Tyler Erb Leads Flag-to-Flag in Summer Nationals Season Opener at Peoria

Tyler Carr Photo

In his first race out on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals in 2024, Tyler Erb made a clear statement to his competition Wednesday night – he didn’t come to play games.

Erb, 27, of New Waverly, TX, won his fifth career Summer Nationals Feature in dominant fashion, leading all 30 laps. He started on the outside pole next to Dennis Erb Jr., ripped the high side around the banked 1/4-mile bullring on Lap 1 to snatch the lead and never looked back as he raced to his first win on the Hell Tour in nearly two years.

Tyler Erb (1) holding off Dennis Erb Jr. (28) for the lead (Tyler Carr Photo)

“It feels good, it’s what it’s supposed to be,” Erb said. “When you do everything right that’s how it’s supposed to go. A lot of nights it doesn’t go like that so you gotta be happy when things go your way.”

After making only two appearances on the Hell Tour in the past two seasons due to his national tour commitments, Erb and the Best Performance Motorsports team recently decided not to continue down the same path for 2024 and instead settled on a pick-and-choose schedule for the rest of the season. They soon added the first week of Summer Nationals to their docket and set out on the road for Illinois.

When deciding where next to race, it was simple for Erb.

“I like the Hell Tour, I like the racetracks,” he said.

Erb grabbed the lead on the opening lap and was forced to execute multiple clean restarts as the caution flag flew twice in the first seven laps. With past Summer Nationals champions Erb Jr. and Jason Feger behind him, Erb got the jump he needed to keep his lead.

“Racing a lot, I feel like I’m a seasoned veteran and that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Erb said. “Restarts is just another aspect of the race and you gotta make good decisions to be able to restart and maintain the lead.”

The race’s final caution came on Lap 7 and after maintaining his lead on the restart, Erb started to build his lead on the rest of the field. Erb Jr. kept pace with the leader in the early going but Erb soon found his groove around the track, using the top, middle and bottom lanes to open a gap of over two seconds in the second half of the race.

“[Turns] 1 and 2 after the first couple of laps I pretty much knew where to be,” Erb said. “[Turns] 3 and 4 I wasn’t sure and then I seen the [infield] tires get pushed in and I just made the decision that I was gonna enter as low as possible and if somebody got a run they would have to cross me over.”

Despite catching lapped traffic on Lap 18, Erb maintained his gap on Erb Jr. and the rest of the field, weaving inside and outside of the slower cars. He kept it clean in the final laps and crossed under the checkered flag to collect the $5,000 grand prize.

(from left) Dillon McCowan, Tyler Erb and Dennis Erb Jr. on the podium (Tyler Carr photo)

Aside from the dominance of Erb, five-time Hell Tour champion Bobby Pierce had to start from 16th on the grid after falling short of a transfer spot in his Heat. Pierce won the Consolation Race and worked his way up to eighth place by the end of the race.


The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models next head for Kankakee County Speedway on Thursday, June 13, for another $5,000-to-win program, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate. If you can’t be there, stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1-Tyler Erb[2]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan[6]; 4. 25-Jason Feger[3]; 5. 33-Kye Blight[4]; 6. 27-Rodney Melvin[8]; 7. T2-Brayton Wallace[12]; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce[16]; 9. 25W-Allen Weisser[18]; 10. 96-Tanner English[17]; 11. 22*-Max McLaughlin[14]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner[11]; 13. 38J-Jake Little[10]; 14. 14JR-Trey Mills[15]; 15. 58-Tyler Clem[22]; 16. 38-Thomas Hunziker[19]; 17. 17-Andy Clark[21]; 18. D1-Turk Letizia[13]; 19. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[5]; 20. 187-David McCoy[7]; 21. 30-Mark Voigt[9]; 22. 4D-Doug Tye[20]