- June 23 - Belle-Clair Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Dennis Erb, Jr. outduels #18 Shannon Babb early in the "Hell Tour" event at Belle-Clair. (Jim Denhamer)
DIRTcar Summer Nationals: Erb Tops Hell Tour at Belle Clair

Kellen Burns

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - June 23.  Dennis Erb, Jr. is becoming quite fond of Dirt Late Model racing at Belle Clair Speedway.

Just as he did at the tiny 1/5-mile oval last year, Erb once again claimed the $5,000 top prize Wednesday on the eighth consecutive night of the month-long DIRTcar Summer Nationals "Hell Tour". That victory a year ago helped to propel Erb, of Carpentersville, Ill., to his third consecutive tour championship.

Dennis Erb Jr - Belle-Clair Summernationals winner

Dennis Erb, Jr. returns to Belle-Clair Speedway Victory Lane for the second straight year in Summernationals action. (Drew England)

To win on Wednesday, Erb outdueled another former champion, Shannon Babb, early in the feature and withstood a late charge from four-time DIRTcar Late Model national champion Rodney Melvin. The victory is Erb's first win on this year's tour.

Melvin, of Benton, Ill., held on to finish second while fifth-starting Jeep Van Wormer, of Pinconning, Mich., was third.  Outside polesitter Billy Moyer Jr., of Batesville, Ark., settled for fourth with early leader Babb, of Moweaqua, Ill., rounding out the top five.

Summernationals - Belle-Clair Speedway - June 23
(1) Dennis Erb Jr., (2) Rodney Melvin, (3) Jeep Van Wormer, (4) Billy Moyer Jr., (5) Shannon Babb,(6) Frankie Martin, (7) Brian Harris, (8) Wendell Wallace, (9) Jason Feger, (10) Jason McBride, (11) Mark Voigt, (12) Brent Kreke, (13) Mike Schulte, (14) Ryan Unzicker, (15) Michael Kloos, (16) Mike Hammerle (prov.), (17) Jack Sullivan (prov.), (18) Jim Gibson Jr., (19) Donny Walden, (20) Brandon Sheppard (prov.), (21) Mark Burgtorf.

Fast Time (37 entries): VanWormer (11.460 secs.) Heat winners: Erb, Moyer, Melvin, Babb. C-Main winner: Dave Thornton. B-Main winner.

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