Tampa, FL — Tyler Erb scored his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season in the opening night of the Wrisco Industries Winternationals presented by Lucas Oil on Monday Night at East Bay Raceway Park.
Erb started on the pole of the main event but did not take the lead until the thirteenth circuit. He was one of four different race leaders, others being Jonathan Davenport, Josh Richards, and Brandon Sheppard. Erb won the thrilling opener by just nine-tenths of a second – holding off Josh Richards, Brandon Sheppard, Austin Hubbard and Don O’Neal en route to his first ever win at the “Clay by the Bay.”
Defending series champion Jonathan Davenport bolted to the lead at the start of the race and led the first eight laps. Richards then forged ahead for one lap, before Sheppard took command of the race for two circuits. Erb then charged around Sheppard to take the lead for good on lap 13 and pulled away enough to thwart any efforts by Richards and Sheppard.
Richards’ Clint Bowyer Racing, Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Rocket and Sheppard’s Mark Richards Racing, Valvoline, Rocket battled hard for second in the last 15 laps of the race to join Erb on the podium, with Richards just edging Sheppard at the finish.
The Young Texan [Erb] was elated with his second win of 2019 on the tour. “I am super-excited to get this opportunity to work with Randall Edwards, Eric, and Kelly. This is a dream come true for me. I have been dreaming of this chance for a long time and to finally get to this point is very satisfying, but you have to stay hungry. We still have a lot of racing left this year, but we couldn’t ask for a better start to the season.”
“Thanks to Brian at Integra, Wayne Childress at New Point Lighting, Billy Franklin at Franklin Enterprises, Mark Richards at Rocket Chassis, Steven Roberts of Roberts Bee Company, and all of our product sponsors. I’d also like to say a big thanks to the fans who are here and those that watched the broadcast.”
“It feels really great to win here at East Bay! This is such an historic track. I led two or three races here last year but let them slip away. I could feel Josh underneath me in three and four and I knew that if I lost the race, it wasn’t going to be because of a lack of effort.”
Richards recorded his best finish of the season with his second-place run.
“Tyler did a great job out there. I want to thank all the guys who work so hard on the car to get us up front. We had a pretty good car and we made a couple of changes. It was really maneuverable out there. We have been up front in every race so far this year and we can’t complain about that.”
Sheppard, who entered the night with three-career wins at East Bay, finished third. “We had a strong car all night long. It was fun to drive out there on this track tonight. If they have the track like this every night this week, it will be a whole lot of fun. I am sure it was a good show for the fans as well.”
The winner’s Eric and Kelly Brock owned, Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by: Best Performance Motorsports, Roberts Bee Company, New Point Lighting and Design, Bazell Race Fuels, Sunoco, Franklin Enterprises, Valvoline, Keyser and KBC Graphix.
Completing the top ten were Billy Moyer, Chase Junghans, Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Bronson and Hudson O’Neal.
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Heath Lawson