Dennis Erb Jr. claims World of Outlaws Late Model Series win at River Cities Speedway
Illinois driver takes home $10,000 with the win
Dennis Erb Jr. has raced at River Cities Speedway a few times in recent years.
“The first couple of times here, we picked up a good rhythm,” said Erb Jr.
He had a great rhythm on Friday night, winning the World of Outlaws Late Model Series 40-lap feature at The Bullring before an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 fans.
It was Erb Jr.’s third win of the season and it also derailed Brandon Sheppard’s bid to win three-straight WoO LMS features at RCS. The win 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., battled Cade Dillard for the lead early in the feature, then had to hold off hard-charging Jimmy Mars midway through the event.
Erb Jr. beat Mars to the flag stand by 1.858 seconds. Ryan Gustin finished third, followed by Dillard and Sheppard.
RCS regulars Brad Seng and Joey Pederson both had strong runs against the Outlaws. Seng finished seventh while Pederson, who watched his son, Tucker, win the streets feature earlier in the program, finished eighth.
Ricky Weiss, who raced RCS considerably over the years before joining the Outlaws’ tour in 2019, finished ninth.
Erb. Jr. stayed on the top groove throughout the race, even as Mars closed the gap by running the bottom groove.
“We were able to get out there and run around the top, keeping our speed up,” said Erb Jr. “I saw (Mars) get underneath me a couple of times but we were able to hit our marks up there and I really didn’t want to change anything.”
Mars said he wasn’t too disappointed with this second-place finish.
“We were good on the bottom but then we got a little boxed in with the lapped cars,” said Mars. “We still had a good car. He was a little better on the top than we were on the bottom.”
Mars, who is from Menomonie, Wis., said he was pleased overall considering how little he races RCS.
“It’s pretty wild here,” he said of RCS. “I’m not real comfortable here. I don’t run it enough but we still had good speed.”
Erb Jr.’s top qualifying time was 12.513 seconds. Sheppard was second at 12.568 seconds.
In the 25-lap sprint feature, Austin Pierce turned in a dominating performance, winning his third RCS feature of the season and fourth overall. Pierce started third and quickly took the top spot on a fast race surface.
Ten of the 18 drivers who took the green flag posted sub-12 second laps. Pierce had the top time of 11.362 seconds.
Jade Hastings finished second, 1.280 seconds off the pace. Mark Dobmeier was third, followed by Wade Nygaard and Brendan Mullen
“It was an awesome track,” said Pierce. “We had a bottom and top at the beginning. I utilized the bottom at the start of the race and as soon we hit lapped traffic I had to go up. We started cleaning it off up there and then that was the place to be.”
In the streets feature, Tucker Pederson started on the front row and led throughout, holding off Ryan Johnson and Aaron Blacklance, who won the two previous streets features at RCS.