Story By: LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – SARVER, PA – For the second night in a row Mike Marlar won a preliminary feature at Lernerville Speedway.
Marlar took the lead from Ricky Thornton Jr. on lap 14 to score the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win on Friday night; setting himself up for a good starting spot in one of the six heat races to be contested Saturday night for the 16th Annual Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel paying $50,000-to-win.
Marlar fought off Tim McCreadie, who had raced from the ninth starting spot to challenge for the lead at the end but fell a few car lengths short at the checkers. Thornton, who led the first 13 laps from the pole finished in third. Mark Whitener, who had an impressive run in his heat race climbing from seventh for the win came home fourth in the feature just ahead of fifth place Hudson O’Neal.
Thornton and O’Neal started on the front row and paced the field for the first four laps until Marlar took over second from O’Neal on the fifth circuit. The race went the first 12 laps caution free just as Thornton was about to pick up the tail end of the field. On the restart it took Marlar just two laps around the legendary racetrack to get the lead, which he held until the end to keep him a perfect two-for-two on the weekend so far.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 18th time in his career Marlar has his sights set on his third career $50,000 payday on Saturday night. “It was just so slick I was just kind of driving different most laps actually and I probably changed up what I was doing six or seven times in 30 laps. I saw him (McCreadie) flash under me in one and two, after about four or five laps my tires would get a little hotter and they’d give up some grip, so I think he preserved his tires a little better.”
Marlar started third in the race and tracked down Thornton, overhauling for the lead one lap shy of the halfway mark. “He had the bottom and he wasn’t going to move; I was just waiting on that brown ring on the bottom to wear out. It was getting thinner and thinner so then on that one restart I found some crumbs out here kind of in the middle leaving four, so I got on the outside and it worked for me, I barely got by him. It’s definitely been a good weekend so far. The trip is paid for and tomorrow will be the cherry on top. It will be tough. You know we have a good 30-40 lap car; it slides around on me once the tires get warm. So tomorrow we will get a harder tire and see if that helps the situation too.”
McCreadie, the reigning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion took the runner-up spot as the 2019 Firecracker 100 winner charged from the inside of the fifth row. “This will give us a better shot in the heats tomorrow night which is what you are working for. The track’s been tough. It’s been way different each night and it just shows this Mega Plumbing team is doing a good job in trying to adapt. To be able to run well both nights and be competitive, it’s all you can ask for. I need some help over in one and two, I can’t get where I want the car to be activated. To come home second to Mikey, he’s really good. We need a little more we will just keep working hard it’s all we can do.”
Thornton was denied his first series win of the year as he will try to score another crown jewel victory on Saturday night to go along with his Dirt Track World Championship win last October. “I didn’t really know if I needed to move out or not. He (Marlar) was really good through the middle just like T-Mac was. I felt like we had a really good car. We’ll take a third, it should set us up in good position for tomorrow’s heat races.”
The winner’s Ronnie Delk-owned Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Delk Equipment, Tri-Rivers Enterprises, Rockets Convenient Plus, Bilstein Shocks, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Can-Am Salvage, and Capital CapSigns.com.
Completing the top ten were Garrett Alberson, Jonathan Davenport, Earl Pearson Jr., Michael Norris, and Brandon Sheppard.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel
Friday, June 24th, 2022
Lernerville Speedway – Sarver, PA
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Earl Pearson, Jr. / 15.659 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Rick Eckert / 16.026 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 2. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 3. 1T-Tyler Erb; 4. 7-Ross Robinson; 5. 3RK-Daryl Charlier; 6. 48-Colton Flinner; 7. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 8. 14-Dan Angelicchio; 9. 9Z-Mason Zeigler
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 157-Mike Marlar; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport; 4. 1*-Chub Frank; 5. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 6. 22B-Darrell Bossard; 7. 77-Tyler Dietz; 8. 66-Todd Bachman; 9. 10-Gary Lyle
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 72-Michael Norris; 2. 58-Garrett Alberson; 3. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 4. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand; 5. 10G-Garrett Smith; 6. 12D-Doug Drown; 7. 9-Breyton Santee; 8. 44-Joe Petyak; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 0E-Rick Eckert; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 4. 20-Jimmy Owens; 5. 1C-Alex Ferree; 6. 76-Brandon Overton; 7. 94C-Charles Powell; 8. 25S-Cory Sines; 9. 11H-Gale Huey
Wrisco Industries Heat Race #5 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 58W-Mark Whitener; 2. 1CJ-Ryan Montgomery; 3. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 4. 8-Kyle Strickler; 5. 10M-Jared Miley; 6. 5L-Jonathan Lee; 7. 21L-Matt Lux; 8. 9Y-Levi Yetter; 9. 11J-Joshua Powell
Lucas Oil Heat Race #6 Finish (8 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 89-Ashton Winger; 2. J4-John Garvin Jr; 3. 11-Spencer Hughes; 4. 7T-Drake Troutman; 5. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 6. 11AC-Trevor Collins; 7. 2D-Dan Stone; 8. 17T-Tim Vance; 9. 112-Brandon Little
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 7-Ross Robinson; 2. 1*-Chub Frank; 3. 22B-Darrell Bossard; 4. 77-Tyler Dietz; 5. 22F-Chris Ferguson; 6. 48-Colton Flinner; 7. 14-Dan Angelicchio; 8. 1Z-Logan Zarin; 9. 9Z-Mason Zeigler; 10. 66-Todd Bachman; 11. 10-Gary Lyle; 12. 3RK-Daryl Charlier
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens; 2. 1C-Alex Ferree; 3. 76-Brandon Overton; 4. 10G-Garrett Smith; 5. 12D-Doug Drown; 6. 94C-Charles Powell; 7. 29-Ken Schaltenbrand; 8. 9-Breyton Santee; 9. 17SS-Brenden Smith; 10. 44-Joe Petyak; 11. 11H-Gale Huey; 12. (DNS) 25S-Cory Sines
Lucas Oil B-Main #3 Finish (10 Laps, Top 2 Transfer): 1. 10M-Jared Miley; 2. 8-Kyle Strickler; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 4. 21L-Matt Lux; 5. 11AC-Trevor Collins; 6. 5L-Jonathan Lee; 7. 7T-Drake Troutman; 8. 2D-Dan Stone; 9. 17T-Tim Vance; 10. 9Y-Levi Yetter; 11. 11J-Joshua Powell; 12. 112-Brandon Little
Firecracker 100 Presented by Big River Steel – Night 2 Feature Finish (30 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Laps 1-13); Mike Marlar (Laps 14-30)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Mike Marlar
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: n/a
Margin of Victory: 0.581 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: Ryan Montgomery (Lap 12); Daulton Wilson (Lap 17); Kyle Strickler, John Garvin (Lap 18)
Series Provisionals: n/a
Fast Time Provisional: n/a
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Mike Marlar, Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton, Jr.
Penske Shocks Top 5: Mike Marlar, Tim McCreadie, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Mark Whitener, Hudson O’Neal
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Jonathan Davenport (Advanced 8 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Brandon Sheppard
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Mike Marlar (17 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Ricky Thornton Jr
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Garrett Alberson
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Ricky Thornton, Jr. (Lap 2 – 17.713 seconds)
Feature DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Daulton Wilson
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Josh Davis (Mike Marlar)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Cornett Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Brandon Sheppard (15.7108 seconds)
Time of Race: 17 minutes 32 seconds
Saturday’s Firecracker 100 Heat Lineups: