By: Tyson Graves
Photo: Mike Ruefer
January 26, 2021 (Tampa, FL) – Tyler Erb continued his early season momentum on Tuesday night with a win on night 2 of the Winternationals at East Bay Raceway Park. It wasn’t an easy feat for the New Waverly, TX driver as he had to drive from his ninth starting spot to pick up the win against a loaded field featuring the best drivers in the country.
On the opening lap of the 30 lap main event there was a pile up that started when Shane Clanton got turned sideways off turn two. Gregg Saterlee, Dennis Erb Jr, and Frank Heckenast were all involved and had damage. Heckenast was the only driver who was able to continue and finish the race.
On the restart it was Shirley and English battling for the lead with Shirley taking the lead as the past the line to complete lap one. The field didn’t stay green long as Mike Marlar slowed on the track after suspension troubles on his 157 machine. Shirley paced the field on lap two after the restart before the third caution of the night flew for Earl Pearson Jr. Kyle Strickler and once again, Frank Heckenast Jr was involved with minimal damage both drivers were able to carry on. Defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Champion Jimmy Owens pulled to the infield under caution and climbed from his Rocket XR1 as his night was done with mechanical issues.
Shirley continued to lead on the restart as a four car battle ensued for second that included Overton, Sheppard, English and Bronson. English began to put the heat on Shirley as Shane Clanton slowed on the track with smoke trailing from his #25 machine. Under caution with just eight laps in Ricky Thornton Jr went to the hot pit for attention. The man on that move at this stage of the race was Josh Richards who had to make his way into the race via a B-Main. Richards started back in the 23rd spot and by the lap eight yellow was up to the top ten.
On the restart Brandon Overton started to flex his muscles as he challenged Shirley for the top spot. On lap ten Overton overtook Shirley for the lead. Overton continued to lead as the light fog started to lift off the track that appeared at the start of the race. On lap 14 the yellow flew once again for a spinning Earl Pearson Jr off turn 4.
The race resumed at the halfway point with Overton on point and Sheppard putting the heat on him. With ten laps remaining things began to heat up. Richards who started back in 23rd was now up to sixth and the ninth place starting Tyler Erb was beginning to challenge Sheppard for second. Next lap the top three were nearly three wide for the race lead.
Tyler Erb wrestled the top spot away from Overton and led the field with one to go. As Tyler Erb was about to take the checkers the yellow light came out for third place running Sheppard who had a flat right right tire. This set it up for a one lap shootout as Erb would have to hold off Overton and Shirley.
Tyler Erb would hold off Overton and Shirley on the last lap to pick up the $5,000 Tuesday night win at East Bay Raceway Park. Overton and Shirley would round out the podium. The biggest movers of the race were Josh Richards who passed 19 cars to finish fourth. Frank Heckenast Jr, after being in two of the early race cautions, rebounded to finish twelve after starting back in 29th.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will continue its week long stay at “The Clay By The Bay” Wednesday night as more drivers are expected to compete with a $7,000 payday on the line.
Full Feature Rundown:
|1||9||1T||Tyler Erb||New Waverly, TX||8|
|2||5||76||Brandon Overton||Evans, GA||3|
|3||2||3S||Brian Shirley||Chatham, IL||-1|
|4||23||14||Josh Richards||Shinnston, WV||19|
|5||3||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL||-2|
|6||1||81E||Tanner English||Benton, KY||-5|
|7||18||1ST||Johnny Scott||Las Cruces, NM||11|
|8||8||71||Hudson O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||–|
|9||17||9||Devin Moran||Dresden, OH||8|
|10||13||16||Tyler Bruening||Decorah, IA||3|
|11||11||25Z||Mason Zeigler||Chalk Hill, PA||–|
|12||29||99JR||Frank Heckenast Jr||Frankfort, IL||17|
|13||28||56JR||Tony Jackson Jr||Lebanon, MO||15|
|14||25||49||Jonathan Davenport||Blairsville, GA||11|
|15||7||76B||Blair Nothdurft||Renner, SD||-8|
|16||15||21||Billy Moyer Jr||Batesville, AR||-1|
|17||30||00H||Wil Herrington||Hawkinsville, GA||13|
|18||22||11H||Spencer Hughes||Meridian, MS||4|
|19||4||1S||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL||-15|
|20||16||20RT||Ricky Thornton Jr||Adel, IA||-4|
|21||20||8||Kyle Strickler||Mooresville, NC||-1|
|22||27||2S||Stormy Scott||Las Cruces, NM||5|
|23||26||1||Earl Pearson Jr||Jacksonville, FL||3|
|24||6||25||Shane Clanton||Zebulon, GA||-18|
|25||21||385||Mark Whitener||Middleburg, FL||-4|
|26||24||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||-2|
|27||19||157||Mike Marlar||Winfield, TN||-8|
|28||12||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||-16|
|29||10||22||Gregg Satterlee||Indiana, PA||-19|
|30||14||28E||Dennis Erb Jr||Carpentersville, IL||-16|