Vado Speedway Park (Vado, NM) – Wild West Shootout – January 11th-15th, 2023. (Mike Ruefer photo)


Mike Marlar

Marlar repels Larson at Vado, earns $10,000 payday

Mike Marlar picked up his first win of the 2023 season on Saturday night aboard his Delk Equipment Sales / Mesilla Valley Transportation No. 157 Can-Am Auto Salvage / Longhorn Chassis / Cornett Racing Engine Super Late Model.

The $10,000 triumph came in the fifth round of the 17th annual Rio Grande Waste Services Wild West Shootout at FK Rod Ends Vado Speedway Park.

“We were just a little off the first four nights so I told my crew chief (Josh Davis), that clearly my decisions on the setup weren’t working out, so the ball was in his court to do whatever he thought was necessary to gain some speed. The first night out with him making the calls we won,” Marlar laughed. “We were in contention again in the final race on Sunday night and even led some laps but ended up third. Overall, we were pleased with how things went the final two races in Vado (Speedway Park).

“As of now we’re going to skip Speedweeks. Our next race will probably be in March at Smoky Mountain (Speedway).”

After a pair of Top-10 finishes during the opening weekend of the Rio Grande Waste Services Wild West Shootout, action continued for Marlar on Wednesday afternoon aboard his Can-Am Auto Salvage No. 157 Super Late Model.

Following the fifth-fastest qualifying effort in his group, Mike secured his spot into the $10,000-to-win A-Main with a third-place finish in his heat. Working his way into the top-five in the feature, Marlar moved forward five spots in the 40-lapper to place fifth. He trailed Jonathan Davenport, Bobby Pierce, Brandon Sheppard, and Ricky Weiss to the checkers.

For Friday’s program, Marlar came in second in his heat race before improving one spot in the 30-lap feature to finish seventh.

On Saturday evening, Mike bested Ricky Weiss in his heat race to pick up the eight-lap victory. Starting the feature in fourth, Marlar tracked down race-long pacesetter Jonathan Davenport on lap 27 and held off Kyle Larson’s last-lap challenge to claim his first win of the season and $10,000 prize. He finished ahead of Larson, Ricky Weiss, Jonathan Davenport, and Garrett Alberson.

To wrap up the Rio Grande Waste Services Wild West Shootout on Sunday, Marlar edged his way into the $25,000-to-win finale with a third-place finish in his heat. In a thrilling 50-lap feature that saw numerous leaders, Mike led laps 34-42 but was unable to hold off a charging Bobby Pierce in the final 10 circuits. He finished third when the checkers flew, following Pierce and Kyle Larson across the line.

Mike finished fourth in the final Wild West Shootout miniseries point standings.

Full results from the weekend are available at

Next on tap for Marlar is the Tennessee Tip-Off Classic with the World of Outlaws (CASE) Late Model Series on March 3-4 at Smoky Mountain Speedway (Maryville, Tenn.). The doubleheader will see a $10,000-to-win program on Friday and a $15,000-to-win slate on Saturday.

Full details at

Article Credit: Mike Ruefer image

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