Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Tennessee ringer Cory Hedgecock kept him honest, but Mike Marlar led all 50 laps from the pole to win the Ultimate Super Late Model Series feature at Clarksville Speedway in Tennessee Tuesday night (May 30).
Marlar was one of roughly a half-dozen national ringers that showed up for the biggest-paying race in the nation Tuesday night and the evening prior to the Flo Racing Night in America event at Florence Speedway in Kentucky Wednesday.
Marlar had the dominant car from hot laps onward but also benefitted from a rash of early-race caution flags that kept him out of lapped traffic for much of the race.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: In terms of the sport as a whole, the most dramatic announcement of Tuesday came off the track with the release of the entry list for Wednesday’s High Limit Racing Series event at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois. Said entry list featured only 33 sprint cars, by far the lowest tally the tour has drawn this season.
While there are still plenty of quality entries in the field, Wednesday’s upcoming race will be arguably the most important the series has contested, as it is devoid of any of the World of Outlaws regulars that have contested events earlier in the season.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
The TrackChaser in me has added Clarksville Speedway to my list of tracks to visit in 2023. Not just because the facility put on a decent race Tuesday night, but more so because there is a ton of high-density spec housing that has been built within literal eyesight of the backstretch and pit area. I hope I’m wrong, but this track certainly appears to be on the endangered list given how many residences have popped up in close proximity to it.
Speaking of pop ups, I feel a little better about myself as a dirt racing columnist that I wasn’t the only person who had Tuesday’s race completely sneak up on them. Though with a car count of 30 super lates that showed up, that may well be on me being oversaturated in racing over Memorial Day weekend more than a lack of promotion for the race.
Anyone else notice that one of the pre-race fireworks in the infield actually went off in the infield? WoO late model regular Nick Hoffman had reason to be complimentary of the pre-race four-wide at Clarksville, as the fireworks were set off in a tight infield that made the scene spectacular. Having said that, I’m not sure I’d have wanted to be standing down there during the pace laps.
There was no shortage of vitriol on social media this past weekend regarding the ads being run on Flo Racing during their racing programs, but I held off commenting on the issue in the weekend column as I only watched Flo programs on replay, rather than live. Now having watched Tuesday’s racing program from Clarksville live, I’m a little relieved and a little irked by the ads that are being run.
The good news? Concerns that were voiced on Twitter about ads interrupting on-track action were not realized during the stream from Clarksville. Yes, there were abrupt cuts to ads almost immediately following the end of a race or qualifying session, but that’s going to happen with a stream that’s relying on the PA booth at the track to deliver commentary rather than an actual booth working with a producer.
The bad news? The ads are abrupt, which makes them distracting. And given how frequently they did interrupt Tuesday’s program, the lack of diversity in the ads themselves made them far more irritating. Seeing the same six commercials a dozen times or more over the course of a four-hour racing program makes me far less likely to buy said products, as I’m going to associate them with annoyance. I appreciate Flo needing to make money, but both the streamer and their ad partners need to think long and hard about whether this saturation bombing tactic is actually effective.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
This one is going to Marlar. Frankly, I wasn’t surprised to see the veteran dominate every facet of Tuesday’s program the way he did, but he gets the shoutout for being the biggest name in dirt late model racing to unload Tuesday night. $10,000 to win on a Tuesday night is totally decent money, especially when the track is only four hours removed from Wednesday night’s Flo Racing Night in America program that will draw every major national late model driver in the country. A big part of life is showing up.
Dirt Racing’s Villain of the Night
Frankly, Tuesday’s program at Clarksville was too clean to have a villain, so we’re going to rewind back to Monday night. The World of Outlaws program at Lawrenceburg saw series regular Bill Rose so enraged that he had be restrained by officials after enduring a crash that DIrtVision only caught inconclusive video as to the cause.
Well, as of today, that video surfaced. Logan Schuchart’s in-car camera conclusively demonstrated that Cole Macedo ran all over Rose to cause Monday’s nasty crash, leading this column to give Macedo a belated strike as the villain of the day.
Number of dirt tracks in the U.S. that contested a dirt oval track racing program Tuesday night.
The nation’s largest car count Tuesday night, the weekly racing program at Beaver Dam Raceway.
The nation’s largest purse Tuesday night, awarded to the winner of the Ultimate Super Late Models race at Clarksville (Marlar).
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back on Thursday morning (June 1) with coverage of the High Limit Racing Series from Tri-City Speedway in Illinois and the Flo Racing Night in America tour at Florence Speedway in Kentucky. Coverage can be found on Flo Racing.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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