Marlar makes it two straight Spring Sizzlers

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By Michael Despain

Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn. took the race lead on lap 18 and never looked back in scoring his second straight Spring Sizzler victory in the 11th Annual Spring Sizzler for the O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series Super Late Model division on Saturday evening at Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown.

Other feature winners included Logan Whitis of Hustonville in WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman and Benji Lee of St. Joe in Kentucky Cooperage Modifieds.

The 11th Annual Spring Sizzler O'Reilly A-main went green with Jordan Bland jumping to the race lead with Mike Marlar, Joey Daniel, Victor Lee and Terry English in pursuit after a caution on the start that saw Jason Keltner, Dustin Neat and Ed Behn tangle in turn two.

Lee took third from Daniel on the restart with English also nipping at Daniel's heels and English garnering the four spot on lap 4. Tyrel Todd made his way into the top five on lap 6 while Bland was putting some distance on second place at this point.

As the field received the half-way signal, Bland began to catch slower traffic and carefully worked his way through the slower cars with Marlar closing up on Bland's rear bumper on lap 16.

Marlar made his move two circuits later and fired a turn three slide-job pass on Bland and had the lead at the stripe. With Marlar beginning to pull away at this point, Lee began to challenge Bland for second while Don O'Neal battled with Terry English for fifth before claiming the spot on lap 26.

Lee increased his challenges of Bland and took the second position on lap 28 and began to reel in Marlar, but he would run out of laps as the second-generation Tennessee native saw the checkered flag first in the Steve Estes-owned, Estes Race Engines/Wayne Bowen Racing Supply/Glenn Hensley Trucking/Stephens Motorsports sponsored No. 78 C.J. Rayburn Race Cars, Estes Race Engines-powered machine to claim his second straight Spring Sizzler event victory.

Lee and Bland would be second and third while Todd would nip O'Neal in a photo-finish for fourth. The remainder of the top 10 was Terry English, Joey Daniel, Brad Neat, Aaron Hatton and Joey Kramer.

In preliminary action, Don O'Neal was the Racing Optics top qualifier among 34 entries with a lap of 15.446 seconds. Heat race checkered flags went to Jordan Bland in Wayne Bowen Racing Supply heat one, Victor Lee in K&N Performance Engineering heat two, Mike Marlar in Graphic Impressions heat three and Joey Daniel in Real Racing Wheels heat four. The B-Main checkered flags fell to Dustin Neat and Chris Combs, with series provisionals going to Jason Keltner and Greg Johnson while the track provisional would be Ed Behn.

O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series Super Late Models (34 entries)

Racing Optics Top Qualifier: Don O'Neal (15.446).

Wayne Bowen Racing Supply Heat No. 1: Jordan Bland, Tyrel Todd, Don O'Neal, David Webb, Dustin Neat, Brad Neat, Jeff Glisson, Jamie Ferguson, Jason Keltner.

K&N Performance Engineering Heat No. 2: Victor Lee, Terry English, Chris Wilson, Eric Wells, Cody Mahoney, Doug Smith, Anthony Ferguson, Bryant Woodcock, Tim Prince.

Graphic Impressions Heat No. 3: Mike Marlar, Mike Jewell, Joey Kramer, D.J. Wells, Larry Gray, Arnie Fields, Royce McGowan, Shannon Thornsberry.

Real Racing Wheels Heat No. 4: Joey Daniel, Aaron Hatton, Tim Tungate, Zach Carney, Greg Johnson, Chris Combs, Jason Durham, Ed Behn.

B-Main No. 1: Dustin Neat, Brad Neat, Cody Mahoney, Jason Keltner, Doug Smith, Anthony Ferguson, Bryant Woodcock, Jeff Glisson, Tim Prince, Jamie Ferguson.

B-Main No. 2: Chris Combs, Larry Gray, Greg Johnson, Jason Durham, Arnie Fields, Royce McGowan, Ed Behn, Shannon Thornsberry.

Series Provisionals: Jason Keltner, Greg Johnson.

Track provisional: Ed Behn.

11th Annual Spring Sizzler O'Reilly A-Main: Mike Marlar, Victor Lee, Jordan Bland, Tyrel Todd, Don O'Neal, Terry English, Joey Daniel, Brad Neat, Aaron Hatton, Joey Kramer, Chris Wilson, Zach Carney, Tim Tungate, Dustin Neat, David Webb, Jason Keltner, Larry Gray, Chris Combs, Eric Wells, Greg Johnson, D.J. Wells, Ed Behn, Mike Jewell.

WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman (14 entries)

Top qualifier: Pat Hagan.

Dash: Roger Cecil, Logan Whitis, Pat Hagan, Avral Thompson, Nathan Wells, Rob Jones.

Heat: Barry Chesser, Sam Huffer, Daroyl Samples, Tim Lohden.

Feature: Logan Whitis, Roger Cecil, Avral Thompson, Barry Chesser, Sam Huffer, Daroyl Samples, Eldon Martin, Lois Campbell, Tim Lohden, Rob Jones, Pat Hagan, Homer Barger, Tim Parson (DNS- Nathan Wells).

Kentucky Cooperage Modifieds (21 entries)

First heat: Josh Lucas, Kevin Bryant, Kelly Warren, Dion Benningfield.

Second heat: Randy Turpin, Jason Wheatley, Benji Lee, Robbie Gullion.

Feature: Benji Lee, Jason Wheatley, Josh Lucas, Robbie Gullion, Kelly Warren, Joe Mattingly, Kevin Bryant, Randy Turpin, J.T. Ayers, Jeff Stith, Johnny Lee, Rocky Wilson, Casey Payton, Vernon Soeder, Dion Benningfield, Brad Schlosser, Elliott Despain, Timmy Glazer, Freddy Garmon, Danny Searcy, Danny Blackwell.

Bluegrass Speedway Top Ten Track Points after April 26.

44 Auto Mart Super Late Models

1. Mike Marlar 25

2. Victor Lee 22

3. Jordan Bland 20

4. Brad Neat 18

4. Tyrel Todd 18

6. Don O'Neal 16

7. Terry English 15

8. Joey Daniel 14

9. Tim Tungate 13

10. Dustin Neat 12

10. Aaron Hatton 12

Kentucky Cooperage Open Wheel Modifieds

1. Jason Wheatley 27

2. Josh Lucas 25

2. Benji Lee 25

4. Robbie Gullion 23

5. Kelly Warren 21

6. Joe Mattingly 20

7. Kevin Bryant 19

8. Randy Turpin 18

9. J.T. Ayers 17

10. Jeff Stith 16

WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman

1. Roger Cecill 27

2. Avral Thompson 25

2. Logan Whitis 25

4. Barry Chesser 23

5. Sam Huffer 21

6. Daroyl Samples 20

7. Eldon Martin 19

8. Lois Campbell 18

9. Tim Lohden 17

10. Rob Jones 16

Street Stocks

No races competed as of yet

Norman Copley Super Late Model Rookie of the Year

1. Jason Durham 5

1. Matthew Rigdon 5

Modified Rookie of the Year

1. Kevin Bryant 19

2. Timmy Glazer 11

3. Danny Searcy 6

Next event: No racing on Saturday, May 3 (closed for the Kentucky Derby). Return to action on Saturday, May 10 - Fifth Annual Jerry Rucker Memorial: $2,000 to win for 44 Auto Mart Super Late Models plus weekly racing series action for Kentucky Cooperage Modifieds, WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman and Street Stocks.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m., main Gates open at 5, drivers' meeting at 6, hot laps at 6:30, time trials at 7 with racing at or before 8.

Adult general admission is $15, children ages 6 to 12 are $8, children under age 6 are free and a pit pass will be $30.