Sarver, PA (June 23, 2022) - Mike Marlar overtook race leader Ashton Winger on lap four and held off a furious late-race charge by Brandon Overton to win preliminary night number one of the 16th Annual Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel. Marlar earned $6,000 for the 30-lap victory, his first this season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Overton came home in second followed by four-time Series Champion Earl Pearson Jr., current series points leader Brandon Sheppard, and Tyler Erb, who rounded out the top five.
Winger, currently the top driver in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie-of-the-Year chase led the first three laps from his pole starting spot before yielded the point to Marlar, who had started alongside him. Marlar had Pearson and Overton breathing down his neck in the race for the lead. A red flag with eight laps in for Chub Frank, who rolled his car his turn two, halted the race. Frank emerged uninjured in the mishap.
When the race went back green Marlar steadily pulled away from the battle for second between Pearson and Overton. Overton eventually cleared Pearson for second and set his sights on Marlar who was having to negotiate heavy traffic in the waning laps of the race.
With a few laps to go there were no lapped cars between the top two drivers, but Marlar, who nearly slipped over the turn two embankment was able to regroup and get to the finish line winning by 1.063 seconds over the reigning Firecracker 100 winner.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 17th time in his career, the only three-time Lucas Oil Knoxville Late Model Nationals winner was relieved to see the checkered flag as he nearly slipped off the turn two corner with just a few laps to go. “I kind of figured out what my car needed there and drove around a couple of issues I was having. With this tough of competition that is here you can’t be messing around out there. The guys in front of me there at the end was messing with my air. I just about went out of there a couple of times. It was definitely an awesome race track we used every bit of it, on the bottom, the top, the middle, and everywhere. Lernerville always provides an awesome track.”
“You just use this night to build off of,” said the 44-year-old Tennessee native in becoming the 13th different winner this year with the series. “We know we a had a car to win a 30-lapper right there, we’ve got to work on it a little better. It was pretty close out of the box tonight and it’s always good to start that way instead of having to try and reel something back in during the night.”
Overton, who finished third behind Chris Madden and Jonathan Davenport in last week’s $50,000 to win Mountain Moonshine Classic at Smoky Mountain Speedway charged from fifth to the runner-up spot on Thursday night at Lernerville. “We definitely put ourselves in a good position on the first night. The track was so good on the bottom, and you could sling the crumbs up the track. You could move around a little, the car felt really good in the middle of the track. We will continue to work on it and give it another shot tomorrow night.”
“It was a good points night for us, it will get us lined-up well for a heat race for Saturday if we have a good run tomorrow,” said Pearson, who rounded out the podium in third. “For my guys they done an outstanding job. The track was pretty racy there. Overton seemed to be pretty good through the middle and Marlar was good around the top there and I just stayed around the bottom. We will work on it tomorrow and see if we get a few more spots tomorrow night.”
The winner’s Ronnie Delk-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Delk Equipment, Tri-Rivers Equipment, Rockets Convenient Plus, Bilstein Shocks, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Can-Am Salvage, and Capital CapSigns.com.
Completing the top ten were Jonathan Davenport, Mark Whitener, Tim McCreadie, Ashton Winger, and Garrett Alberson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022
Lernerville Speedway – Sarver, PA
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Daulton Wilson / 15.291 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Mike Marlar / 15.346 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 89-Ashton Winger; 2. 58W-Mark Whitener; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 5. 94C-Charles Powell; 6. 10M-Jared Miley; 7. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 8. 1C-Alex Ferree; 9. 14-Dan Angelicchio
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 1*-Chub Frank; 3. 0E-Rick Eckert; 4. 2D-Dan Stone; 5. 20-Jimmy Owens; 6. 12D-Doug Drown; 7. 66-Todd Bachman; 8. 22B-Darrell Bossard; 9. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 76-Brandon Overton; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson; 3. 72-Michael Norris; 4. 21L-Matt Lux; 5. 77-Tyler Dietz; 6. 9Y-Levi Yetter; 7. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 8. 11J-Joshua Powell; 9. 7-Ross Robinson
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 3. 7T-Drake Troutman; 4. 1CJ-Ryan Montgomery; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler; 7. 11AC-Trevor Collins; 8. 25S-Cory Sines; 9. 9-Breyton Santee
Wrisco Industries Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb; 2. 71-Hudson O'Neal; 3. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 4. 3RK-Daryl Charlier; 5. 11H-Gale Huey; 6. 10-Gary Lyle; 7. 11-Spencer Hughes; 8. 44-Joe Petyak; 9. 112-Brandon Little
Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. J4-John Garvin Jr; 2. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 48-Colton Flinner; 5. 10G-Garrett Smith; 6. 9Z-Mason Zeigler; 7. 17T-Tim Vance; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith; 9. 9J-Joe Loffredo
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens; 3. 10M-Jared Miley; 4. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 5. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand; 6. 1C-Alex Ferree; 7. 94C-Charles Powell; 8. 2D-Dan Stone; 9. 22B-Darrell Bossard; 10. 14-Dan Angelicchio; 11. 12D-Doug Drown; 12. 66-Todd Bachman
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 21L-Matt Lux; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 8-Kyle Strickler; 4. 1CJ-Ryan Montgomery; 5. 77-Tyler Dietz; 6. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 7. 9Y-Levi Yetter; 8. 7-Ross Robinson; 9. 25S-Cory Sines; 10. 11AC-Trevor Collins; 11. 9-Breyton Santee; 12. 11J-Joshua Powell
Lucas Oil B-Main #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 3RK-Daryl Charlier; 2. 48-Colton Flinner; 3. 10-Gary Lyle; 4. 9Z-Mason Zeigler; 5. 17T-Tim Vance; 6. 10G-Garrett Smith; 7. 44-Joe Petyak; 8. 17SS-Brenden Smith; 9. 112-Brandon Little; 10. 11H-Gale Huey; 11. 11-Spencer Hughes; 12. (DNS) 9J-Joe Loffredo
Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel – Night 1 Feature Finish (30 Laps):