The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series resumed racing on Thursday night in the second of what is planned to be a three-feature weekend at Florence Speedway as part of the North-South 100 weekend. Mike Marlar prevailed as the winner of the Sunoco North/South Shootout after a full night of racing action. The Winfield, TN driver earned a $10,000 payday for his efforts in a race shown live by Lucas Oil Racing TV at the Union, KY track.
Tyler Erb was fastest in Group A qualifying with a lap of 16.355 seconds around the half-mile clay oval to top Devin Moran, Brandon Overton, Scott Bloomquist and Jonathan Davenport.
Jimmy Owens paced Group B qualifying with a lap of 16.536 seconds to best Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, Josh Rice and Stormy Scott.
Kyle Bronson earned the pole position for the feature by winning the night’s first heat race over Tyler Erb and Scott Bloomquist.
Devin Moran took the second preliminary ahead of Zack Dohm and Jonathan Davenport while Brandon Overton was victorious in the third heat as he beat out Tim McCreadie and Shanon Buckingham.
Jimmy Owens would start the main event from the outside of the front row by virtue of his victory in the fourth heat as he outperformed Josh Rice and Tyler Carpenter.
It was Josh Richards who beat Stormy Scott and Jason Jameson to the checkered flag in the fifth heat just before Mike Marlar triumphed in the sixth and final heat ahead of Earl Pearson Jr. and Shane Clanton.
Billy Moyer Jr. and Dale McDowell won the two B-main races used to fill out the starting grid for the feature.
Owens went to the early lead when the green flag waved over the 50-lap feature ahead of Bronson, Richards, Marlar and Moran. Rice moved up early on by passing Moran to take fifth. However, that gain would be short lived as Overton entered the top-5 on lap 5.
By lap 8 Owens was threatening to make this race into a replay of Wednesday night at Florence as he pulled away to a big lead and started working through slower traffic by lap 9. Further back, Overton continued to climb as he passed by Marlar to take fourth.
Bronson slowed suddenly from second with mechanical issues on lap 16 to bring out the first caution of the affair.
Owens controlled the race at the halfway point as Marlar and Rice engaged in an entertaining position swapping fight for fourth. But as the laps clicked away, the second and third cars of Richards and Overton began to close in on the race leader as Owens battled with slower cars.
As they worked to close on Overton and Richards tangled, almost spinning, on lap 40. Overton then broke away from that tussle to track down Owens.
Overton passed Owens for the lead on lap 46 opening the door for Marlar to also move around Owens. Marlar then went after Overton and caught the No. 76 going into turn one just after taking the white flag. After contact between the two, Marlar emerged from the battle with the lead. Overton threw a slider at Marlar in turn three then Marlar countered with a crossover to just edge Overton for the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Mike Marlar, 2. Brandon Overton, 3. Zack Dohm, 4. Jimmy Owens, 5. Tim McCreadie, 6. Josh Richards, 7. Stormy Scott, 8. Tyler Erb, 9. Dale McDowell, 10. Josh Rice, 11. Earl Pearson Jr., 12. Devin Moran, 13. Ricky Weiss, 14. Shane Clanton, 15. Jonathan Davenport, 16. Tyler Carpenter, 17. Jason Jameson, 18. Shanon Buckingham, 19. Billy Moyer Jr., 20. Tyler Bruening, 21. Tanner English, 22. Mason Zeigler, 23. Scott Bloomquist, 24. Kyle Bronson