Marlon Wild Wins "Mud Bug 50"
Jackson, Mississippi (July 28, 2001) – Marlon Wild relied on “old faithful” to carry him to victory in the O’Reilly SUPR Mud Bug 50 at Jackson Motor Speedway. Wild started on the front row in his1998 vintage Warrior dubbed “old faithful”, a car that he keeps returning to with great success. Wild started on the front row alongside another competitor returning to a proven combination, GRT Top Qualifier Jay Blair. Blair was in the same GRT that carried him to the rookie title in 1998 and the 2000 O’Reilly SUPR Championship in 2000.
Wild was passed on the last lap of an O’Reilly SUPR event the last time he competed here in April 1999 and he Wild felt Jackson Motor Speedway owed him a victory. “She sure did owe me one and my luck is bound to be changing because when it quit it quit after the race this time.” Marlon’s car came to a halt on the front stretch after the race ended of an apparent m.s.d. failure. “The car was real good and I didn’t get in no real big hurry out there. I’ve got to thank Keith Craft and mom and dad for footing the bills, as well as (crew men) Aubrey Whittington and Darrell Posey for helping me.”
Blair got the jump on Wild at the start and then Chris Wall made it a pair of Wall to Wall Racing Engines powered cars at the front of the pack as he moved by Wild on lap 3. Wild, sensing the need to try a different racing line, moved to the high side on lap 7, quickly moving by Wall and one lap later he drove by Blair to grab the lead in turn 3.
Of the move, Wild explained as such. “I figured I was a third place car when those two guys passed me and so it was all or nothing and I went for the bonsai move up top and it paid off.
Once out front, Wild proved to be more than capable of handling all challengers to grab his first O’Reilly SUPR victory of the year. And the challengers were not shy about taking their best shot at Wild. Blair continued to hound Wild through the first half of the race and then Rodney Wing moved up to challenge Wild as he grabbed second from Blair on lap 31. Wing appeared to be a solid threat to win but it was a restart on lap 34 that introduced Wild’s biggest challenger. Jon Mitchell was running 5th prior to the caution for a tangle between Randy Little and Ken Freeman. Mitchell then took to the high side and blasted by both Wall and Blair to grab third and then the next time by he moved by Wing to grab second.
A final caution on lap 36 set up the battle to the finish. A finish that first saw Wing drop out when motor troubles set in just 4 laps from the finish. As Wing put it, “We had a heck of a race going there and I believe anything could happen at that point and with about three laps to go something happened with the motor. It all of a sudden it shook and smoke started coming out of it, it had been running hot the whole race and I didn’t want to do any more damage to the motor. That $1200 would have been nice for third but it don’t take long to do a lot more damage that that to these motors.”
Wild continued out front but lapped traffic allowed Mitchell one last shot at the win. Wild ran in to turn 3 trying to get underneath Dennis Duncan while Mitchell looked to the outside of both drivers. Mitchell pitched his car into the corner but he was unable to get the car to stick and he bobbed the throttle just long enough to allow Wild to pull clear for the victory.
Afterward Mitchell just felt he ran out of chances to grab the win. “Marlon was real quick and the track was real good but right at the end the top started going away. I was trying to roll Duncan there on the outside on the last turn but I was afraid I was going to push into the wall.” Mitchell thanked J&J Motorsports and Kenneth’s High Performance for the help and noted that his recent performance has been aided by the new Afco gas shocks that he’s been running.
While the battle waged up front, Blair and Wall continued their own battle right to the checkers with Blair holding on to third just ahead of Wall with Jimmy Cliburn closing in at the end to round out the top 5. Blair’s third place finish allowed him to once again regain the lead in the 2001 O’Reilly SUPR Champion ship standings. Jimmy Cliburn passed 15 cars en route to his fifth place finish to earn the Lloyd Wild Jr. Logging Hard Charger award.
40 O’Reilly SUPR Late Models were on hand and the heat race action was intense as the drivers jockeyed for spots in the feature. David Ashley grabbed the victory in the first race in his new look red and white Larry Shaw. Brent Tirello then claimed the second heat race from his outside pole starting position. Heat three saw Blair put on an impressive charge as he won the race from his 7th starting position earning the GRT Top Qualifier award in the process. Marlon Wild started 4th and shot to the front to claim the fourth heat while Kennith Crowe claimed the fifth and final heat from the pole. Dennis Duncan claimed the first last chance race with Bill Avant claiming the second. Dave Siegert and Odie Green used SUPR provisional starting spots to set the feature field.
Several top-level competitors were unable to transfer to the feature including Ryan Plaisance, Kenny Merchant, Bubba Mullins and Scott Slay. Mullins, who struggled through one bad break after another, was named the B&K Underground Hard Luck racer of the night. Dave Siegert, who hurt his motor in the heat race borrowed Lonnie Covington’s car for the feature.
For further information regarding the 2001 OReilly SUPR Series contact Greg Holmes at 225-275-5040 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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