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Dennis Erb Jr. Captures The Dream at Eldora

Dennis Erb, Jr. - Jim Denhamer photo

Dennis Erb, Jr. – Jim Denhamer photo

ROSSBURG, Ohio – June 11, 2016 – Dennis Erb Jr.’s voice grew shaky Saturday night in front of a packed house at Eldora Speedway. The crowd gave the Carpentersville, Ill. native a standing ovation after surviving a two-lap shootout to win his first crown-jeweled late model event, the Dirt Late Model Dream By Ferris Mowers.

“How about that Illinois?” yelled Erb, dedicating the win to the Illinoisans who traveled the 300 miles to see him hopefully win. “My heart dropped coming out of that [turn four] corner. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

In a plethora of bone-chilling battles, Erb bought his time. When Jared Landers took the lead on lap four and Tim McCreadie moved into second position two laps later, Erb maintained more than a one-second buffer from fourth position to remain on the podium – something he accomplished for the entire race.

“I just wanted to keep hitting my marks,” Erb said.

Lap eight is when Erb began his prowl to the top with his No. 28 McBride Mack/ V.O. Mack Truck Sales Black Diamond machine. Two cautions took place during the lap, and in both McCreadie had a strong restart. The cautions regrouped the dispersing field and on lap 11, Erb overtook Landers to leave McCreadie as the only driver standing in his way.

On lap 31, Erb accelerated up to McCreadie from the high-side. The two cars were parallel to each other, inches away from contact. Erb won his first battle while McCreadie slowly faded out of the picture; McCreadie suffered extensive left-rear body damage from a bumper-to-bumper exchange with Jonathan Davenport 13 laps later. Within those laps though, Erb had his second battle with eventual runner-up and Shinnston, W.V. native Josh Richards. Richards contending for the top spot on lap 34 was the first of many battles for the two wheelmen.

Richards used the restart to accelerate his No. 1 Valvoline / Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket past Erb from the bottom of the track. Richards hung on to the lead through two more cautions, until Erb closed his lead to 0.137 seconds on lap 57. Thereon, Erb and Richards volleyed the lead in all four turns; Erb overcame the back-and-forward and extended his lead to nearly four-and-a-half seconds in 12 laps.

The race’s sixth caution regrouped the field and Richards got the best of an all-or-nothing shootout – third through sixth place slid four-wide into lap 70. Davenport made the charge and got the best of Erb for the time-being on lap 77.

Richards extended his lead to more than a one-second margin while Erb duked-it out against Davenport to reclaim second place. Erb overcame the deficit on the next lap, getting the lead back with ten laps remaining.

Though Erb opened-up a two-second gap to seemingly solidify the win, a caution threw a wrench in his plans on lap 99. Richards had another chance to get his first Dirt Late Model Dream of his career. However, Erb managed to distance himself away from the rest of the field to take the race to the checkers.

“I had a blast out there. Congrats to Dennis. The best car won the race,” Richards said. “I was trying to do all that I could but I was a little too free to move to the bottom. We’ll just have to try a little harder next time, but I feel so blessed that I get to do what I love to do – and get to do it on a stage like this.

“I knew it was going to be a long shot. We had a lot of damage; the left-front corner was dragging on the ground, and I spun the tires on the restart because the nose was dragging. I thought we maybe had a little bit of a shot there – maybe another car length or two to get a run down into turn three. We’ll get it one of these years.”

Dale McDowell rounded-out the podium with his No. 17m Bad Boy Buggies/ University of Northwestern Ohio Warrior. McDowell , who started 16th on the night, blazed his own trail, weaving his way up into the top ten within the first ten laps of the race. The Chickamauga, Ga. native stood his ground from there until beating-out Davenport for the final podium spot on the last restart.

“We had a pretty good weekend overall,” McDowell said. “It’s awesome to be in the top three, and we’ll take it. We’ll come back for the World [100] and improve in a couple places.”

Erb takes home the $100,000 check – $1,000 dollars for each lap along with one unforgettable night for the books.

“I made the right decisions, picked the right line in the end and we just got it done tonight,” Erb said. “I got a little worried out there when those guys got out there on top but I kept running my line. I just thank God it got done. I was just worried about getting to the checkered flag [at the end]. That last caution there had me worried.”

22nd Annual Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Mowers
Saturday, June 11, 2016
DIRTcar UMP Late Models

Dirt Late Model Dream – (100 Laps)
1. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [2] ; 2. 1-Josh Richards[13] ; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell[17] ; 4. 6-Jonathan Davenport[3] ; 5. 5-Don O’Neal[21] ; 6. 32-Chris Simpson[28] ; 7. 99M-Devin Moran[24] ; 8. 25C-Shane Clanton[12] ; 9. 44M-Chris Madden[16] ; 10. 33x-Ricky Thornton Jr[8] ; 11. 32P-Bobby Pierce[5] ; 12. 18-Shannon Babb[25] ; 13. B5-Brandon Sheppard[11] ; 14. 39-Tim McCreadie[9] ; 15. 777-Jared Landers[7] ; 16. C9-Steve Casebolt[4] ; 17. 20-Jimmy Owens[18] ; 18. 157-Mike Marlar[1] ; 19. 25-Jason Feger[22] ; 20. 76-Brandon Overton[15] ; 21. 21B-Chris Brown[14] ; 22. 55-Jeep VanWormer[23] ; 23. 33-Tim Manville[27] ; 24. 15L-Darrell Lanigan[10] ; 25. 28M-Jimmy Mars[26] ; 26. 21-Billy Moyer[19] ; 27. 3s-Brian Shirley[20] ; 28. 15-Jon Henry[6]

B-Feature 1 – (20 Laps)
1. 55-Jeep VanWormer[5] ; 2. 18-Shannon Babb[8] ; 3. 33-Tim Manville[3] ; 4. 97-Michael Chilton[2] ; 5. 31-Nick Latham[18] ; 6. 1G-Devin Gilpin[7] ; 7. 93-Jay Johnson[22] ; 8. 75P-Terry Phillips[6] ; 9. 1M-Mike Mataragas[11] ; 10. 18J-Chase Junghans[20] ; 11. 94-Austin Rettig[24] ; 12. 1GK-Ryan King[21] ; 13. 20s-Rodney Sanders[23] ; 14. 1B-Mike Benedum[19] ; 15. 41R-TJ Reaid[13] ; 16. 3c-Charlie LaPlant[25] ; 17. 5*-Bryant Dickinson[14] ; 18. 11RS-Rusty Schlenk[15] ; 19. 22S-Gregg Satterlee[4] ; 20. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr. [12] ; 21. 7R-Kent Robinson[16] ; 22. 28C-Eddie Carrier Jr. [10] ; 23. 15J-Scott James[9] ; 24. 77-Gavin Landers[17] ; DNF. 5-Don O’Neal[1]

B-Scramble 1 – (5 Laps)
1. 97-Michael Chilton[1] ; 2. 31-Nick Latham[2] ; 3. 93-Jay Johnson[4] ; 4. 75P-Terry Phillips[5] ; 5. 1M-Mike Mataragas[6] ; 6. 1GK-Ryan King[9] ; 7. 3c-Charlie LaPlant[13] ; 8. 5*-Bryant Dickinson[14] ; 9. 1G-Devin Gilpin[3] ; 10. 20s-Rodney Sanders[10] ; 11. 18J-Chase Junghans[7] ; 12. 1B-Mike Benedum[11] ; 13. 41R-TJ Reaid[12] ; 14. 94-Austin Rettig[8]

B-Feature 2 – (20 Laps)
1. 25-Jason Feger[6] ; 2. 99M-Devin Moran[8] ; 3. 28M-Jimmy Mars[12] ; 4. 32-Chris Simpson[15] ; 5. 0-Scott Bloomquist[5] ; 6. 11A-Austin Smith[2] ; 7. 6m-Wendell Wallace[11] ; 8. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.[17] ; 9. 15F-Steve Francis[3] ; 10. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[18] ; 11. 51-Jason Noll[16] ; 12. 48L-Tim Lance[21] ; 13. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[20] ; 14. 42-Doug Sanders[23] ; 15. 12-Jason Jameson[9] ; 16. 16-Tyler Bruening[1] ; 17. 20C-Duane Chamberlain[14] ; 18. 4G-Kody Evans[24] ; 19. 4-Brian Ligon[27] ; 20. 50-Shanon Buckingham[4] ; 21. 22-Chris Ferguson[7] ; 22. 7B-Jeff Babcock[10] ; 23. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[13] ; 24. 21H-Robby Hensley[19] ; 25. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr. [22] ; 26. 22*-GR Smith[25] ; 27. 101-Casey Roberts[26]

B-Scramble 2 – (5 Laps)
1. 6m-Wendell Wallace[3] ; 2. 11A-Austin Smith[2] ; 3. 15F-Steve Francis[5] ; 4. 0-Scott Bloomquist[1] ; 5. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.[4] ; 6. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[6] ; 7. 51-Jason Noll[7] ; 8. 42-Doug Sanders[10] ; 9. 48L-Tim Lance[8] ; 10. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[9]

Heat 1 – (15 Laps)
1. 15-Jon Henry[2] ; 2. 777-Jared Landers[1] ; 3. 1-Josh Richards[3] ; 4. 5-Don O’Neal[4] ; 5. 22S-Gregg Satterlee[5] ; 6. 1G-Devin Gilpin[6] ; 7. 28C-Eddie Carrier Jr. [7] ; 8. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr. [8] ; 9. 11RS-Rusty Schlenk[10] ; 10. 31-Nick Latham[9] ; 11. 1GK-Ryan King[11] ; 12. 94-Austin Rettig[12]

Heat 2 – (15 Laps)
1. 32P-Bobby Pierce[1] ; 2. 33x-Ricky Thornton Jr[2] ; 3. 21B-Chris Brown[4] ; 4. 97-Michael Chilton[6] ; 5. 55-Jeep VanWormer[8] ; 6. 18-Shannon Babb[5] ; 7. 21-Billy Moyer[3] ; 8. 41R-TJ Reaid[10] ; 9. 7R-Kent Robinson[7] ; 10. 1B-Mike Benedum[9] ; 11. 93-Jay Johnson[11] ; 12. 3c-Charlie LaPlant[12]

Heat 3 – (15 Laps)
1. C9-Steve Casebolt[1] ; 2. 39-Tim McCreadie[2] ; 3. 76-Brandon Overton[4] ; 4. 33-Tim Manville[9] ; 5. 75P-Terry Phillips[5] ; 6. 15J-Scott James[8] ; 7. 1M-Mike Mataragas[10] ; 8. 5*-Bryant Dickinson[12] ; 9. 77-Gavin Landers[11] ; 10. 18J-Chase Junghans[6] ; 11. 20s-Rodney Sanders[7] ; 12. 3s-Brian Shirley[3]

Heat 4 – (15 Laps)
1. 6-Jonathan Davenport[3] ; 2. 15L-Darrell Lanigan[5] ; 3. 44M-Chris Madden[2] ; 4. 16-Tyler Bruening[7] ; 5. 50-Shanon Buckingham[6] ; 6. 22-Chris Ferguson[10] ; 7. 7B-Jeff Babcock[4] ; 8. 25Z-Mason Zeigler[9] ; 9. 51-Jason Noll[11] ; 10. 21H-Robby Hensley[8] ; 11. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr. [1] ; 12. 22*-GR Smith[12]

Heat 5 – (15 Laps)
1. 28-Dennis Erb Jr. [1] ; 2. B5-Brandon Sheppard[3] ; 3. 17M-Dale McDowell[2] ; 4. 11A-Austin Smith[5] ; 5. 0-Scott Bloomquist[9] ; 6. 99M-Devin Moran[8] ; 7. 6m-Wendell Wallace[4] ; 8. 20C-Duane Chamberlain[12] ; 9. 1P-Earl Pearson Jr.[6] ; 10. 5N-Dustin Nobbe[10] ; 11. 42-Doug Sanders[11] ; 12. 101-Casey Roberts[7]

Heat 6 – (15 Laps)
1. 157-Mike Marlar[2] ; 2. 25C-Shane Clanton[4] ; 3. 20-Jimmy Owens[3] ; 4. 15F-Steve Francis[1] ; 5. 25-Jason Feger[6] ; 6. 12-Jason Jameson[10] ; 7. 28M-Jimmy Mars[7] ; 8. 32-Chris Simpson[5] ; 9. 95J-Jerry Bowersock[8] ; 10. 48L-Tim Lance[12] ; 11. 4G-Kody Evans[9] ; 12. 4-Brian Ligon[11]

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2 comments

  1. What happened to bloomquist,car trouble or just didn’t make it

  2. Good run ,one you will never forget . Sadly , I wasn’t there to see it .