Moran Breaks Through At East Bay

Devin Moran (9) races under Kyle Bronson at East Bay Raceway Park. (Paul Arch photo)
Devin Moran (9) races under Kyle Bronson at East Bay Raceway Park. (Paul Arch photo)

GIBSONTON, Fla. — Second-generation racer Devin Moran scored a long-awaited victory at his favorite race track on Monday night.

Moran, 25, earned his first victory at the third-mile dirt track on the opening night of the Wrisco Industries Winternationals for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Moran was the fifth and final different leader of an exciting 30-lap race as the Tye Twarog Motorsports driver recorded his second career series victory.

Kyle Bronson finished second to Moran with Tyler Erb taking third after getting by Jonathan Davenport on the final lap. Chris Garnes, in his first start at East Bay, finished fifth.

Tim McCreadie, who won the series’ opening night race Saturday at Golden Isles, started on the pole and took the lead at the start of the main event. Moran started alongside McCreadie and grabbed second just ahead of Brandon Sheppard on the opening circuit. Sheppard then passed Moran for second on lap two.

McCreadie held the lead until heavy traffic slowed his momentum and Sheppard took the lead on lap 11. A caution on lap 13 would clear the traffic for Sheppard and McCreadie. On the restart, Sheppard held the point with McCreadie and Bronson in tow.

Bronson, who started 10th charged to the lead by Sheppard on lap 19 to become the third different leader of the race. Bronson and Sheppard then went back and forth in a terrific race for the lead.

After a lap-21 restart after a caution, Sheppard and Bronson got together on the backstretch with Sheppard spinning in front of the field necessitating a caution.

After the next restart, Tyler Erb who started 13thcharged to the lead to become the fourth different pacesetter. Erb held the lead for one circuit before Moran took over the race lead on lap 22.

Devin Moran celebrates victory at East Bay Raceway Park. (Al Steinberg photo)
Devin Moran celebrates victory at East Bay Raceway Park. (Al Steinberg photo)

Moran then pulled away in the final eight laps to score his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win since 2013, at his home track, Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio.

“Kyle (Bronson) kind of showed me the top up there. I knew turn four was faster up there and then he did that, so I thought I will try it as well,” Moran said. “I didn’t see what happened between Bronson and Sheppy (Brandon Sheppard) because I was above them. We finally got this first win at East Bay and my first Lucas Oil win in a long time. Tye Twarog Racing has put me here in great equipment.”

Bronson, entering his third year with Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, was looking for another win at his home track at East Bay.

“Our car was really good tonight,” he explained. “Me and Sheppard got together there, and it bent the tie rod and we couldn’t turn after that. It took me until the last couple of laps to drive it again.  These guys are all tough, and you just have to go. He (Sheppard) was leaving the bottom and I felt like he was coming up and I was coming down. These restarts are tough and we were both racing for the same piece of real estate.”

Erb made a sterling run in the main event coming home in third.

“It was good race; they pushed those tires out there and it helped quite a bit,” Erb said. “I just dug myself a hole in that heat race and I needed to run better than third in that. The restarts were crazy and this is awesome. We have five more nights here and I can’t wait for the rest of the week. I just love this race track, you don’t have to have the best car to win. We won here twice a year ago and we just need to start the night better with qualifying and our heat race finishes and we will be all right.”

The finish:

Devin Moran, Kyle Bronson, Tyler Erb, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Garnes, Billy Moyer Jr., Tim McCreadie, Hudson O’Neal, Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Jeff Mathews, Billy Moyer Sr., Shane Clanton, Earl Pearson Jr., Josh Richards, Donald McIntosh, Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Shirley, G.R. Smith, Shanon Buckingham, Tyler Bruening, Stormy Scott, Allen Weisser, Johnny Scott, Jimmy Owens, John Tweed, Coleby Frye, Brandon Overton, Mason Zeigler, Chase Junghans.