WHEEL, Tenn. – The second annual Deep Fried 75 by CT Promotions concluded on Saturday evening in front of a capacity crowd with Josh Putnam scoring the biggest win of his racing career by collecting a $10,000 payday at Duck River Raceway Park.
The event was an absolute slugfest as Putnam and Skylar Marlar raced wheel-to-wheel for a majority of the second-half of the event, trading the lead officially on five different occasions, but unofficially many more times than that around the ultra-racy quarter-mile arena.
Marlar and Allen Murray would bring the 25 car starting field to the green flag, with Marlar immediately jumping to the race, with Ray Cook grabbing second from Murray, followed by Putnam and Eric Hickerson. Marlar would work to a comfortable lead until the first of four cautions in the event waved on lap six when Richard Smith slowed in the front of the leaders in turn two.
The restart would see Putnam drive by Cook for second, as the front trio of Marlar, Putnam, and Cook would pull away from the field until the next caution for fourth-place running Hickerson, who spun his mount in turn two on lap 19. The restart would see Putnam and Cook trade spots, before Putnam secured second, with Putnam making a move on Marlar for the lead and taking the lead on lap 21.
The third caution of the race waved on lap 24 when 8th position running David Seibers would stop in turn two. When action resumed, Putnam still held the point, with Marlar and Cook trading second a couple of times before Marlar reclaimed the runner-up spot, while Tony Morris and Tanner English battled for fourth. Marlar would begin the process of chasing Putnam down as the duo entered traffic on lap 36, with both drivers making daring moves in lapped traffic.
Marlar continued to reel in Putnam for the lead and would make a pass on Putnam for the lead on lap 48. It was around this point when these two would begin a slobber-knocker of a battle for the top spot, with Cook still in third, with 11th starting Dennis Erb Jr. now riding in fourth. Marlar and Putnam would trade slidejobs for the race lead on lap 55, and continued to battle hard for the top spot, all the time working in and out of lapped traffic, before Marlar reclaimed the top spot again on lap 57.
Meanwhile, Erb would run down Cook from a full straightaway behind and close in on Cook on lap 65. But the battle at the point was far from finished as Putnam made another move for the lead and would fire the slidejob pass for the top spot again on lap 67, with Erb, Jr. racing by Cook for third as well. Marlar would attempt to reclaim the top spot and would make a turn two slidejob pass on Putnam for the lead, but the caution would wave as fifth-place running Morris stopped on the traffic, negating the pass.
The final five laps would see Putnam scoot away a few car lengths from Marlar, who now had his hands full with Erb, Jr. Putnam would take the checkered flag to the roar of the crowd, while Marlar would make contact with the wall exiting turn four on the final circuit, giving second to Erb, Jr. and third to Cook, with English and 13th starting Michael Chilton completing the top five. The remainder of the top ten would be 15th starting Eric Cooley, Marlar, 18th starting Brad Skinner, Daniel Miller, and 22nd starting Dillan White.