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Erb Scores $10,000 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Win

Tyler Erb

Tyler Erb

Trevor Neville

Trevor Neville

Braiden Keller

Braiden Keller

Neville Nabs Summit Modified Nationals Victory; Keller Collects Third Straight Stock Car Win

Results | Points | Story by Colby Trotter/DIRTcar | Victory Lane Pictures by Rocky Ragusa | Action Picture by Tyler Carr

erbjr overton erbTyler Erb isn’t just dominating the 39th annual DIRTcar Summer Nationals, he’s making history. With his win Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway, Erb becomes the first driver in Hell Tour history to win the first three races of the Summer Nationals since Billy Moyer Sr. did it in 2010. “It’s cool, Billy is one of the top two best I would say,” Erb said. “I’ve never had the opportunity to actually run this deal since I felt like I’ve had a good grasp on racing.” Unlike the first two races he won this week, Erb had to fight off a few competitors once he took the lead and even lost it at one point in the race. At the drop of the green, Erb went for the high side around the track from fourth on the starting grid as Cody Overton led the first 10 laps of the race.

When the first caution flag came out on Lap 10, Erb had moved up to second with a pass on the outside of Dennis Erb Jr. and a slide job on Max McLaughlin in Turn 4. On the restart, Erb took the lead on the high side, going three-wide with Overton and Erb Jr. out of Turns 3 and 4. Erb fended-off Overton at the start/finish line, but the battle for the top spot had only begun. After a Lap 14 caution, Erb and Erb Jr. raced side-by-side – Erb on the outside and Erb Jr. on the inside. It stayed that way for the next seven laps until Erb Jr. took the lead on the bottom on Lap 26. But as they reached lapped traffic, Erb Jr. was held-up by the slower cars on the bottom, allowing Erb to close the gap and slip back by for the lead on the top on Lap 28.

Despite having to fight for position, Erb felt like the competition made him better. “I think I got better when I was next to Dennis because I didn’t have a choice but to run up [the high side],” Erb said. “It was easier to focus on running just the cushion and was able to get a little room.” Two more caution flags flew before the end of the race and both times Erb had to fend off former Hell Tour champions Shannon Babb and Jason Feger. On both restarts, he got the jump he needed to make it to Victory Lane and cash his second straight $10,000 check.

Before he entered Victory Lane, Erb began his celebration early with a few donuts on the track. He said that was from relief of finally getting a win at Fairbury. “I’ve came here for like 12 years, I’ve flipped twice here and I’ve had a lot of really bad luck and self-induced races here,” Erb said. “I was excited because we finally won here, it’s a tough thing to do and sometimes it’s good to let a little emotion out.”

Neville Nabs Summit Modified Nationals Victory

Story by Colby Trotter/DIRTcar | Picture by Tyler Carr

neville ledfordWhen Trevor Neville decided to race with the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals this year, he told his team, “Boys, we’re not going to stop until we win this year.” Neville didn’t have to wait long to get his first career Summit Modified win as he led all 30 laps while fending off some of the best DIRTcar UMP Modified drivers in the country at Fairbury Speedway Saturday night. Neville, of Mackinaw, IL, started on the outside pole next to three-time and defending Fairbury UMP Modified track champion Michael Ledford. Neville got the jump on the outside and raced to the lead on Lap 1 and didn’t look back.

“I thought Michael was going to get the pull on me, but I was able to clear him,” Neville said. “Me and Michael race a lot together, so it means the world. Glad everything went good. Glad everything went clean.” Two caution periods forced Neville to restart with Ledford right behind him, but both times, Neville got the jump he needed to fend-off all challenges. Neville pulled into Victory Lane, got on the top of his car and let out a big scream while he waved the checkered flag over his head. He said the emotion came from all the work he put in. “We dedicate a lot of time and this is what my life revolves around,” Neville said. “I hardly work during the week; all I do is racing stuff so when we get a victory like this at a place we’re not the greatest at, it means the world to me.”

Keller Collects Third Straight Stock Car Win

Story & Picture by Rocky Ragusa

seplak kellerCurrent DIRTcar national points leader Braiden Keller is the hottest driver in the Stock Car division, leading the track point standings at Fairbury and Kankakee. In Saturday’s 15-lap, $500 to win race, Keller faced a bevy of challengers looking to dethrone the “Hoosier Hotshoe.”

Polesitter Kyle Anderson went toe-to-toe with Keller for the first three laps before Keller, running the top side, moved to the point. Keller led Anderson and Nick Seplak before the caution came out on the fourth lap. On the restart, Anderson, Seplak, and Joe Brown each took a turn at Keller, but the second-generation driver ran the top groove to perfection. Brown tried his luck on the top, but was no match for Keller, before Seplak took the second position. Seplak, the 2019 FALS Stock Car Track Champion, made it interesting, but Keller was able to seal the deal for his third Fairbury win and ninth overall.

Seplak had to settle for second, followed by Anderson and Nick Clubb. Sycamore regular Joel Hernandez finished in fifth, with Brown, Jace Gall, Cody Clubb, Dave Dulceak, and Derrick Weiand completing the top ten. Twenty cars made qualifying attempts with Anderson leading the way with a lap of 15.586 seconds. Two heat races had Anderson and Seplak taking the wins.

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