Dominating the 59-lap feature, Mike Marlar claimed the $20,059 top prize at Kentucky’s Richmond Raceway in a special event sanctioned by the Ultimate Heart of America Super Late Model Series. It was Marlar’s fourth Paul Butterball Wooldridge Memorial victory, winning the event in 2004, 2009, 2015, and again this year.
The event is held annually in memory of National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge. “Butterball” Wooldridge was a well-known, and well-liked Kentucky racer, and was the original operator of the Franklin County Speedway. He also loved Richmond Raceway and was a Champion at the track. After he passed in 1987, Richmond Raceway named a race in his memory with the family’s permission. This year was the 33rd running of the annual event.
The event format is set up with 16 automatic transfers to the A-feature coming through the heat races. There were four transfers per heat race with four heat races scheduled. Six additional transfers would come from two B-Main events with three transfer spots from each.
Ross Bailes set fast time in qualifying, then claimed the first heat race transfer spot by winning the first heat. Brandon Fouts, Justin Ratliff, and Scott James were also transferred to the feature race.
After almost flipping in qualifying, Mike Marlar snatched the victory in the second heat race, taking Tyler Carpenter, Jared Bailey, and Tyrel Todd with him into the feature.
Ricky Weiss took advantage of a rare off-weekend from the World of Outlaws Late Model Series to venture into central Kentucky. Weiss won the third heat and transferred to the main, along with Victor Lee, Jason Jameson, and Dustin Linville.
Using a provisional earned earlier in the season, Zach Dohm won the fourth and final heat race while battling mechanical ills most of the evening. Dohm, Joe Godsey, Jason Barrett, and Joe Mayabb claimed the final heat race transfer spots.
Derek Fisher, Chris Shannon, and Connor Meade secured transfer spots into the feature by finishing top three in the first B-Main race. Justin Shaw, Dennis Roberson, and Tommy Turner claimed the final three transfer spots in the second B-Main.
Marlar got to the front quickly then held that position, building a cushion for most of the second half of the race. Bailes, Weiss, Carpenter, and Dohm were wrestling for places within the top five. Cautions at laps 12 and 13 took Jameson, then Carlton and Shaw, out of contention for the top spot.
The defending race champion, Tyler Carpenter, was challenging for a podium finish, mysteriously spun out on lap 19 while running in third. He would eventually work his way back to eighth place.
Skillfully working his way through lapped traffic, Marlar held a sizable lead and took the checkered flag for his fourth Paul Butterball Wooldridge Memorial win and the $20,059 prize.
Weiss finished second in his first Butterball Memorial race in just his second trip to Richmond Raceway. Zach Dohm rounded out the podium by edging Ross Bailes for third.
Scott James started in the 13 positions, fought his way through eight spots to finish in fifth. Dustin Linville also gained eight places to finish in seventh. Dennis Roberson, Connor Meade, and Jared Bailey managed to advance seven places from their starting positions for a great showing.
Butterball Memorial Race Results:
Richmond Raceway, Richmond Kentucky. 19 September 2020. Car Count 36
Group A: 1. (#58) Ross Bailes; 2. (#12)Jason Jameson; 3. (#81) Brandon Fouts; 4. (#7) Ricky Weiss; 5. (#16) Justin Ratliff; 6. (#6) Victor Lee; 7. (#83) Scott James; 8. (#1) Connor Meade.
Group B: 1. (#28) Tyler Carpenter; 2. (#17d) Zach Dohm; 3. (#157) Mike Marlar; 4. (#14g) Joe Godsey; 5. (#24b) Jared Bailey; 6. (#20c) Duane Chamberlain; 7. (#14) Tyrel Todd; 8. (#B5) Jason Barrett.
Heat 1 (Top four transfer): 1. (#58) Ross Bailes; 2. (#81) Brandon Fouts; 3. (#16) Justin Ratliff; 4. (#83) Scott James. Did not transfer: (#38) Derek Fisher, (#9s) Chris Shannon, (14r) Jeff Roth, (#20) Glen Hounshell, Jr., (#19) Mikah Reams.
Heat 2 (Top four transfer): 1. (#157) Mike Marlar; 2. (#28) Tyler Carpenter; 3. (#24b) Jared Bailey; 4. (#14) Tyrel Todd. Did not transfer: (#25r) Dennis Roberson, (#911) Tommy Turner, (#23b) Dalton Brown, (#88) Farel Skelton, (#99) Benny Butcher.
Heat 3 (Top four transfer): 1. (#7 ) Ricky Weiss; 2. (#6) Victor Lee; 3. (#12) Jason Jameson; 4. (#D8) Dustin Linville. Did not transfer: (#1) Connor Meade, (15) James Rice, (#17c)Tommy Carlton, (#59) Brian Woolridge, (#11j) James Butcher.
Heat 4 (Top four transfer): 1. (#17d) Zach Dohm; 2. (#14g) Joe Godsey; 3. (#B5) Jason Barrett; 4. (#22) Joe Mayabb. Did not transfer: (#20c) Duane Chamberlain, (#1CJ) Justin Shaw, (#98) Eric Centers, (#24) Terry Cheeks, (#7x)Danny Barrett.
B Main 1 Transfers: 1. (#38) Derek Fisher; 2. (#9s) Chris Shannon; 3. (#1) Connor Meade.
B Main 2 Transfers: 1. (#1cj) Justin Shaw; 2. (#25r) Dennis Roberson; 3. (#911) Tommy Turner.
Butterball Memorial Feature Results: 1. (2) Mike Marlar #157; 2. (3) Ricky Weiss #7; 3. (4) Zach Dohm #17d; 4. (1) Ross Bailes #58; 5. (13) Scott James #83; 6. (7) Victor Lee #6; 7. (15) Dustin Linville #D8; 8. (6) Tyler Carpenter #28; 9. (5) Brandon Fouts #81; 10. (9) Justin Ratliff #16; 11. (17) Derek Fisher #38; 12. (14) Tyrel Todd #14; 13. (20) Dennis Roberson #25r; 14. (21) Connor Meade #1; 15. (18) Justin Shaw #1CJ; 16. (19) Chris Shannon #9s; 17. (10) Jared Bailey #24b; 18. (22) Mike Reams #19; 19. (23) Tommy Carlton #17c; 20. (22) Tommy Turner #911; 21. (16) Joe Mayabb #22; 22. (11) Jason Jameson #12; 23. (12) Jason Barrett #B5; 24. (8) Joe Godsey #14g.