $15,000 Johnny Mulligan Classic at Ponderosa Speedway. Marlar earned his seventh overall victory of the year and his second with the World of Outlaw Case Late Model Series, notching the 15th tour win of this career.
Quotable: “You know my team never gives up man, I got such a great team and sponsors,” Marlar said. “My guys, you know, they never quit on me, so I try to never quit on them. You just never know (if you’re going to win). Everything was lining up, Kyle (Bronson) had that flat, Squirrel (Brian Shirley) was having problems when I passed him and when it’s your day, it’s your day.”
Key notes: The win is Marlar's second of the season at Ponderosa after topping May's $12,000 John Bradshaw Memorial Lucas Oil Series stop there. ... Series points leader Bobby Pierce led laps 8-45 before contact with an infield tire caused significant damage to his left front, allowing Marlar to make the late-race pass for the win; Pierce, who has only finished outside the top 10 once in his last 15 tour starts, settled for second, 2.189 seconds back. … Brandon Sheppard ran as high as second before giving way to Marlar and finishing third. ... Pole-starting Chris Madden led the first seven laps before fading to finish fourth. ... Dennis Erb Jr. advanced six positions and finished sixth. ... After sustaining a flat left rear tire while leading his heat race and requiring a provisional, Ryan Gustin started 23rd and finished eighth. ... Brian Shirley recovered to finish 14th after pitting with a flat while running 12th on lap 25. ... Cade Dillard pulled off from sixth with a flat on lap 30, rebounding to finish 16th. ... Eighth-running Shane Clanton (lap 25) and fifth-running Kyle Bronson (lap 30) each drew the first two cautions of the night, both sustaining flat right rear tires; Bronson finished 17th, with Clanton in 18th. ... Friday's feature, the third-ever World of Outlaws stop at Ponderosa, was slowed by one other caution for debris on lap 43 and lasted 28 minutes, with 19 competitors completing all 50 laps. ... Josh Rice scratched for the remainder of the night after hopping the turn-one cushion and making heavy contact with the wall during his heat race.
On the move: Race winner Mike Marlar started 22nd.
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.
Points chase: After Ponderosa: 1. Bobby Pierce (3,292); 2. Chris Madden (3,236); 3. Ryan Gustin (3,226); 4. Nick Hoffman (3,208); 5. Brandon Sheppard (3,190); 6. Kyle Bronson (3,186); 7. Brian Shirley (3,146); 8. Tanner English (3,122); 9. Dennis Erb Jr. (3,078); 10. Shane Clanton (3,016).
Current weather: Clear, 77°F
Car count: 32
Fast qualifier: Bobby Pierce
Time: 12.860 seconds
Polesitter: Chris Madden
Heat race winners: Brandon Sheppard, Kyle Bronson, Bobby Pierce, Chris Madden
Consolation race winners: Stormy Scott, James Rice
Provisional starters: Ryan Gustin, Brent Larson, Dustin Walker
Next series race: July 28, Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL) $5,000