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Marlar Makes History With Back-To-Back Knoxville Nationals Championships September 16, 2017

Marlar Makes History With Back-To-Back Knoxville Nationals Championships

KNOXVILLE, IA (September 16, 2017) – Mike Marlar became the first driver in the 14-year history of the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals to win in back-to-back years – taking the $40,000 top prize on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway. Marlar took the lead from race-leader Josh Richards on lap 92 and then sped away for the win in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series-sanctioned event.

Jonathan Davenport made a valiant charge in the last five laps to finish second after pitting for a right-front, flat tire on lap 50. Jared Landers, the 2015 winner of the race came home third, with Jimmy Mars and Jimmy Owens completing the top five drivers.

Davenport led the first 19 laps of the race until Richards took over the point. Richards then held the top spot until Marlar got by him late in the race. Richards had a right-front tire go down, putting him into the turn three wall. Richards changed the tire and ran just a few more laps before calling it a night. He was credited with an 18th place finish as his points lead over Tim McCreadie shrunk to just 90 points.

Marlar returned in his Ronnie Delk-owned, Rocket Chassis to defend his crown-jewel victory. “Tonight makes me feel really good about being a racecar driver. That wasn’t a race, that was a battle right there. With 25 to go, I thought man I need to start going and give it all I had. I let Jared Landers get by me and then I got back by him when he got high in turn one. I thought now I am good. I could run this thing to death. I think I could do it.”

“There was a caution as soon as I got passed by Landers. Luckily, I got back by him on the restart. I don’t think Josh was at his best when I caught him and passed him for the lead. I think he was having an issue. This is awesome. I want to thank Josh and Jerry for their help. Without them I couldn’t do this. They are back at the shop everyday working on the car. My car owner Ronnie Delk and my wife Stacy, thanks for all they do.”

Davenport came up just short of his first win in the event. “I had a plan on that last restart and it just worked out. I wondered where everyone was going. Everybody took off and went to the bottom of the track. They just left the door open for me and I took advantage of it. Our car wasn’t any good in traffic for whatever reason. The best car won the race. Josh must have been pretty good too. He passed me early on. I just to thank my guys for getting me back out there after we pitted.”

Landers sat out last year’s event due to an injury and returned this weekend to score two podium finishes. “I hurt my tires by lap 50. I was worried about it. I got up there with Josh and I had some good momentum going and I jumped the cushion and it hurt me. I cost us that spot. I will take a top-three. That was a lot of laps there. I hadn’t raced that hard for a while.”

Completing the top ten were Brandon Sheppard, Hudson O’Neal, Bobby Pierce, Steve Francis, and Tim McCreadie.

For more news visit www.lucasdirt.com

Jeff Strunk Wins Freedom 76 For Second Straight Year September 16, 2017

Jeff Strunk Wins Freedom 76 For Second Straight Year

By: Randy Kane

Jeff Strunk struggled compared to his own high standards throughout the 2017 racing season at Grandview Speedway.

Wheeling that familiar Glenn Hyneman-owned No. 126 358 modified, the 49-year-old racer from Boyertown had, at one point, 14 consecutive weeks with top-10 finishes but had only one win, finishing a disappointing third in the final points standings.

"Glenn gives us the best equipment available all season long, but this season we didn't show it," said Strunk. "We need to do whatever it might take to be better, but it always makes things better whenever you cash in on the big ones."

Strunk did just that Saturday night at the Bechtelsville track, in the 47th annual Freedom 76, earning in excess of $30,000.

For the final 50 laps on the high-banked third-mile dirt track, Strunk withstood challenge after challenge from Craig Von Dohren, the 54-year-old driver from Oley.

Strunk became the only seven-time winner of the event and the only driver to win the race in consecutive seasons three times. It was his 67th career win at the track promoted by the Rogers family.

"Craig is tough as nails," Strunk said of Von Dohren. "He raced me clean throughout. He is tough. There's nobody better that races here. To race that hard for that long against a guy like that and eventually beat him, that's just awesome. Craig pushes you to your limits, and I never honestly was sure where to race. I raced down on the bottom and tried running up on the top, but Craig is a good racer. I just cannot say enough good things about that racing team.

"I raced the car as hard as I could all the way tonight. From beginning to end, there was no saving it on any laps. It sure means a lot to win one like this tonight."

"It was a real nail-biter," said longtime team owner Hyneman. "I really did enjoy it, but you had to be chewing off your nails all night long. I've got to thank Craig Von Dohren. He raced us clean all night, throughout the entire event. Craig and his team did an outstanding job."

Strunk and Von Dohren both got into the event as guaranteed starters, with Strunk picking sixth to start in a blind draw and Von Dohren No. 11 in the 35-car field.

Billy Pauch Sr., 60, of Frenchtown, N.J., a six-time Freedom 76 winner, set the early pace early on. Exiting Turn 4 on Lap 12, running on the high outside, Strunk swept past Pauch to become the leader.

Von Dohren moved into fourth at 20 laps, third on a Lap 26 restart and second on Lap 31.

"Winning these races makes things so much sweeter and better," said Strunk. "I was trying to figure out where to go every lap, and things really got close a few times, but in the end it was a great race. Winning it means so much."

Kevin Hirthler finished third, followed by Kenny Gilmore and Mike Gular.

Terry Phllips Takes 11th Annual World Nationals Title September 16, 2017

Terry Phllips Takes 11th Annual World Nationals Title

Night #2 of the World National's at the Marshalltown Speedway had rain threats on Saturday night, but Mother Nature did not win this time. The racing went on as planned and with the bit of natural moisture that fell from the sky earlier, it was to the tracks benefit.

 
The cream does rise to the top, and the 50 lap IMCA Modified feature showed just that as the fans were treated to some spectacular racing through the entire field. Veteran racer Terry Phillips from Springfield, Missouri showed his expertise on the track, and went home $10,000 richer with the win. Richie Gustin gave him a run for the money when he took the lead at lap twenty-one....only to have Phillips come right back and regain it the next lap. From then on, Phillips put distance between himself and Gustin, and took the comfortable win. Gustin had to be content with the runner up spot this night. Cayden Carter started ninth and finished third, fourth was Chris Abelson, and Joel Rust rounded out the top five.
 
Weekly Winners 9/5/17 - 9/11/17 September 11, 2017

Weekly Winners 9/5/17 - 9/11/17

Congratulations to:

Jonathan Davenport – Eldora Speedway

Tyler Bare – FASTRAK East Coast Rumble Champion

Rodney Sanders – Mississippi Thunder Speedway

Dale Hollidge – Winchester Speedway Track Champion

Clint Smith – Senoia Raceway Track Champion

Matt Sheppard – LeRPM Speedway & American Racer Cup Champion

Dennis Lykins – Senoia Raceway

Zach Sabotka – Can-Am Motorsports Park

Dave Constantino – Glen Ridge Motorsports Park

Clay Butler – Grandview Speedway (pictured)

Brett Kressley – Grandview Speedway

Max Blair – Stateline Speedway

Dan Powers – 81 Speedway

Billy Dunn – Can-Am Motorsports Park

Craig VonDohren – Grandview Speedway Track Champion

Matt Dooley – Senoia Raceway Track Champion

James Dennis – AMRA Champion, Skyline Speedway & I-77 Speedway Track Champion

Logan Roberson – Winchester Speedway

Jamie Mills – Delaware International Speedway

Davenport Dominates the 47th Annual World 100 September 9, 2017

Davenport Dominates the 47th Annual World 100

ROSSBURG, Ohio — With the band back together, Jonathan Davenport and his crew played one of their greatests hits.

The Blairsville, Ga., driver, with former crew chief Kevin Rumley and Co. rejoining the 33-year-old Davenport in his new G.R. Smith-owned ride, dominated Saturday’s 47th annual World 100 for a $50,000 payday at Eldora Speedway, winning the sport’s most prestigious race for the second time in three years.

The third-starting Davenport blew into the lead from the outset and ran virtually unchallenged in becoming the first World 100 winner in 14 seasons to go flag-to-flag at the Tony Stewart-owned half-mile oval.

Outside front-row starter Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., notched his first-ever Eldora finish with a runner-up performance while Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., was third in his best finish. Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., who started 25th, and two-time preliminary race winner Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rounded out the top five in front of a record-setting Eldora crowd.

Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., who held the second spot from lap 60-89, had two slipups after a restart with 11 laps remaining and dropped from contention, finishing 11th.

Davenport’s victory would’ve seem unfathomable just a few months ago as the driver who swept Eldora’s Dream and World 100 in 2015 during a career season with the K&L Rumley Enterprises team was winless in Super Late Model competition through the first half of 2017.

Leaving the Barry Wright Race Cars house car team the first week in August, Davenport ended up connecting with North Carolina transplant G.R. Smith, kicking off their partnership with back-to-back victories. Davenport added a $25,000 Hillbilly 100 triumph just seven days ago at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., and the team headed to Eldora with help from his former car owners — Kevin Rumley and his Hall of Fame engine-building father Lee Roy — joining in to help along with crew member Bryan Liverman.

The obvious hashtag — #TheBandisBackTogether — became the team’s theme of the weekend, and they struck a winning tune Saturday with Davenport’s dominating performance while buoying G.R. Smith’s operation.

“I’ve just gotta thank G.R. Smith. If you only know our past, man, it’s so cool,” Davenport said with a laugh in victory lane. “Probably the first time we met one another, we was racing and, you know, I guess, I don’t know, I ran over him, and he ran over me, and we had a little altercation there. But anyway, it’s so cool for him to step out (of the car) …”

Davenport, the weekend’s overall fast qualifier who finished second to Lanigan in Thursday’s opening preliminary feature, had a hard time believing he was standing on Eldora stage after his 2017’s struggles.

“Just the year that I had … you know, I love Barry and Lance (Wright) to death. Things just didn’t work out over there,” Davenport said “I have all the respect for them in the world, but man, just to be almost in the gutter for a half a year, then come here and win the biggest race there is, it’s an amazing turnaround.”

Davenport’s ride appeared flawless all race long. His only real scare came on lap 66 when the ailing car of last year’s winner Bobby Pierce slowed abruptly in front of him in turn two. Davenport steered away from that danger as a yellow flag appeared.

He faced his most serious racing challenged when a caution appeared for debris with 11 laps remaining after Davenport — as he did most of the race — was enjoying a comfortable lead. Overton took his best shot on the restart, briefly pulling alongside, but he ended up pushing the issue so hard that he twice slipped up, slapping the wall and fading from contention while Davenport edged away from Satterlee the rest of the way.

“That’s a damn good race car is what you saw right there,” Davenport said in victory lane. “This place has changed … I finally figured out what I needed before we (teams were allowed to) cut tires and everything. I could get a good line up by the wall and I was really comfortable. And I kept watching videos, kept watching videos, and it always seemed to go to the bottom, so I just really set my mind (for) the first 25 or first 30 (laps), I just wanted to run around the bottom and see where it went.”

Top, middle or bottom, Davenport seemed to have the field covered wherever he wanted to race — starting just a moment after the green flag dropped.
“He didn’t even give me and (polesitter Hudson (O’Neal) a chance — he went by us that first corner and just never looked back,” Satterlee said.

Despite vainly chasing Davenport the rest of the way, Satterlee was “extremely happy” with his “awesome car” in improving from his previous best World 100 finish — eighth place in 2014.

“Hopefully I want to get up there someday and see what it feels like,” Satterlee said, glancing up at Davenport’s photo session on the victory stage. “It’s good to get a top-three here. This is by far the best finish I’ve ever had hear, so we’ll take it, and I guess this is one step closer to hopefully getting up on that stage.”
Marlar likewise had his best World 100 run in his seventh start in the race, improving on the ninth-place run 12 years earlier.

“It was a good run for us. It’s the best run I’ve had up here. I’ve been in the top 10, not in the top five. I’m glad to see the front up here for a change, so it was a fun night for us,” Marlar said. “It’s just a testament to my crew, my car owner Ronnie Delk. You don’t come to a stage this big without the best equipment that you can have.”
Six cautions slowed the race, the most significant when eighth-running Scott Bloomquist and seventh-running Tim McCreadie got briefly hooked together in turn three as McCreadie was slowing with a left-rear flat tire on lap 29.

Pierce, who faded quickly after starting in the fourth row, slowed to draw cautions on laps 59 and 66 with damage to the right-rear corner of his car.
Earlier yellows appeared when Jeep Van Wormer had a lap-four flat tire and another yellow flew on lap 16. A lap-25 yellow appeared for a slowing Kyle Bronson.

For additional news visit www.eldoraspeedway.com

Sheppard Gets 8th SDS Victory of Season at LeRPM Speedway September 9, 2017

Sheppard Gets 8th SDS Victory of Season at LeRPM Speedway

SAINT-MARCEL-DE-RICHELIEU, QUE. — Sept. 9, 2017 — finishing 21st at Autodrome Granby the night before, Sheppard lowered the track record mark during qualifying and would go on to pick up a heat race win. Sheppard headed into the redraw as the driver to beat. Sheppard would start the 100-lap feature from the 11th position and worked his way through to take the lead on lap 88. The masterful driver through the field leads to Sheppard’s seventh win in the last Super DIRTcar Series nine races and his eighth win of the 2017 season. Larry Wight, Jimmy Phelps, David Hebert and Tim Fuller rounded out the top-five.

 
FEATURE (100 Laps): 1. 9s- Matt Sheppard; 2. 99L- Larry Wight; 3. 98H- Jimmy Phelps; 4. ONE – David Hebert; 5. 19 – Tim Fuller; 6. 6H – Max McLaughlin; 7. 91 – Billy Decker; 8. 9 – Peter Britten; 9. 63- Dominic Dufault; 10. 20 – Brett Hearn; 11. 42p – Pat Ward; 12. 12 – Kevin Hamel; 13. 3 – Claude Brouilard; 14. 7m – Mike Maresca; 15. 96 – Yan Bussiere; 16. 2 – Patrick Beaumier; 17. 79 – Josianne Plante; 18. 43 – Sebastien Fournier; 19. 43F- Keith Flach; 20. 22 – Brandon Walters; 21. 97 – Maxime Plante; 22. 13Y – Yves Leveille; 23. 96c – J.F. Coriveau; 24. 54- Steve Bernard; 25. 46 – Matthieu Larramee; 26. 35- Frank Bellemare.
 
For more news visit www.superdirtcarseries.com