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TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD: Erb scores third win of the season at River Cities

Erb wins at River Cities
It’s the Carpentersville, IL driver’s ninth career World of Outlaws Victory

Dennis Erb Jr. is no stranger to Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models. But how he won Friday’s Feature at River Cities Speedway was unexpected.

The Carpentersville, IL driver didn’t use his preferred inside lane, instead of going to the top en route to his third Series win of 2021.  Erb made decided to stay there because of how well his Rocket Chassis was running.

“I wanted to go back down but it felt pretty good up [top] and I wanted to keep my momentum up and I really didn’t want to break anything there,” Erb said. “I would’ve rather gotten down to the bottom, but it was working too good up top.”

Jimmy Mars and Dennis Erb battle for the lead
Jimmy Mars noses ahead of Dennis Erb Jr. for the lead/ Jacy Norgaard photo

For a few laps, it seemed the outside wasn’t the place to be. Jimmy Mars nosed ahead of Erb a couple of times on the bottom hoping to steal the win away. But as both drivers inched toward the back of the field, traffic played into Erb’s favor. Most of the cars were on the bottom, giving him a clear lane on the outside.

Erb’s anticipation of traffic in front of him played a role in collecting the $10,000 prize.

“I was trying to watch the cars ahead of me as we were coming up on them because I wanted to keep my speed up and not really back out of it,” Erb said.

The win is Erb’s ninth career World of Outlaws triumph, moving him to 18th on the all-time wins list. He breaks a tie with Mike Marlar and Mars, who finished second.

While slower traffic gave Erb an advantage, it didn’t help the Menomonie, WI driver. Mars had to break his momentum a few times fighting for the win.

“We just kind of got caught up with lap cars and that’s kind of the way it goes,” Mars said. “We got a second out of it, so we’ll take it and move on to the next one.”

Even though he wasn’t victorious, “The Iceman” was still smiling about his podium finish when the race was over.

“[The World of Outlaws] drivers are all top-notch,” Mars said. “To be able to come in every once in a while, and just be pretty competitive says a lot for our team. I’m pretty happy with that overall.”

Ryan Gustin, the top Rookie of the race finished third. The Marshalltown, IA felt his car was a little off, which kept him from catching the top two.

Ryan Gustin finishes 3rd
Ryan Gustin finished 3rd at River Cities Speedway/Jacy Norgaard photo

“I felt like we were coming on there a bit at the end, we were just a little bit right rear free,” Gustin said. “If we could do it all again, I think we would’ve had a shot at winning it.”

“The Reaper” closed the gap in the chase for Rookie of the Year. He’s now 102 points behind Tyler Bruening, who finished 12th.

Cade Dillard finished fourth, and three-time and defending champion Brandon Sheppard rounded out the top five.

The New Berlin, IL driver increased his lead in the standings—78 points ahead of Chris Madden, who finished 10th.

The wave of momentum Dennis Erb Jr. is riding doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon. If he can keep it going, Friday likely won’t be his last trip to Victory Lane in 2021.

UP NEXT: The Most Powerful Late Models on the Planet travel to I-94 Sure Step Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN on Saturday, July 17.

Morton Buildings Feature (40 Laps)-1. 28-Dennis Erb [1][$10,000]; 2. 28M-Jimmy Mars [2][$6,000]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin [4][$3,500]; 4. 97-Cade Dillard [3][$2,800]; 5. 1-Brandon Sheppard [7][$2,500]; 6. 99JR-Frank Heckenast [11][$2,300]; 7. 12-Brad Seng [5][$2,200]; 8. 7P-Joey Pederson [6][$2,100]; 9. 7-Ricky Weiss [8][$2,050]; 10. 44-Chris Madden [15][$2,000]; 11. 44S-Cole Schill [9][$1,600]; 12. 16-Tyler Bruening [17][$1,400]; 13. 55C-Chad Mahder [10][$1,200]; 14. 99B-Boom Briggs [14][$1,100]; 15. B1-Brent Larson [12][$1,050]; 16. 6M-Jeff Massingill [18][$1,000]; 17. 14-Brody Troftgruben [21][$1,000]; 18. E85-Jason Strand [16][$1,000]; 19. 10-Paul Parker [13][$1,000]; 20. F9-Brandon Fuller [22][$1,000]; 21. T1-Tommy Corcoran [19][$1,000]; 22. 90-Lance Matthees [23][$1,000]; 23. 45-Kyle Hammer [24][$1,000]; 24. 77-Jordan Yaggy [20][$1,000] Hard Charger: 99JR-Frank Heckenast[+5]

Qualifying Flight-A –1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 12.568; 2. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, 12.603; 3. 28M-Jimmy Mars, 12.633; 4. 97-Cade Dillard, 12.678; 5. 44S-Cole Schill, 12.835; 6. 16-Tyler Bruening, 12.862; 7. 17-Mike Greseth, 12.888; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss, 12.907; 9. 5E-Shane Edginton, 12.995; 10. T1-Tommy Corcoran, 13.009; 11. 10-Paul Parker, 13.073; 12. 44-Chris Madden, 13.201; 13. 45-Kyle Hammer, 13.208; 14. 77-Jordan Yaggy, 13.327; 15. 2X-Cody Erickson, 13.73

Qualifying Flight-B-1. 28-Dennis Erb, 12.513; 2. 7P-Joey Pederson, 12.769; 3. 12-Brad Seng, 12.85; 4. B1-Brent Larson, 12.861; 5. 76-Blair Nothdurft, 12.866; 6. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 12.902; 7. 55C-Chad Mahder, 12.994; 8. C4-Ryan Corbett, 12.997; 9. 99B-Boom Briggs, 13.059; 10. 14-Brody Troftgruben, 13.082; 11. 6M-Jeff Massingill, 13.226; 12. E85-Jason Strand, 13.268; 13. 90-Lance Matthees, 13.286; 14. F9-Brandon Fuller, 13.314; 15. 2D-Dan Dowling, 14.526

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