Marlar overtakes Carrier, survives at Bluegrass
By Michael DespainO'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (July 11) — Winning a duel with Eddie Carrier Jr., Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., survived a late scrape with a lapped car on Saturday at Bluegrass Speedway to complete a weekend sweep in O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series action. Marlar pocketed $5,000 for his victory in the 11th annual Kentuckiana Klash at the half-mile oval, his series-leading 16th of his career and third of 2009. | Slideshow
Carrier, of Salt Rock, W.Va., settled for second with Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., in third. Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky., and 12th-starting David Webb of Nicholasville, Ky., rounded out the top five. Webb cut into the points lead of Victor Lee of Stanford, Ky., who was scheduled to start in the third row but pulled off with mechanical problems before the green flag waved.
Carrier took command early and Marlar quickly got up to second for what was a two-car race most of the race. After a lap-7 caution for an Eric Wells-Bobby Wolter Jr. tangle in turn one, the frontrunners pulled away to set a blister pace while Webb and Rattliff battled for third. Marlar dove under Carrier in turn four to get out front, but Carrier got back under Marlar to maintain the lead at the line on lap 18.
The frontrunners faced heavy traffic through the race's middle stages as they built nearly a half-track margin on the battle for third. Marlar pulled off a turn-two slide job to grab the lead on lap 33, but on the next lap, Jeff Watson slowed with mechanical problems on the frontstretch. Marlar got into the back of Watson's car, Carrier made contact, and Marlar's machine went spinning just past the flagstand. Officials ruled Watson was the blame for the caution and reset Marlar and Carrier up front. Marlar held off Carrier the rest of the way for a victory that followed Friday's win at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Ky.
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. ... Besides Lee, third-row starter D.J. Wells also failed to take the green because of mechanical issues. ... Buzz Williams spun in turn four on the initial start, and Eric Wells spun into the turn-one infield to scrub the second start. ... Jason Keltner earned PPM Racing Products Hard Charger honors with his 16th-to-sixth run. ... Next up for series competitors is the $5,000-to-win Butterball Wooldridge Memorial on July 18 at Richmond (Ky.) Raceway, the 22nd running of the event.
Kentuckiana Klash: (1) Mike Marlar, (2) Eddie Carrier Jr., (3) Justin Rattliff, (4) Brandon Kinzer, (5) David Webb, (6) Jason Keltner, (7) Dustin Neat, (8) Whitney McQueary, (9) Mike Jewell, (10) Michael Chilton, (11) Brandon Green, (12) Lee Devasier, (13) Buzz Williams, (14) Bobby Wolter Jr., (15) Aaron Hatton, (16) Scotty Earl, (17) Jeff Watson, (18) Jerry Rutherford, (19) Dustin Linville, (20) Tim Tungate, (21) Eric Wells, (22) Victor Lee, (23) D.J. Wells. Fast qualifier (among 29 cars): Rattliff, 15.359 seconds. Heat race winners: Carrier, Marlar, McQueary. Consolation winner: Keltner. Provisional starters: Rutherford, Earl, Watson.