Erb Dominates For East Bay Lucas LM Score

Tyler Erb in victory lane Wednesday at East Bay Raceway Park. (Heath Lawson photo)

GIBSONTON, Fla. – Tyler Erb earned a hard-fought Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory Wednesday night during the 48th annual Wieland Winternationals presented by Lucas Oil at East Bay Raceway Park.

Erb pulled away from a trio of cars who were battling for second to take a 2.653-second advantage at the finish line. It marked his 21st career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.

After starting 23rd, Mike Marlar edged Jonathan Davenport at the finish line for second in a thrilling Todd Steel Buildings Hard Charger effort. Daulton Wilson and Dennis Erb Jr. were fourth and fifth, respectively.

The action was fast and furious in the first 20 laps of the 40-lap main event, as Davenport led the first 11 circuits until Erb rolled around him on the outside to take command. Erb, Davenport, and Wilson then battled nearly three-wide for the lead for several laps, before Wilson took his only lead on lap 20.

Davenport then came back to reclaim the point until Erb powered by him again on lap 26. From there, Erb stormed away to a convincing triumph, worth $7,000.

Wednesday’s effort gave Erb his fifth career East Bay victory, one night after a disappointing race Tuesday where he ran sixth after leading in the early portion of the race.

“I think just racing a little smarter today was the reason we succeeded,” tipped Erb. “I chased JD [Davenport] and was really patient, and finally got by him. On the restart they obviously started running the top or something to get such a good run. I just had to hunker down and fight back.

“I have got an awesome car and an awesome group of people helping me,” Erb added. “I love East Bay; it produces some of the greatest racing, and that was a really good race.”

Erb became the fourth driver to win in eight series races so far this season.

“I can’t believe JD left the top open down there in one and two,” remarked the New Waverly, Texas, native. “His [Davenport’s] car was really good. That was fun, though. That’s East Bay how it’s supposed to be … where you can run all over the place. Honestly, the first 20 laps I never really spun my tires, so I knew I had a lot left in the tank. I just had to find the right place on the racetrack to use it.”

Marlar had the drive of the night, coming from the inside of the last row to nip Davenport at the checkered flag for runner-up honors.

“We have just been struggling the whole trip. We kind of figured out we had a bent rear end in the car. I was kind of bad early in the night, but I got it going for the feature,” said Marlar. “I want to thank Greg Bruening for giving me this opportunity. I hope we put on a good show there.

“There at the end I got to rolling the top. They knew I was coming.”

Davenport finished third for the second night in a row and was pleased, but not satisfied.

“The lane moved several times there. My guys gave me the best car they could,” Davenport said. “Congratulations to Tyler [Erb] and Mikey [Marlar]. At the last second, I heard him [Marlar], so I turned to the left [to try and stop his momentum].”

Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Kyle Bronson, and Garrett Smith closed the top 10.

The finish:

Lucas Oil A-Feature (40 laps): 1. 1T-Tyler Erb [4]; 2. 157-Mike Marlar [23]; 3. 49-Jonathan Davenport [2]; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson [3]; 5. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [12]; 6. 20-Jimmy Owens [6]; 7. 39-Tim McCreadie [18]; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley [19]; 9. 40B-Kyle Bronson [15]; 10. 10-Garrett Smith [24]; 11. 46-Earl Pearson Jr. [16]; 12. 99-Devin Moran [8]; 13. 1-Hudson O'Neal [14]; 14. 174-Ethan Dotson [21]; 15. 14X-Wil Herrington [13]; 16. 7-Ross Robinson [5]; 17. 6-Clay Harris [11]; 18. 75-Daniel Adam [17]; 19. 71C-R.J. Conley [20]; 20. 7T-Drake Troutman [22]; 21. 76N-Blair Nothdurft [7]; 22. 15K-Jensen Ford [1]; 23. 58-Garrett Alberson [9]; 24. 76-Brandon Overton [10].

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