Mike Marlar and Chris Madden found the spark they both needed this weekend as the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series raced into the Great Plains states.
The first of two feature events gave ‘Truly Blessed’ driver Mike Marlar a chance to prove that his No. 157 machine was the one to beat after collecting the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award, his heat win as well as the $10,000 victory.
Although the driver with a goal to gain the WoO 2018 points lead started Friday night’s race in fourth, Marlar would maneuver his way past Ricky Weiss, Rick Eckert and Brandon Sheppard to commandeer the top spot on Lap 22 and never look back. When the checkers fell, Marlar finished nearly one second ahead of Tuesday night’s Black Hills Speedway event winner Brandon Sheppard and charged to the lead of the championship point standings for the first time this season.
“The racing up here is awesome,” said Marlar. “We had a good car, but it was a handful to drive. The funny thing is, the thing that made it hard to drive is probably the thing that made me win. Thanks to my crew Josh Davis and Jerry Sprouse, my car owner Ronnie Delk and everyone that made both this race win and points lead happen.”
While Marlar found what he needed to earn his fourth win of the season at River Cities Speedway, fellow points challenger Madden went from being tied for first in the point standings, to plunging 30 points behind after a blown motor forced him to retire on Lap 39 of the 50-lap event and left him watching Marlar ride away with what he was holding onto so tightly.
Despite the Friday the 13th curse taking its toll on Chris Madden, one day made all the difference. Repeating his 2017 success at Ogilvie Raceway, the Barry Wright Race Car driver collected his fifth World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series victory of the 2018 season on Saturday night at the high banked 3/8-mile Minnesota dirt track.
Madden charged to the lead from a fifth place start on lap 10 and never looked back. In fact, not even a single caution on Lap 13 could pose a threat to the strength in Madden’s ride.
“This was a great race at an amazing racetrack,” said Madden. “You can race all over this thing and my crew guys made it possible to go from a brutal Friday night loss to get back in the Winner’s Circle here at one of my favorite tracks on the schedule.
Although Madden overcame a hurdle this weekend, he will have to continue on a hot streak to overcome a 22-point deficit going into Davenport, IA.
The champions from the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series return to racing action on July 24 at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all your dirt racing coverage.