Tyler Erb in I-55 victory lane. (Tyler Carr Photo)

Erb Keeps Rolling In Summer Nationals, Wins Sixth Event

PEVELY, Mo. — Same story, different race track for Tyler Erb.  

The 27-year-old from New Waverly, Texas, padded his stats with his sixth feature win of the 39th annual DIRTcar Summer Nationals Saturday night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. The 10th Hell Tour victory of his career came after taking the lead from Jason Feger in the opening laps and leading the rest of the way to bank the $10,000 grand prize.  

Erb said stacking these wins has given him a confidence boost which he believes has translated to more trips to victory lane. 

“You say you have the same level of confidence but when you can actually do it and have the proof of it every night that definitely helps,” Erb said. “I feel like deep down, subliminally you feel like you actually can win and sometimes you can tell yourself and try to talk yourself into it, but you just know deep down you don’t got it. Right now, I feel like we do have it which is a good feeling.”  

Although Erb has a confident mindset going into each race, he knows how to balance humility and confidence too. 

“You don’t like know you’re gonna win but you have to have that mindset to even have a chance,” Erb said. “If you have any doubt that you can win, that’s never good because I’ve been on both sides of that fence and right now my confidence is really high.”

After winning his Heat Race, Erb redrew second and lined up on the outside of Feger for the start of the 40-lap main event. Feger got the jump at the drop of the green flag and led the first four circuits on the bottom around the 1/3-mile oval.

With Feger on the bottom of the track, Erb used the momentum of the high banking to keep pace with Feger. Then on lap four, Erb ran through the middle of the track through turns three and four and beat Feger to the start/finish line to take the lead.

“We were like the same speed and I was like I gotta figure out how to get around, I can’t just follow him,” Erb said. “Just started pounding the top of [Turns] one and two a little bit harder, a little bit harder. Not putting myself out of the race but trying to find the edge and finding out how hard was too hard.”

Once Erb made the pass on Feger, he quickened his pace, opening a gap of over a full second on Feger until he hit lapped traffic. At one point, Erb got stuck behind lap cars that were three-wide which slowed Erb’s progress and allowed Feger to close the gap to less than a car length from Erb. 

A caution came out on lap 25 that cooled off the battle for the lead in lapped traffic. Erb got the jump on the restart with Feger close behind but as the laps wound down, Erb increased his lead with every circuit and drove away from the rest of the field for his third Summer Nationals victory of the week. 

“In lapped traffic, it was getting kind of sketchy there,” Erb said. “Luckily, we had the caution. That was the second caution all week and it played into our favor. The other caution that happened that happened this week did not make me happy. This one made me happy.”