La Salle Speedway,
Sanction: Sunoco American Late Model Series East (Thaw Brawl) - $15,000
Information provided by: Staff reports (last updated March 30, 11:48 am)
Erb survives, pockets $15,000 in Thaw Brawl
- Dennis Erb Jr.
- Bobby Pierce
- Ryan Unzicker
- Scott Bloomquist
- Jason Riggs
- Billy Drake
- Matt Furman
- McKay Wenger
- Jason Jaggers
- Jason Feger
- Phil Ausra
- Brandon Thirlby
- Rusty Schlenk
- Rich Bell
- Brian Birkhofer
- Steve Dimmick
- Brian Shirley
- Kevin Weaver
- Jeep Van Wormer
- Scott Schmitt
- Devin Moran
- Chris Simpson
Dennis Erb Jr. heads to a $15,000 victory at La Salle Speedway.
What won the race: Second-starting Dennis Erb Jr. broke out to the lead at the drop of the green flag and kept the field at bay for an attrition-filled 75 laps to score his second victory of 2014 on a cool, damp night.
Quotable: “It was good to have a good run at the beginning and start up front and be able to able to stay out of trouble and hit the holes the right way,” Erb said. “Thank God everything held together.”
Key notes: Erb's previous victory came during East Bay Raceway Park's Winternationals under the live TV cameras of MAVTV. ... Only five drivers finished on the lead lap. ... Polesitter Brian Shirley kept pace with Erb early before suffering mechanical issues and drawing a lap-19 caution. ... Fourth-place finisher Scott Bloomquist closed on Erb in the race's middle stages, but was slowed by the first of his two flat tires as he prepared to challenge for the lead. ... Brian Birkhofer, who won last year's Thaw Brawl main event, debuted a new Rocket Chassis after making the switch from MB Customs over the offseason; he retired after bringing out a caution midway through the main event and finished 15th. ... Devin Moran of Dresden, Ohio, made his first-ever start in Illinois; Moran won the consolation race after being caught up in a heat race accident, but called it quits early in the main event. ... Fast qualifier Kevin Weaver and heat winner Jeep Van Wormer were among others suffering mechanical breakdowns. ... The top three in each qualifying group were inverted for heat races. ... Nick Allen earned $1,500 in the UMP Modified portion of the program. ... The 3rd annual Thaw Brawl kicks off La Salle's season. Action continues Sunday afternoon with a $2,000-to-win event which was reset from Friday due to wet weather. Hot laps are scheduled for 2 p.m. with racing to follow at 3 p.m.
On the move: Bobby Pierce rallied from 19th to finish second.
Winner's sponsors: Erb's Rayburn Race Car is powered by a Kuntz & Co. engine with sponsorship from J.R. McBride Leasing, JL Scrap Metals, Ramirez Motorsports, Petersen Aluminum, Allstar Performance and Performance Rod & Custom.
Points chase: Erb takes the early ALMS points lead with his victory; he will not follow the series on a full-time basis.
Car count: 29
Fast qualifier: Kevin Weaver
Time: 12.319 seconds
Polesitter: Brian Shirley
Heat race winners: Ryan Unzicker, Dennis Erb Jr., Jeep Van Wormer, Brian Shirley
Consolation race winners: Devin Moran
Provisional starters: Brandon Thirlby, Phil Ausra
Next series race: April 12, Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH) $5,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.