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CHAMP DEFENDS TURF: Tucker Wins in Back-to-Back Seasons with Pro Late Models at Charlotte

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Houser leads most laps, finishes fifth, Matjoulis rebounds with second podium

Forty laps in Wednesday's DIRTcar eSports Tour Feature at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Kendal Tucker only needed one to steal the show.

In one of the most exciting finishes in DIRTcar eSports history, Tucker, the defending Tour champion and Pro Late Model race winner at Charlotte from Season 2, pulled a rabbit out of his hat in the closing laps of Wednesday's Drydene Pro Late Model Feature and beat Alex Bergeron and Tyler Schell to the line to win his third career Tour Feature.

"That was a wild one right there, to say the least," Tucker said.

Dylan Houser, of Ocala, FL, led the majority of the race on iRacing's new dirt tire model - a total of 33 under his belt by race's end - and maintained the lead as he came to three-to-go with Bergeron and Tucker right on his heels. Tucker, of Mt. Airy, NC, took the most advantage of Houser's scrubbing of the outside Turn 2 wall by throwing a wicked slide job as the three dove into Turn 3.

He clipped the infield tractor tire, somehow stayed with it, and raced side-by-side with Bergeron for the lead as they crossed for two-to-go. Houser jumped underneath each of them and slid his way back to the lead while Bergeron and Tucker crossed it back underneath him on the backstretch.

Lead in-hand as they took the white flag, Bergeron rolled high coming out of Turn 2. Houser drifted up into him and made contact as Tucker re-entered the picture underneath them both, also banging off Houser as they entered Turn 3. A final slide job from Tucker in Turns 3-4 on them both sealed the deal as he crossed the stripe and collected $250 for the epic victory from the 10th starting spot.

"No matter how far back I start, it definitely makes it a lot harder," Tucker said. "But with these longer-distance races, it kinda bails you out if you can keep the car clean coming up through the field."

With all of the insanity between Tucker, Houser and Bergeron in the final three circuits, Tyler Schell and Blake Matjoulis had been on a mission to capitalize. Which, they did, taking advantage of further contact between Houser and Bergeron to grab third and fourth at the line.

Tucker (front) coming to the checkered with the ensuing melee for 2nd-5th behind him (Joe Grabianowski Photo)
Bergeron had also made significant contact with the outside Turn 4 wall coming to the checkers. It was later determined that he scrubbed the wall through the entire corner and was therefore penalized two spots post-race for wall-riding. This awarded Schell and Matjoulis the final two podium spots and a career-best finish for Schell.

The DIRTcar eSports Tour action continues next Wednesday night, April 21, with the Hoosier Racing Tire Big Block Modifieds at Lernerville Speedway. Catch all the action live and FREE on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.

Feature (40 Laps) - 1. 00-Kendal Tucker (10); 2. 85-Tyler Schell (16); 3. 127-Blake Matjoulis (7); 4. 12-Alex Bergeron (5); 5. 2-Dylan Houser (2); 6. 115-Boddie Parker (23); 7. 1-Jesse Enterkin (21); 8. 80-Dylan Wilson (3); 9. 17-Brett Rowles (15); 10. 48-Dylan Yeager (1); 11. 71-Keven Hebert (12); 12. 41-Logan Rumsey (18); 13. 09-Tanner Tomasi (8); 14. 717-Bobby Rafferty (20); 15. 37-Randall Carter (17); 16. 033-Richard Murtaugh (13); 17. 4-Huey Quillen (24); 18. 8-Tyler Jackson (9); 19. 13-Damian Kiefer (4); 20. 000-Kevin Dedmon (11); 21. 101-Brent Evans (22); 22. 331-Dustin Hall (14); 23. 33-Evan Seay (6); 24. 5-Nathan Waddell (19)