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Night 18 of the 26-Event UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals: Marlar Gets Back On Track With Victory At Fairbury

FAIRBURY, IL – July 7, 2007 – Mike Marlar is back on track along the UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals road – and not a moment too soon.

With the grueling month-long dirt Late Model tour of the Midwest heading into its final week, Winfield , Tenn. ’s Marlar shook off a recent stretch of bad luck to win Saturday night’s 50-lap A-Main at Fairbury American Legion Speedway.

Marlar came out on top of a very competitive race that featured multiple lead changes among four drivers. He grabbed the lead from Jimmy Mars of Menomonie , Wis. , shortly after the halfway point and held off a late challenge from 2005-06 Summernationals champion Shannon Babb of Moweaqua , Ill. , to record his third victory of the 2007 tour.

The $10,000 triumph helped Marlar, a Summernationals regular for the first time in his career, stay in the thick of the battle for the $25,000 series title. He got off to a great start on this year’s tour – nine top-five finishes, including two wins, in the first 11 events – but he then ran into some trouble, scoring just two top-10 finishes in the next six events.

Marlar was at his Summernationals low point entering Saturday night’s action, with consecutive last-place finishes on his ledger. He was 21st on July 3 at Lawrenceburg ( Ind. ) Speedway (engine problems) and 22nd on July 6 at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach , Ill. (black-flagged after an altercation with Randy Korte), leaving him third in the point standings and on the verge of dropping from contention.

With a fresh engine under the hood of his Stephens Motorsports No. 34, Marlar was re-energized at Fairbury. He came from the 12th starting spot to take the victory by the length of a door over Babb, who has regained his usual contending form since debuting a new Rayburn car one week ago.

Mars, who swapped the lead several times with Billy Moyer of Batesville , Ark. , before the halfway mark, settled for a third-place finish. Moyer was fourth and Summernationals points leader Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill. , placed fifth.

Steve Sheppard Jr. of New Berlin , Ill. , led the race’s first lap but faded to a sixth-place finish.

Erb now leads Don O’Neal of Martinsville , Ind. , who finished 10th, by 28 points and Marlar by 50 points after 18 events of the 2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals.

With 36 dirt Late Models on hand, Moyer’s lap of 12.98 seconds was the best of the group qualifying session.

Heat winners were Moyer, Mars, Sheppard and Scott Bull of Fairbury , Ill. , and the B-Mains were captured by Richie Hedrick of Urbana , Ill. , and A.J. Diemel of Navarino , Wis.

UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals A-Main Finish (50 laps):
1. Mike Marlar
2. Shannon Babb
3. Jimmy Mars
4. Billy Moyer
5. Dennis Erb Jr.
6. Steve Sheppard Jr.
7. Scott Bull
8. Joe Harlan
9. Brian Shirley
10. Don O’Neal
11. A.J. Diemel
12. Eddie Kirchoff
13. Kevin Weaver
14. Ryan Dauber
15. Donny Walden
16. Wes Steidinger
17. Darren Friedmen
18. Jeep VanWormer
19. John Provenzano
20. Junior Shickel

DNQ: Lee Thomason, Jay Sparks, George Scheffler, Mike Provenzano, Jeff Beyers, Ryan Unzicker, Derek Chandler, Larry Riekert, Kyle Logue, Eric Vaughan, Mike Mulvain, Shawn Toczek, Snooky Dehm, Lisa Shickel, Jason McBride

UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals Point Standings (after 18 events):
1. Dennis Erb Jr. 1,236
2. Don O’Neal 1,208
3. Mike Marlar 1,186
4. Wes Steidinger 1,140
5. Jeep VanWormer 1,086
6. Steve Sheppard Jr. 1,074
7. Rodney Melvin 866
8. Randy Korte 826
9. Eddie Kirchoff 778
10. Kevin Weaver 776
11. Jason Feger 752
12. Terry Casey 686
13. Billy Moyer 650
14. A.J. Diemel 630
15. Shannon Babb 383
16. Jordan Bland 342
17. Greg Johnson 314
18. Rusty Schlenk 313
19. Ryan Dauber 297
20. Jeff Taylor 275

2007 UMP DIRTcar Racing Summernationals Schedule
6/15 – Fri. – Kankakee Motor Speedway/Kankakee, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/16 – Sat. – Kamp Motor Speedway/Boswell, IN (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/17 – Sun. – Tri-State Speedway/Haubstadt, IN (Randy Korte)
6/18 – Mon. – Jefferson County Raceway/ Mt. Vernon , IL (Randy Korte)
6/19 – Tues. – Lebanon I-44 Speedway/Lebanon, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/20 – Wed. – Highland Speedway/Highland, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/21 – Thurs. – Morgan County Speedway / Jacksonville , IL (Kevin Weaver)
6/22 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL (Rain – Rescheduled to July 13)
6/23 – Sat. – I-55 Raceway/Pevely, MO (Mike Marlar)
6/24 – Sun. – Lincoln Speedway/Lincoln, IL (Don O’Neal)
6/25 – Mon. – Peoria Speedway/Peoria, IL (Dennis Erb Jr.)
6/26 – Tues. – Poplar Bluff Speedway/Poplar Bluff, MO (Billy Moyer)
6/27 – Wed. – Lake Ozark Speedway / Eldon , MO (Rain)
6/28 – Thurs. – Paducah International Raceway/Paducah, KY (Billy Moyer)
6/29 – Fri. – Western Kentucky Speedway/Nebo, KY (Rain)
6/30 – Sat. – Clarksville Speedway/Clarksville, TN (Jeep VanWormer)
7/1 – Sun. – Vermilion County Speedway / Danville , IL (Don O’Neal)
7/2 – Mon. – Midway Speedway/Crooksville, OH (Earl Pearson Jr.)
7/3 – Tues. – Lawrenceburg Speedway/Lawrenceburg, IN (Jeep VanWormer)
7/4 – Wed. – Day Off
7/5 – Thurs. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL (Rain – Rescheduled to July 21)
7/6 – Fri. – Tri-City Speedway / Pontoon Beach , IL (Don O’Neal)
7/7 – Sat. – Fairbury ( Ill. ) American Legion Speedway (Mike Marlar)
7/8 – Sun. – Quad City Speedway/East Moline , IL
7/9 – Mon. – C.J. Raceway/Columbus Junction, IA
7/10 – Tues. – Quincy Raceway/Quincy, IL
7/11 – Wed. – Spoon River Speedway/Canton, IL
7/12 – Thurs. – LaSalle Speedway/LaSalle, IL
7/13 – Fri. – Farmer City Raceway/Farmer City, IL
7/14 – Sat. – Oakshade Raceway/Wauseon, OH

7/21 – Sat. – Macon Speedway/Macon, IL

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