The Iron-Man Late Model Series ventured to Lake Cumberland Speedway on Saturday night to sanction the $5,000-to-win Finn Watson Memorial event. At the end of the night, Home state driver Jackie Boggs walked away from the Burnside, KY facility with the winner’s trophy and to top payout.
Victor Lee began the night by posting the fast time in Group A qualifying and overall with a track record lap of 12.137 seconds. He was followed in that group by Eddie Carrier, Jr., Kent Robinson and Michael Chilton.
Tyler Carpenter proved to be the fastest in Group B time-trials with a lap of 12.315 seconds. That time bettered the efforts of Jason Welshan, Brandon Fouts and Boggs.
Starting on the outside of the front row proved to be beneficial during the heat races as three of the four preliminaries were won by the driver firing from the second position.
Robinson earned the pole for the feature by beating out Dakotah Knuckles, Steve Stallings and Jeff Neubert in the first heat race of the night. Overall fast qualifier Lee fell out of the race early with mechanical issues and was done for the evening.
Chilton got the jump on Carrier at the start of the second heat and went on to win over Carrier, Mike Marlar and Greg Johnson while Tyler Carpenter beat out Freddie Carpenter, Fouts and Caleb Ashby in the third preliminary. Boggs won out in the fourth and final heat over Welshan, Tripp Gerrald and Skylar Marlar.
Jeff Watson and Tommy Bailey won the two B-main races used to set the remainder of the starting grid for the main event.
The initial attempt to start the 40-lap feature was thwarted by a multi-car pileup as the field roared through turns one and two. Knuckles, Chilton, Bailey, Steve Smith and Brian Smith were among those to be collected.
Robinson bolted to the early lead once the race officially got underway with Tyler Carpenter, Boggs, Chilton and Freddie Carpenter trailing. Boggs wasted little time in working his way forward as he moved around Tyler Carpenter to grab the second spot. Soon after, Carpenter’s machine began to slow with mechanical issues which would ultimately bring out another yellow flag on lap 5.
When the race resumed, Boggs shot around Robinson in what looked to be a move that would secure him the race lead. However, the car driven by Steve Smith went for a wild ride in turn three that ultimately resulted in the No. 3 machine coming to rest on its top. Smith was reported to be uninjured in the incident.
With Robinson restored to the lead, the race went back to green flag conditions with Chilton closing on the rear spoiler of Boggs to offer a challenge for the runner-up position. At the same time, Carrier and Freddie Carpenter were engaged in a fight of their own for the fourth spot in the running order.
Boggs made a pass for the top spot that stuck on lap 17 as the lead cars battle among slower traffic.
The race’s most pivotal moment occurred just before the halfway mark when the second running car of Robinson tangled with a slower machine and was sent spinning. The former front runner was eliminated from competition as a result of the mishap.
As the event rolled into its second half the Marlar brothers made their way into the top-5 and engaged in an incredible battle for the third position just behind the lead duo of Boggs and Chilton. Mike and Skylar passed and repassed one another with a variety of slide jobs and crossovers that thrilled the crowd.
The race’s final yellow flag on lap 36 set up a dash to the finish that would be won by Boggs.
Feature Finish: 1. Jackie Boggs, 2. Michael Chilton, 3. Mike Marlar, 4. Skylar Marlar, 5. Caleb Ashby, 6. Brandon Fouts, 7. Bob Gardner, 8. Tommy Bailey, 9. Jason Welshan, 10. Steve Stallings, 11. Brian Smith, 12. Jeff Neubert, 13. Dakotah Knuckles, 14. Eddie Carrier, Jr., 15. Greg Johnson, 16. Kent Robinson, 17. Freddie Carpenter, 18. Tyler Carpenter, 19. Steve Smith, 20. Jeff Watson, 21. Levi Ashby, 22. Tripp Gerrald, 23. Cody Mahoney