The World of Outlaws Late Model Series brought the curtain down on its 2017 season on Saturday night at The Dirt Track in Charlotte with Dennis Erb, Jr. taking home the $12,000 first after taking the lead with five laps remaining and driving on to the victory. Erb’s late race pass denied Mike Marlar the feature win for the second night in a row on the Concord, NC track.
Brandon Sheppard was also official crowned as the WoO Late Models champion at the completion of the event.
Josh Richards set fast time in Group A qualifying and overall for this race back on Thursday evening when he turned a lap of 14.536 seconds to beat out Erb, Marlar, Nick Hoffman and Chase Junghans.
Dale McDowell led Group B time-trials by turning a lap around the clay oval in 14.67 seconds. That speed bettered the efforts of Sheppard, T.J. Reaid, Dale Hollidge and Scott Bloomquist.
Richards, Erb, Marlar, McDowell, Sheppard and Shane Clanton won the six heat races used to establish the starting lineup for the feature race.
Casey Roberts, Chris Madden and Brandon Overton won the three B-main races that completed the starting grid for the main event.
Clanton used his outside front row starting spot to his advantage and took the early lead when the green flag waved over the 50-lap feature race. Marlar, Richards, McDowell, Erb and Sheppard chased the lead car in the early going. Jason Covert moved by Sheppard to grab sixth paving the way for Tim McCreadie and Jimmy Owens to also get by the winner from Friday night.
Clanton appeared to open the door for Marlar to grab the lead when on lap 6 his car skated high in turn two. However, the Georgia driver fought back and held on to the top spot. The top-3 of Clanton, Marlar and Richard then began to encounter slower traffic which allowed fourth and fifth running Erb and McDowell to close in.
Just as he had the night before, Sheppard moved to the high groove and began to climb up the rankings by capturing the fifth position on lap 15 with Owens coming to sixth and McCreadie went to seventh at the same time while McDowell found himself being shuffled back.
Marlar finally took the lead f the race just before the race’s only yellow flag waved on lap 27.
On the ensuing restart, Erb moved to the runner-up spot and immediately began to harass Marlar for leadership f the race. Meanwhile, Sheppard continued to try to replicate his performance of the previous night by going high on the track and taking positions from other drivers. By lap 36, the top-4 of Marlar, Erb, Sheppard and Owens were running in a tight pack as they worked through slower machines.
Sheppard hurt his chances on lap 37 when he brushed the turn 4 wall and surrendered the third spot to Owens while Erb continued to hound Marlar at the front of the field.
Erb’s efforts finally paid off on lap 45 when he went to the low side of the track and took the top spot on the leader board. From there, all the Carpentersville, Ill, driver had to do was make it to the checkered flag and collect the victory.
Feature Finish: 1. Dennis Erb, Jr., 2. Mike Marlar, 3. Jimmy Owens, 4. Brandon Sheppard, 5. Tim McCreadie, 6. Jonathan Davenport, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Josh Richards, 9. Jason Covert, 10. Shane Clanton, 11. Scott Bloomquist, 12. Brandon Overton, 13. Chris Madden, 14. Hudson O’Neal, 15. Casey Roberts, 16. Tyler Erb, 17. Brian Shirley, 18. Devin Moran, 19. Rusty Schlenk, 20. Dale Hollidge, 21. Rick Eckert, 22. Eric Wells, 23. Jared Hawkins, 24. Morgan Bagley, 25. Chub Frank, 26. Chase Junghans, 27. Ross Bailes, 28. Brandon Kinzer, 29. Tyler Millwood