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Tyler Erb in victory lane at East Bay Raceway Park. (Mike Ruefer photo)

Erb Holds Off Marlar At East Bay

GIBSONTON, Fla. — Tyler Erb earned a hard-fought victory on Wednesday night during the 48th annual Wieland Winternationals presented by Lucas Oil at East Bay Raceway Park.

Erb pulled away from a trio of cars who were battling for second to take a 2.653-second advantage at the finish line for his 21st career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win.

Mike Marlar, who started 23rd edged out Davenport at the finish line for second. Davenport rounded out the podium finishing third. Daulton Wilson and Dennis Erb Jr. completed the top five. 

The action was fast and furious in the first 20 laps of the 40-lap main event as Davenport led the first 11 circuits until Erb rolled around him on the outside to take the lead on lap 12.

Erb, Davenport, and Daulton Wilson were battling nearly three-wide for the lead as Wilson took his only lead of the race on lap 20. 

Davenport came back to hold the point until Erb powered by him on lap 26. From there, Erb stormed away to pick up a convincing victory.

Erb in taking his fifth career East Bay victory fought back after a disappointing race on Tuesday night where he finished sixth after leading in the early part of the race.

“I think just racing a little smarter today,” Erb said. “I chased JD [Davenport] and was really patient and finally got by him. On the restart they obviously started running the top or something to get such a really good run. I just had to hunker down and fight back. I have got an awesome car and an awesome group of people helping me. I love East Bay it produces some of the greatest racing and it was a really good race.”

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Tyler Erb (1) races under Jonathan Davenport at East Bay Raceway Park. (Jim DenHamer photo)

Marlar had the drive of the night coming from the inside of the last row to nip Davenport at the line to finish in second.

“We have just been struggling the whole trip,” Marlar. “We kind of figured out we had a bent rear end in the car. I was kind of bad early in the night, but I got it going for the feature. I want to thank Greg Bruening for giving me this opportunity. I hope we put on a good show there. There at the end I got to rolling the top. They knew I was coming.”

Davenport finished third for the second night in a row.

“The lane moved several times there. My guys gave me the best car they could. Congratulations to Tyler [Erb] and Mikey [Marlar]. The last second, I heard him [Marlar], so I turned to the left so hopefully that helped us both in these heat races coming up, so we don’t have a lot to fix.”

The finish:

Tyler Erb, Mike Marlar, Jonathan Davenport, Daulton Wilson, Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, Brian Shirley, Kyle Bronson, Garrett Smith, Earl Pearson Jr., Devin Moran, Hudson O’Neal, Ethan Dotson, Wil Herrington, Ross Robinson, Clay Harris, Daniel Adam, R.J. Conley, Drake Troutman, Blair Nothdurft, Jensen Ford, Garrett Alberson, Brandon Overton.