Tyler Erb executed a pass for the lead on the front stretch on the last lap to just edge Ricky Thornton Jr. at the finish line for a MARS Racing Series victory on Friday night at the Farmer City Raceway. It was the third race of Illinois SpeedWeek with the mini-series heading for Fairbury, Illinois on Saturday night.
The Rocket Chassis driver from New Waverly, Texas collected $15,000 for his efforts on the quarter-mile track located in Farmer City, Illinois in a race shown live by FloRacing.com.
A total of 52 cars were signed in for competition.
Group A Results- 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.(13.058), 2. Josh Putnam, 3. Tyler Erb, 4. Devin Moran, 5. Brian Shirley
Group B Results- 1. Hudson O’Neal(13.248), 2. Mike Marlar, 3. Brandon Sheppard, 4. McKay Wenger, 5. Jason Feger
Heat 1 Results: 1. Ricky Thornton Jr., 2. Devin Moran, 3. Cade Dillard
Heat 2 Results: 1. Brian Shirley, 2. Josh Putnam, 3. Myles Moos
Heat 3 Results: 1. Tyler Erb, 2. Spencer Hughes, 3. Ashton Winger
Heat 4 Results: 1. Hudson O’Neal, 2. Brandon Sheppard, 3. Frank Heckenast Jr.
Heat 5 Results: 1. McKay Wenger, 2. Shannon Babb, 3. Garrett Alberson
Heat 6 Results: 1. Mike Marlar, 2. Dennis Erb Jr., 3. Ryan Unzicker
B-main 1 Finish: 1. Taylor Scheffler, 2. Bob Gardner
B-main 2 Finish: 1. Bobby Pierce, 2. Tanner English
Feature Re-cap: At the start of the 47-lap feature it was O’Neal who went to the early lead with Thornton, Wenger, Shirley and Ty;er Erb in his tire tracks. On the second lap, Sheppard moved to sixth as the top-6 quickly began to run in single-file formation. However, that would not last long as Tyler Erb, Dennis Erb and Sheppard began to mix it up for positions 5-7.
Thornton moved in and began to issue a challenge to O’Neal for the race lead on lap 11 by diving to the low side of the track. Those cars ran in side-by-side formation for multiple laps until Thornton emerged from the fight with the top spot on the leaderboard on lap 15. O’Neal then charged back this time on the bottom in hopes of regaining the position.
Slower traffic began to play a role which caused the top-4 of Thornton, O’Neal, Wenger and Dennis Erb to run in a tight pack. O’Neal again tried to get around Thornton for the lead on lap 24 as Dennis Erb, Wenger and Tyler Erb followed closely.
Tyler Erb passed Dennis Erb for third on lap 31 then set off after the lead duo until a caution flag waved on lap 32 for the spinning car of Alberson. On the ensuing restart, Tyler Erb jumped to second behind the leading Thornton machine.
The No. 1 car kept the No. 20RT in his sights as the laps began to wind down. On lap 43, Erb threw a slide job in turns one and two that was successful in taking the lead but Thornton returned the favor in turns three and four.
Both cars used a high line right against the turns three and four wall over the closing laps while varying their lines a bit on the opposite side of the track. Just after taking the white flag, Thornton went low in turns one and two to take away the line that might lead to a slide job. Going into the final set of turns, he attempted the same move but his car pushed high on the exit of four.
Erb darted low and won the drag race to the checkered flag by the narrowest of margins to claim the win.
“That was awesome,” Erb declared to FloRacing.com in victory lane. “Ricky started moving around there and Randall(Edwards, crew chief) told me to quit running the bottom like I was. I never felt like I was making more speed. That was vintage 91(old car number) from back in the day in three and four. It was a lot of fun. I love coming here and Fairbury and all these Illinois tracks. We’ve got a badass race car and I’ve got badass people who help me.”
Feature Results: 1. Tyler Erb, 2. Ricky Thornton Jr., 3. Hudson O’Neal, 4. Bobby Pierce, 5. Brandon Sheppard, 6. Dennis Erb Jr., 7. Devin Moran, 8. Tanner English, 9. Brian Shirley, 10. Cade Dillard, 11. Garrett Alberson, 12. Spencer Hughes, 13. McKay Wenger, 14. Myles Moos, 15. Ryan Unzicker, 16. Taylor Scheffler, 17. Josh Putnam, 18. Bob Gardner, 19. Ashton Winger, 20. Shannon Babb, 21. Frank Heckenast Jr., 22. Mike Marlar
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