Mike Marlar worked on Terry English lap after lap to no avail. Finally, with one turn remaining and $5,000 on the line, Marlar went to the bottom entering turn 3 to steal the lead away.
As the pair raced to the checkered flag, the fourth-starting Marlar, of Winfield, Tenn., then held off English, of Benton, Ky., to win Sunday’s Southern Nationals Bonus Race at Duck River Raceway Park.
After English slid down the track in an attempt to hold Marlar off, Marlar came in lower in turn four. The frontrunners touched and Marlar won by a half-length at the flagstand.
“Terry had the preferred line and he was doing all the right things there. For 49 laps, he ran the high side, and he took that low corner there,” Marlar said. “We did a way more rubbin’ than I ever like to do. I don’t like to be laying on a guy like that. But he went to the bottom and I was committed. I was like ‘Oh man!’ I was trying to hit him and keep him straight and everything else so I didn’t spin him. It just came out crazy. It was a fun race.”
Josh Putnam used a high-side rally to come from 13th to finish third, while Riley Hickman was fourth and Dane Dacus fifth. Todd Morrow, Brandon Kinzer, Anthony Burroughs, Eric Hickerson and Shelbyville’s Scott Cook completed the top 10.
Lynchburg’s Daniel Miller was 17th in the final rundown.
After the race, English said his car’s handling was going away late.
“I figured it was coming; I just wish (Marlar would) have let me run him down the front straightaway there on the checkered,” he said.
Kenny Kizzar, of Graysville, Tenn., won the 35-lap, $1,000-to-win Crate Late Model race. Winchester’s David Jackson won the Two-barrel Late Model feature, while Fayetteville’s Mike Mitchell won the Pure Stock Feature. No other results were available.
Southern Nationals Bonus Race
1. Mike Marlar, 2. Terry English, 3. Josh Putnam, 4. Riley Hickman, 5. Dane Dacus, 6. Todd Morrow, 7. Brandon Kinzer, 8. Anthony Burroughs, 9. Eric Hickerson, 10. Scott Cook, 11. Mark Fields, 12. Austin Smith, 13. Dylan Ames, 14. David Brannon, 15. Kenny Collins, 16. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, 17. Daniel Miller, 18. Brad Skinner, 19. Caleb Ashby, 20. Tanner English, 21. David Gentry, 22. Jay Brinkley. Fast qualifier: Terry English (12.804 seconds), among 34 cars. Heat race winners: Cook, Hickman. Consolation race winners: Austin Smith.