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Daulton Wilson in victory lane at East Bay Raceway Park. (Mike Ruefer photo)

Wilson Breaks Through For Lucas Glory

GIBSONTON, Fla. — After nine career runner-up finishes in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Daulton Wilson finally broke through for his first career victory.

The $15,000 triumph on Saturday night concluded the 48th annual Wieland Winternationals presented by Lucas Oil at East Bay Raceway Park.

Wilson, who started sixth powered to the lead around Tyler Erb on lap 16 and led the rest of the way to become the 90th different winner in the 20-year history of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Wilson had to withstand a three-lap shootout at the finish after a caution came out, but he pulled away for a 1.454-second advantage at the finish over Brandon Sheppard who passed Erb on the final lap to take the second position. Erb rounded out the podium in third. Rounding the top five were Garrett Smith and Devin Moran.

Wilson became the eighth different winner in the first 12 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events of 2024 and emotional in Lucas Oil Victory Lane after scoring the win.

“I don’t know what to say. This is a dream come true,” Wilson said. “My whole family is right here they sacrificed everything for me, they believed in me 100%, my guys, my car owners James, Jennifer and Justin Rattliff, [Jeff] Gullett, [Tim] Tungate, just everybody who believed in me and gave me an opportunity and everybody at home who gave me a chance. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

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Daulton Wilson (18) races under Tyler Erb at East Bay Raceway Park. (Jim DenHamer photo)

Sheppard, who started ninth moved into contention before the halfway mark and got underneath of Erb coming off of turn four on the final lap to take second.

“Our biggest downfall this week was qualifying,” Sheppard said. “We kind of struggled there all week. We raced really well all week. We just about had a catastrophic situation there in the heat race and we were able to come out of that with just a flat tire. We got it changed and come back to second in the heat. So, the way the night started and the way it ended we couldn’t be more tickled about it.”

Erb, who has led in four of the six races during the week at East Bay came home in third at the finish after running either first or second during 49 of the 50 laps.

“He [Wilson] has been really fast and I think it’s taken him like three years and I can feel that pain so I know what it feels like to win. Yeah, this is a heck of a place to win your first race too, congrats to him and his team and family. I have gotten real close to Daulton in the last three years. If there is anybody that could win, I would have liked to see him win for sure.”

The finish:

Daulton Wilson, Brandon Sheppard, Tyler Erb, Garrett Smith, Devin Moran, Jonathan Davenport, Jimmy Owens, Ricky Thornton Jr., Drake Troutman, Hudson O’Neal, Ashton Winger, Mike Marlar, Kyle Bronson, Dennis Erb Jr., Garrett Alberson, Ethan Dotson, Earl Pearson Jr., Tanner English, Max Blair, Tony Jackson Jr., Brenden Smith, Boom Briggs, Spencer Hughes, Ross Robinson, Dillon McCowan, Tim McCreadie, Jensen Ford, Mike Spatola, Mark Whitener, Blair Nothdurft.