CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 4) — Dennis Erb Jr. completed the Illinois sweep on Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, overtaking Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., late-race to score a $12,000 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory in the Textron Off Road World Finals finale.
Sliding ahead of Marlar in turn two on lap 46 of 50, the Carpentersville native led the final circuits to earn his fifth career WoO triumph and his sixth victory of the 2017 season.
“We’ve been working real hard,” Erb said in victory lane. “(Crew chief) Heather (Lyne), she put in a lot of time into this. To get here last night and have a second place … we had a real good car last night. We just tweaked on it a little bit here tonight and we were able to get the job done.”
Working around the top side of the racetrack, outside polesitter Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Marlar and third-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., in tow. As Clanton slipped up the track on lap six, Marlar began closing the gap between himself and the race leader, with the pair crossing the line side-by-side one circuit later.
Clanton maintained the advantage as the frontrunners worked their way through lapped traffic, with Marlar attempting to slide ahead of race leader on lap 21, forfeiting the second-place spot to Erb as he slipped back to third. Marlar rallied back quickly, pulling ahead of Clanton in turn two to take the lead on lap 25.
With the race’s lone caution slowing the field two laps later, Erb held pace with Marlar on the restart, challenging for the lead around the lap-30 mark. As the race neared the checkers, Marlar continued to show the way out front, fighting back Erb and Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., as the frontrunners went three-wide exiting turn two on lap 39.
Never losing his momentum, Erb powered ahead of Marlar with just four laps remaining in the 50-lap distance, pulling away for his second podium finish of the World Finals weekend. He finished runner-up to Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., on Friday night.
“We had a good run with (Marlar) there,” Erb said. “I knew the car was good. He slipped up there just a little bit and we took advantage of it. We didn’t want to look back after that because we had a full field behind us. I was glad to be able to get up here and have a good starting spot. The car just worked great."
Marlar finished runner-up, with Owens running third. After slipping back to ninth in the early running, Sheppard rallied back to finish fourth, clinching the 2017 World of Outlaws title. Eight-starting Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., rounded out the top five.
“We had an awesome weekend,” Marlar said after the race. “It’s awesome to race in front of this many people. This was a cool deal this weekend. It worked out good for us. Congratulations to Dennis. He was really good. He was good last night and really it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he would have won last night. He was awesome there and it was just an awesome race."
After challenging the race leaders, Owens settled for a third-place finish on Saturday night, finishing no worse than fourth over the World Finals weekend.
“We got a little bit of a push there at the end,” Owens said. “We tightened the car up before the race and was a little snugger than what we needed to. We got up there and run those guys down. Once I got to them and got a little bit of air off my nose, I couldn’t turn as good as I could, and then I’d get a little distance and I could run them back down … it was a heck of a show."
Preliminary notes and results:
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton
Row 2: Josh Richards, Dale McDowell
Row 3: Dennis Erb Jr., Brandon Sheppard
Row 4: Jason Covert, Tim McCreadie
Row 5: Jimmy Owens, Ross Bailes
Row 6: Scott Bloomquist, Tyler Erb
Row 7: Rusty Schlenk, Chase Junghans
Row 8: Jonathan Davenport, Dale Hollidge
Row 9: Hudson O’Neal, Tyler Millwood
Row 10: Casey Roberts, Chris Madden
Row 11: Brandon Overton, Jared Hawkins
Row 12: Brandon Kinzer, Rick Eckert
Row 13: Devin Moran, Eric Wells
Row 14: Brian Shirley, Chub Frank
Row 15: Morgan Bagley
As Rick Eckert and Eric Wells battled for the second-place spot, polesitter Brandon Overton charged to an early lead. A yellow flag waved on lap three when Ryan King spun in turns three and four with a right-rear flat. Overton held the lead on the restart, with Wells narrowly edging ahead of Eckert at the line to maintain the second-place spot. Working the high side, Eckert pulled ahead of Wells one circuit later. Overton won the consolation, with Eckert taking the final transfer spot.
Finish (top two transfer): Brandon Overton, Rick Eckert, Eric Wells, Logan Martin, Steven Roberts, Steve Casebolt, Bob Gordon, Kyle Lear, Blake Spencer, Ryan King, Chad Ruhlman, Tyler Horst, Steve Francis. Scratched: T.J. Reaid, Brent Larson, Corey Conley, Riley Hickman, Tyler Carpenter.
Polesitter Brandon Kinzer took and early lead, with second-running Chris Madden in tow. Just three laps into the race, the top two cars had already begun distancing themselves from the field. A yellow flag waved on lap four when Mason Zeigler got in the wall in turn four. Crossing under Kinzer down the backstretch, Madden slid ahead in turn four to take the lead on the restart. Madden stretched his lead late-race to win the consolation, with Kinzer holding on to finish second and transfer to the main event.
Finish (top two transfer): Chris Madden, Brandon Kinzer, Donny Schatz, Nick Davis, Zach McMillan, Ross Robinson, Dan Stone, Andy Fries, Joey Coulter, Clay Daly, Chub Frank, Brian Ruhlman, Jason Jameson, Tom Decker III, Greg Clark, Matt Sponaugle, Mason Zeigler. Scratched: Justin Williams, Russ King.
Polesitter Casey Roberts charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, as Darrell Lanigan and Jason Feger raced side-by-side for the fifth-place spot. Roberts held a commanding lead at the halfway mark, with Jared Hawkins running a solid second. With Roberts continuing to lead, Lanigan overtook Nick Hoffman for this, setting his sights on Hawkins. But Lanigan’s charged wouldn’t be enough. Roberts won the consolation, with Hawkins finishing second to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top two transfer): Casey Roberts, Jared Hawkins, Darrell Lanigan, Nick Hoffman, Jason Feger, Kody Evans, Gary Stuhler, Brian Shirley, Dustin Mitchell, Morgan Bagley, Carder Miller, Mike Lupfer, Freddie Carpenter, Benji Hicks, Brian Ledbetter, Devin Moran. Scratched: Kyle Hardy.
(10 laps; top two transfer)
Row 1: Casey Roberts, Jared Hawkins
Row 2: Nick Hoffman, Jason Feger
Row 3: Darrell Lanigan, Benji Hicks
Row 4: Dustin Mitchell, Kody Evans
Row 5: Gary Stuhler, Freddie Carpenter
Row 6: Morgan Bagley, Carder Miller
Row 7: Devin Moran, Kyle Hardy
Row 8: Mike Lupfer, Don O’Neal
Row 9: Brian Ledbetter, Kerry King
Row 10: Brian Shirley, Chris Ferguson
Row 1: Brandon Kinzer, Chris Madden
Row 2: Donny Schatz, Nick Davis
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Zach McMillan
Row 4: Ross Robinson, Dan Stone
Row 5: Andy Fries, Matt Sponaugle
Row 6: Clay Daly, Jason Jameson
Row 7: Justin Williams, Chub Frank
Row 8: Joey Coulter, Greg Clark
Row 9: Russ King, Tom Decker III
Row 10: Brian Ruhlman
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Eric Wells
Row 2: Rick Eckert, Steve Casebolt
Row 3: Ryan King, Logan Martin
Row 4: Steven Roberts, T.J. Reaid
Row 5: Steve Francis, Kyle Lear
Row 6: Brent Larson, Blake Spencer
Row 7: Chad Ruhlman, Tyler Horst
Row 8: Bob Gordon, Corey Conley
Row 9: Riley Hickman, Tyler Carpenter
Working around the high side, third-starting Shane Clanton pulled ahead of Tyler Erb to take an early lead. With Clanton holding a comfortable lead, Tyler Millwood challenged Erb for the second-place spot at the halfway mark, as the top four cars distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Clanton won the heat, with Erb running second. Millwood rounded out the podium in third.
Finish (top three transfer): Shane Clanton, Tyler Erb, Tyler Millwood, Eric Wells, Steve Casebolt, Logan Martin, T.J. Reaid, Kyle Lear, Blake Spencer, Tyler Horst, Corey Conley. Scratched: Tyler Carpenter.
Polesitter Brandon Sheppard charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with fourth-starting Ryan King slipping ahead of Hudson O’Neal and Scott Bloomquist to run in second. Working his way from the sixth starting spot, Brandon Overton moved into a transfer spot by the third lap, with O’Neal challenging the Dream Team driver for third. Sheppard stretched his lead in the late running to win the heat, with Bloomquist finishing second. O’Neal pulled away from Overton to run third and transfer to the feature.
Finish (top three transfer): Brandon Sheppard, Scott Bloomquist, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Overton, Rick Eckert, Ryan King, Steven Roberts, Steve Francis, Brent Larson, Chad Ruhlman, Bob Gordon. Scratched: Riley Hickman.
A yellow flag waved on the opening lap for a turn-two tangle involving Jason Jameson, Matt Sponaugle, Greg Clark and Tom Decker III. Ross Bailes shot to the lead as the race went green, with another yellow flag waving one circuit later to allow track officials to replace an infield tire that had been moved up the track surface. Bailes held his lead on the restart, with second-running Dale McDowell closing in to race side-by side with the race leader. Edging ahead in turn two, McDowell took the lead on lap four, with Dale Hollidge challenging Bailes for the second-place spot. McDowell pulled away to win the heat, with Bailes and Hollidge grabbing transfer spots.
Finish (top three transfer): Dale McDowell, Ross Bailes, Dale Hollidge, Chris Madden, Nick Davis, Zach McMillan, Dan Stone, Matt Sponaugle, Jason Jameson, Chub Frank, Greg Clark, Tom Decker III, Brian Ruhlman.
Polesitter Mike Marlar took an early lead, with third-starting Jimmy Owens slipping ahead of Brandon Kinzer in turn two on the first lap to run in second. Marlar continued to lead at the halfway mark, with the top two cars distancing themselves from the field. Marlar picked up the heat race win, with Owens and Jonathan Davenport finishing second and third to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top three transfer): Mike Marlar, Jimmy Owens, Jonathan Davenport, Brandon Kinzer, Donny Schatz, Mason Zeigler, Ross Robinson, Andy Fries, Clay Daly, Justin Williams, Joey Coulter, Russ King.
Polesitter Dennis Erb Jr. charged to the lead at the drop of the green flag, with Tim McCreadie attempting to rally back to a transfer spot after slipping back in the early running. As Erb stretched his lead to a full straightaway at the halfway mark, McCreadie challenged Chase Junghans for the second-place spot. A yellow flag waved on lap six when Don O’Neal slowed with a right-rear flat. Erb won the heat, with McCreadie overtaking Junghans on the restart to finish second.
Finish (top three transfer): Dennis Erb Jr., Tim McCreadie, Chase Junghans, Jared Hawkins, Jason Feger, Benji Hicks, Kody Evans, Freddie Carpenter, Carder Miller, Kyle Hardy, Don O’Neal, Kerry King. Scratched: Chris Ferguson.
Pulling ahead of fellow front row starter Nick Hoffman in turn two, polesitter Josh Richards shot to an early lead. A yellow flag waved on lap two when Hoffman and Jason Covert made contact in turn four, with Brian Shirley slowing off the pace and retiring. Richards held his lead on the restart, with Covert edging ahead of Rusty Schlenk to take over the second-place spot. Stretching his lead in the late running, Richards picked up the heat race win. Covert and Schlenk rounded out the podium to transfer to the feature.
Finish (top three transfer): Josh Richards, Jason Covert, Rusty Schlenk, Casey Roberts, Nick Hoffman, Darrell Lanigan, Dustin Mitchell, Gary Stuhler, Morgan Bagley, Devin Moran, Mike Lupfer, Brian Ledbetter, Brian Shirley.
Overcast skies and cooler temperatures (a high in the mid-60s) with a brief chance of late-afternoon rain prevail for the finale of the World Finals. … Friday-night winner and 2017 WoO champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., will attempt to become the second driver to sweep the World Finals doubleheader, joining Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., who pulled off the sweep in 2012. Owens is the all-time winningest World Finals racer with six career victories. … Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., didn’t start a World Finals feature for first time in the event’s 11-year history on Friday night when he failed to qualify for the 50-lap headliner. Starting seventh in a heat this evening, he will have to hustle to transfer. … Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., are the last three drivers remaining who have started all 21 World Finals features contested to date. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., also has qualified for every World Finals feature he’s attempted, but his perfect record is 19-for-19 because he was ineligible to compete last year. … At least one driver has won a heat race on both Friday and Saturday nights in every year of World Finals competition. Five of the six heat winners from Friday night start on the pole in a prelim this evening. … Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who unveiled the No. 49 Longhorn Race Car he’ll drive for Lance Landers in 2018 Saturday afternoon at his merchandise trailer, was an early retiree from Friday night’s A-main because the shaft holding the rocket arms on the engine of his Donald Bradsher-owned machine’s engine broke early in the 50-lapper. The team installed a fresh powerplant for Saturday’s finale. … Another dropout from Friday’s feature was Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., whose second career World Finals feature start was ended midway through the race due to a bent front end. … Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., saw his weekend end early due to damage his car sustained in a qualifying-race accident on Friday night. He had insult added to injury afterward when a tire blew out on his hauler as he traveled home. … Tyler Carpenter of Parkersburg, W.Va., has parked his Kryptonite for Saturday’s program because a Friday heat-race incident left it with front frame damage. He spun after oil that blew out from his car got on his tires and he was then hit by another vehicle.
Heat race lineups
(eight laps; top three transfer)
Row 1: Josh Richards, Nick Hoffman
Row 2: Rusty Schlenk, Jason Covert
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Casey Roberts
Row 4: Darrell Lanigan, Devin Moran
Row 5: Morgan Bagley, Dustin Mitchell
Row 6: Gary Stuhler, Mike Lupfer
Row 7: Brian Ledbetter
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Chase Junghans
Row 2: Tim McCreadie, Kyle Hardy
Row 3: Freddie Carpenter, Don O’Neal
Row 4: Jared Hawkins, Jason Feger
Row 5: Benji Hicks, Carder Miller
Row 6: Kody Evans, Kerry King
Row 7: Chris Ferguson
Row 1: Mike Marlar, Brandon Kinzer
Row 2: Jimmy Owens, Joey Coulter
Row 3: Donny Schatz, Jonathan Davenport
Row 4: Justin Williams, Clay Daly
Row 5: Ross Robinson, Mason Zeigler
Row 6: Russ King, Andy Fries
Row 1: Dale McDowell, Dale Hollidge
Row 2: Ross Bailes, Chris Madden
Row 3: Nick Davis, Dan Stone
Row 4: Zach McMillan, Brian Ruhlman
Row 5: Matt Sponaugle, Chub Frank
Row 6: Jason Jameson, Greg Clark
Row 7: Tom Decker III
Row 1: Brandon Sheppard, Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Hudson O’Neal, Ryan King
Row 3: Steve Roberts, Brandon Overton
Row 4: Steve Francis, Rick Eckert
Row 5: Riley Hickman, Chad Ruhlman
Row 6: Brent Larson, Bob Gordon
Row 1: T.J. Reaid, Tyler Erb
Row 2: Shane Clanton, Tyler Millwood
Row 3: Eric Wells, Steve Casebolt
Row 4: Logan Martin, Corey Conley
Row 5: Kyle Lear, Tyler Carpenter
Row 6: Tyler Horst, Blake Spencer
The 11th annual Textron Off Road World Finals wraps up on Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte with the second of two World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series events. Winning Friday’s feature, Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., tied the tour’s single-season win record, scoring his 18th series victory of the year.
Saturday’s heat race lineups were determined by Thursday’s second round of time trials. Clocking the overall fast time for the night’s program, Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., will start on the pole of the first heat race. The top three cars from each heat will transfer to the night’s main event.
Consolations and series provisionals will set the remainder of the feature field. The program will also include WoO Sprints and big-block modifieds. DirtonDirt.com is offering live pay-per-view coverage of the event.
Saturday’s time trial results
Driver (car no.), hometown, time
Josh Richards (1), Shinnston, W.Va., 14.536
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 14.683
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 14.833
Nick Hoffman (2), Mooresville, N.C., 14.899
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 14.905
Brandon Kinzer (18), Allen, Ky., 14.923
Rusty Schlenk (CJ1), Weston, Ohio, 14.972
Tim McCreadie (39), Watertown, N.Y., 15.01
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.021
Jason Covert (72), York Haven, Pa., 15.028
Kyle Hardy (3v), Stephens City, Va., 15.077
Joey Coulter (2), Concord, N.C., 15.096
Brian Shirley (22*), Chatham, Ill., 15.106
Freddy Carpenter (C4), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.107
Donny Schatz (15), Fargo, N.D., 15.122
Casey Roberts (101), Toccoa, Ga., 15.147
Don O’Neal (5), Martinsville, Ind., 15.192
Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 15.216
Darrell Lanigan (14), Union, Ky., 15.236
Justin Williams (89), Shipman, Va., 15.24
Jared Hawkins (11), Fairmont, W.Va., 15.24
Devin Moran (9), Dresden, Ohio, 15.369
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 15.395
Clay Daly (32B), Watsonville, Calif., 15.438
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas, 15.467
Benji Hicks (55), Mount Airy, N.C., 15.522
Ross Robinson (7r), Georgetown, Del., 15.541
Dustin Mitchell (32), Pine Level, N.C., 15.554
Carder Miller (69*), Salem, Va., 15.557
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa., 15.578
Gary Stuhler (55S), Greencastle, Pa., 15.606
Russ King (56) Bristolville, Ohio, 15.642
Kody Evans (4g), Camden, Ohio, 15.642
Mike Lupfer (06), Shermans Dale, Pa., 15.698
Kerry King (K&B), Delmar, Del., 15.857
Andy Fries (82), Mercersburg, Pa., 15.925
Brian Ledbetter (07), Dallas, N.C., 16.07
Chris Ferguson (22), Mount Holly, N.C., no time
Dale McDowell (17m), Chickamauga, Ga., 14.67
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill., 14.923
T.J. Reaid (41r), Acworth, Ga., 15.093
Dale Hollidge (0), Mechanicsville, Md., 15.104
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., 15.136
Tyler Erb (91), New Waverly, Texas, 15.137
Ross Bailes (40), Clover, S.C., 15.137
Hudson O’Neal (71), Martinsville, Ind., 15.156
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga., 15.163
Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 15.206
Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., 15.248
Tyler Millwood (31m), Kingston, Ga., 15.301
Nick Davis (92), Millsboro, Del., 15.306
Steve Roberts (111), Jesup, Ga., 15.33
Eric Wells (18), Hazard, Ky., 15.338
Dan Stone (72), Thompson, Pa., 15.378
Brandon Overton (116), Evans, Ga., 15.382
Steve Casebolt (C9), Richmond, Ind., 15.395
Zach McMillan (14), Gladewater, Texas, 15.406
Steve Francis (15), Bowling Green, Ky., 15.411
Logan Martin (36), West Plains, Mo., 15.455
Brian Ruhlman (49), Clark Lake, Mich., 15.462
Rick Eckert (7E), York, Pa., 15.481
Corey Conley (14), Wellsburg, W.Va., 15.505
Matt Sponaugle (8), Wiley Fork, W.Va., 15.509
Riley Hickman (R1), Ooltewah, Tenn., 15.551
Kyle Lear (151), Severna Park, Md., 15.561
Chub Frank (1*), Bear Lake, Pa., 15.564
Chad Ruhlman (4s), Bemus Point, N.Y., 15.643
Tyler Carpenter (28), Parkersburg, W.Va., 15.661
Jason Jameson (12), Lawrenceburg, Ind., 15.665
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 15.684
Tyler Horst (14h), Rouzerville, Pa., 15.783
Greg Clark (39c), Stanley, N.Y., 15.803
Bob Gordon (31), Keyser, W.Va. , 15.972
Blake Spencer (6S), St. Augustine, Fla., 16.15
Tom Decker III (43d), Tyrone, Pa., 16.523