Mike Marlar wins historic third Knoxville Late Model Nationals

Knoxville Nationals Marlar

Mike Marlar returned to the Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway after a three-year absence and won a record-setting third Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals Saturday night. Marlar also won in 2016 and 2017.

Jimmy Owens won in 2018 and 2019 while last year was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes this three consecutive Knoxville Late Model Nationals for Marlar.

Starting third, Marlar took the lead on Lap 41 of the 100-lap affair and would relinquish it only once in the second half of the race. Lucas Oil points’ leader Tim McCreadie topped the field for one circuit on Lap 89.

“The car was good. Once I got out in front, the car was really, really good,” Marlar said in a press release. “My guys got me tuned in good this weekend. It was an awesome race. It was fun racing with Timmy there. He had me on pins and needles at the end of that thing.”

“You know Timmy’s a professional. He raced me as clean as he could without wrecking us both. We were all over each other and we made it through ok. I appreciate him racing me clean. He’s used to running on the hub in those Big Block Modifieds out east. I was just glad to hold him off.”

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The opening laps of race featured a fierce show between Marlar, McCreadie and Tyler Erb. The battle was briefly interrupted when Erb broke a rear gear on Lap 40 to bring out a caution. He was able to rejoin the field at the tail, but would not be a factor for the win afterward.

McCreadie never lost contact with Marlar and finished a half-second back in second.

“My guys, I just can’t thank them enough. I think this is our 23rd day in a row that we have raced or went to the shop and worked,” Marlar said. “This is a fun week to come up here. We have run so well here and had so much success here. It takes a lot to happen to win here. I feel for Tyler Erb. He was going for something awesome.”

Erb was set to add his name to the record books by tying Billy Moyer as the only other driver to sweep the weekend in 17 years of the Late Model Nationals. After restarting shotgun on the field, he climbed to seventh at the checkers.

Erb won both preliminary races on Thursday and Friday.

One of the 48 drivers he beat on Night 1 of the Nationals was NASCAR standout Kyle Larson.

In his first race at the track since winning the Knoxville Nationals in August and his first-ever laps there in a Late Model, Larson finished second in his Heat and third in the Main. Larson’s matriculation in late models continued with some valuable lessons in that 25-lap race.

“I got up against the wall too many times,” Larson said. “Those caution flags hurt us. We had some good momentum going on the outside. I am not sure even if the race had more laps, we could have gotten up there even further.

“I was trying some sprint car lines there for a while and with this being the first time racing here in a late model we learned a lot for sure.”

Larson did not compete Friday or Saturday nights because of his NASCAR commitments at Bristol.

With his second-place finish, McCreadie maintained the points’ lead.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.