Dennis Erb Jr. claims World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory at River Cities Speedway
“The first two times here we picked up a good pace,” said Erb Jr.
He had a good pace on Friday night, winning the 40-lap final of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series at the Bullring in front of an estimated crowd of over 3,000 fans.
It was Erb Jr.’s third win of the season and it also derailed Brandon Sheppard’s attempt to win three straight WoO LMS titles at RCS. The victory paid Erb Jr. $ 10,000.
Erb Jr. had the fastest qualifying time and started on the front row. The 48-year-old from Carpentersville, Ill. Faced Cade Dillard for the lead at the start of the feature, then had to fend off Jimmy Mars midway through the event.
Erb Jr. beat Mars at the flagpole by 1.858 seconds. Ryan Gustin was third, followed by Dillard and Sheppard.
RCS regulars Brad Seng and Joey Pederson both had good races against the Outlaws. Seng was seventh while Pederson, who saw his son, Tucker, win the street race earlier in the program, was eighth.
Ricky Weiss, who raced RCS extensively over the years before joining the Outlaws tour in 2019, finished ninth.
Erb. Jr. stayed on the top groove throughout the run, although Mars closed the gap by performing the bottom groove.
“We were able to go out and run around the top, keeping our speed up,” Erb Jr. said. “I saw (Mars) go under me a few times, but we were able to hit our targets up there and didn’t want to change nothing.
Mars said he was not too disappointed with the second place finish.
“We were good basically, but then we got a bit stuck with the late cars,” Mars said. “We still had a good car. He was a little better upstairs than us downstairs. “
Mars, from Menomonie, Wisconsin, said he was overall happy given how little he runs at RCS.
“It’s pretty wild here,” he said of RCS. “I’m not really comfortable here. I’m not doing it enough but we still had good speed.
Erb Jr.’s fastest qualifying time was 12.513 seconds. Sheppard was second with 12.568 seconds.
In the 25-lap sprint, Austin Pierce delivered a dominant performance, winning his third RCS event of the season and his fourth overall. Pierce started third and quickly took first place on a fast running surface.
Ten of the 18 drivers who took the green flag completed laps in less than 12 seconds. Pierce had the best time of 11.362 seconds.
Jade Hastings was second, 1.280 seconds off pace. Mark Dobmeier finished third, followed by Wade Nygaard and Brendan Mullen
“It was a great track,” Pierce said. “We had a low and a high at the start. I used the bottom at the start of the race and as soon as we encountered the loop traffic I had to go back up. We started cleaning it up there and it was the place to be.
In the street race, Tucker Pederson started from the front row and led throughout, fending off Ryan Johnson and Aaron Blacklance, who won the previous two RCS street functions.