BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Mike Marlar made his third race with K&L Rumley Racing a winning one Monday night as late model competition kicked off during the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
Marlar held off Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards and Scott Bloomquist in the 30-lap event on the half-mile dirt track.
“It’s cool to get to win in something that’s an iconic ride,” Marlar said. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to know these guys and already having some success. It’s been awesome.”
Marlar started third on the grid and took the lead away from Chase Junghans on lap six and held it until just over 10 laps remaining, when Richards powered underneath to take the lead. Marlar would get Richards back, however, as he drilled the cushion with his right rear and stood on the throttle coming out of turn four to complete one of the most aggressive and fearless passes of the night.
That proved to be the winning move, as Marlar would not relinquish the spot, giving him a nice $7,000 start to late model week at Volusia.
“Going down the back straight-away, I knew that he was pushing,” Marlar said “And when I saw him pushing, I knew I was going to have to back up his corner and turn his car, so I just said, ‘Here’s my chance.’ So I just blasted around the outside and tried to catch him when he was out of the gas, trying to get turned, and that gave me enough of a run. I just barely squeezed by and got back into the groove in front of him.”
Marlar joined Kevin and Leeroy Rumley’s team in late 2018 as the new driver of their iconic No. 6m, after Marlar’s former car owner Ronnie Delk announced his plans to step down from full-time racing at the conclusion of the World of Outlaws season.
But the team didn’t exactly get this impressive of a start straight out of the hauler. Marlar made a very-welcomed appearance at the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series season opener at Screven Motor Speedway last Friday and Saturday night, but posted only a 25th-place finish after getting into a jingle with Ivedent Lloyd Jr. early on. Saturday wasn’t much better – a 22nd-place effort, three laps down.
“It’s totally different stuff on the car than in the last two days,” Marlar said. “It took me a few laps in the feature just to learn how to drive it. Once I figured out what I could do with it, I was able to go forward. It was an awesome win, that was so much fun.”
Bloomquist won the second last chance race and romped from 18thto finish third behind Marlar and Lanigan.
“It was definitely capable of winning the race this evening,” Bloomquist said. “I didn’t want to see that caution [with 10 laps to go]. The caution comes out, the tires don’t act the same. I got stuck behind Junghans there and I should have just went outside of him. The next time, on that last caution, I did go outside of him and I got by him and some others and the car was really rolling good.”
Around the lap 32-mark, the battle for the runner-up spot was on between Lanigan and Richards, the former and current Clint Bowyer Racing pilots.
“We had a really good piece. Like I said [in Victory Lane], if we wouldn’t have gotten tangled up there with Josh, he just doesn’t want to race you clean… I think we had a chance to win it if we wouldn’t have got tangled up with him, but we’ve got a long week.”
Feature (30 Laps) 1. 6m-Mike Marlar ; 2. 29-Darrell Lanigan ; 3. 0-Scott Bloomquist ; 4. 14-Josh Richards ; 5. 25-Shane Clanton ; 6. 39-Tim McCreadie ; 7. 18-Chase Junghans ; 8. 17M-Dale McDowell ; 9. 72-Mike Norris ; 10. 2-Brandon Overton ; 11. 1-Brandon Sheppard ; 12. 9-Devin Moran ; 13. 40B-Kyle Bronson ; 14. 116-Tanner English ; 15. 44-Chris Madden ; 16. 97-Cade Dillard ; 17. 7-Ricky Weiss ; 18. 12-Jason Jameson ; 19. 99B-Boom Briggs ; 20. 16-Tyler Bruening ; 21. 36v-Kyle Hardy ; 22. 7k-Kent Robinson ; 23. 5-Don O’Neal ; 24. 3s-Brian Shirley  Hard Charger Award: 0-Scott Bloomquist[+15]