MIDDLEBOURNE, W.Va. -- For the first time since February, Tyler Erb returned to Lucas Oil Victory Lane on Friday night as he wired the field in the 25th annual Topless 50 at Tyler County Speedway.
Erb became the tenth different winner in as many visits by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Tyler County Speedway. The victory didn’t come easy, as podium finishers Josh Richards and Devin Moran charged after Erb the entire 50-lap distance.
Moran and Erb led the field to green with Erb taking the lead on the initial lap. There was a tight battle the entire distance for second as three different drivers held that position during the race. Chris Ferguson, Moran, and Richards all had a turn in the runner-up position behind Erb.
Richards cleared Moran on lap 42, then setting his sights on Erb who was battling lapped traffic. Richards closed on Erb, but the 22-year-old made his move around a lapped car with two-to go, and that allowed him to open up enough distance to cross the finish line as the winner for his first ever victory at Tyler County.
Richards took second just ahead of Moran, with Chris Ferguson and Tim McCreadie rounding out the top five.
“I am super-pumped!” exclaimed Erb in Victory Lane. “We have a super-fast racecar right now. This is the best car I have ever driven. It feels like a year since we won a race. This is one of my favorite tracks. We haven’t been here a lot, because it’s a long way from Texas.”
“I wanted to move up higher in turns one and two; that’s what got me the lead on Devin. It’s hard to move up when you can see those guys below you. I was getting sideways into turn three and I could almost see the entire field behind me. This just shows how good of a team we have. We put in the work to win and it paid off tonight,” said Erb, who currently leads the LOLMDS Rookie-of-the-Year point standings over Moran.
Richards was looking to win in front of his home state fans but was happy with his second-place finish. “Man, I sure wanted to win here tonight. I love coming here. I am glad we get to come here twice a year now. I had a lot of family and friends here tonight. We went with a little different right rear tire and it took me a while to get rolling up top. I knew with Tyler up front it was going to be hard to catch him.”
Moran sat on the pole for the start of the main event and earned a podium finish. “I got close a few times. It feels good to get back on the podium. Tonight, we learned from our mistakes from last night. If we keep running up front, I feel like we can get a couple of wins here soon.”
The winner’s Eric and Kelly Brock-owned, Best Performance Motorsports Rocket Chassis is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by: Industrial Resourcing Group, Roberts Bee Company, New Point Lighting and Design, Bazell Race Fuels, Sunoco Race Fuels, Franklin Enterprises, Valvoline, Keyser, and KBC Graphix.
Completing the top ten were Mike Marlar, Colton Burdette, Derek Doll, Jonathan Davenport, and Gregg Satterlee.
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Heath Lawson