New owners plan two MARS divisions

New owners plan two MARS divisions

Missouri’s MARS DIRTcar Series has been sold to a new Tennessee-based promoting group that plans West and East divisions for the DIRTcar-sanctioned organization, series co-owner William Scogin told today.

Scogin (pictured), the promoter of Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway and three partners with Volunteer Racing Promotions, recently completed purchase of MARS from Monett (Mo.) Speedway promoter Randy Mooneyham, who operated the 16-year-old regional tour eight seasons.

“It’s just time to pass the torch. You can’t do it forever,” said the 65-year-old Mooneyham, who enters his 37th year of promotions at Monett in 2017 and co-founded the the Midwest LateModel Racing Association in 1989. “I’ve got other things I want to do and to see the chance for (MARS) to stay (DIRTcar), and I think William will make it bigger and better, so I’m a happy camper.”

Scogin, 50, said the MARS West division with continue with few changes while the new East division that will provide regional touring events for Clarksville and other Dirt Late Model competitors.

“We’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but we’re just trying to make it better for everyone,” said Scogin, who plans to release more details about MARS at next month’s Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis.

Scogin’s partners are John McConnell, the owner of Clarksville Guns & Archery and a silent partner with Clarksville Speedway; William’s brother Chris Scogin, who recently sold race supplier Scogin Enterprises; and Bedford, Ind.’s Mike Hobson, who operates Indiana Decal and a T-shirt trailer. With William Scogin committed to weekly operations at Clarksville, Chris Scogin and Hobson will primarily officiate MARS events.

A combined East-West division weekend will open the 2017 MARS tour March 3-4 at Clarksville. The West schedule is virtually complete while Scogin hopes to reveal the East division schedule at PRI. Scogin plans to discuss other plans with MARS drivers and promoters from long-time series tracks at the Dec. 3 postseason banquet in Joplin, Mo.

MARS was founded by Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway promoter Mooney Starr in 2000, popularizing double-wide restarts under Starr’s direction. MARS was purchased by DIRTcar in 2004 and Mooneyham took over in 2009, merging it with his fledgling Dirt LateModel Racing Association. Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., is the winningest MARS driver with 91 victories while Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo. became the first MARS driver to win four straight championships in 2016.

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