POCOLA, Okla. (Oct. 31) — Making a rare Late Model start, Raymond Merrill of Sallisaw, Okla., wasn’t just using his driver’s suit as a Halloween costume. Piloting a Wendell Wallace No. 88, the outside front-row starter zipped to victory in the season-ender on the O’Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series at Tri-State Speedway’s Spooker II.
Merrill, whose only previous series victory came seven seasons ago when he was racing full time, earned $2,000 for the victory.
Sixth-starting Justin Wells of Aurora, Mo., was second followed by Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., who started alongside Wells in the third row. Polesitter Dewaine Hottinger of Russellville, Ark., was fourth with Larry Campbell of Van Buren, Ark., fifth.
Series champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., who had already wrapped up his fifth championship, was among series regulars skipping the non-points event.
Merrill’s only other career MARS victory came June 21, 2002, at Muskogee (Okla.) Speedway.
Spooker II: (1) Raymond Merrill, (2) Justin Wells, (3) Brad Looney, (4) Dewaine Hottinger, (5) Larry Campbell, (6) Bill Frye, (7) Eric Turner, (8) Billy Moyer Jr., (9) Ken Essary, (10) Rick Lebow, (11) Shane Essary, (12) Rylan Long, (13) Tim Adams, (14) Leroy Johnson, (15) Randy Galloway, (16) Darrell Mooneyham, (17) Patrick Johnson, (18) Steve Johnson, (19) Kevin Brown, (20) Brandon Cheek, (21) Tony Jackson Jr., (22) Jarrod Hilton.
Heat race winners (among 29 cars):Brown, Looney, Merrill, Wells.
Consolation winners: Jackson, Adams.