WHEEL, Tenn. — Mike Marlar knows all too well what it feels like to lose a World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main, so it’s no surprise that he harbors a burning desire to experience the ecstasy of a victory lane appearance on the national tour.
There could be no better time for the veteran standout from Winfield, Tenn., to finally realize his goal of a World of Outlaws triumph than this Sunday evening (March 24) when the renowned full-fender circuit visits Marlar’s home state for a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win spectacular at Duck River Raceway Park.
Indeed, it’s checkered-flag-or-bust on the WoO LMS this weekend for Marlar, a 35-year-old talent who has come tantalizingly close to victory several times on the series over the past two years while driving for Bryson Motorsports.
“Actually, this weekend we’re going out of our way to go Outlaw racing because I just really want to win an Outlaw race,” said Marlar, who plans to precede his assault on Duck River by entering WoO LMS events on Friday night (March 22) at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., and Saturday night (March 23) at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss. “After coming up short (of a World of Outlaws A-Main score) a few times, after having a few near-misses, we’re really hungry to win one.
“If I can’t get one the first two nights (of this weekend’s WoO LMS tripleheader), it would really be neat to get my first Outlaw win in my home state (on Sunday). That would just be awesome, almost like it was meant to be.”
Marlar has finished as high as second in a WoO LMS A-Main on two occasions, most recently on Feb. 16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. He appeared headed to his first-ever series win that evening until slipping slightly off the preferred bottom groove on the 48th of 50 laps, allowing defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to grab the lead heading to the white flag and march on to a dramatic victory.
“That one was definitely disappointing,” said Marlar, whose other runner-up WoO LMS finish came in decidedly less heartbreaking fashion on June 28, 2012, in a Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. “I wouldn’t say we gave it away — Darrell took it — but we were in position to capitalize. I just look at it as being a product of those early-season blues — not really being in the rhythm good yet and making those little mistakes that you don’t really make when you get into the racing (season) more.”