Tyler Erb Wins Tri-State in Return to Summer Nationals, Tanner English Claims Week 4 Title

 

by Colby Trotter

HAUBSTADT, IN (July 7, 2024) – Back like he never left, Tyler Erb has returned to Victory Lane with the DIRTcar Summer Nationals. 

Making his first Hell Tour start since winning at Red Hill Raceway on June 30, Erb made his return in the Week 4 finale Sunday night at Tri-State Speedway, leading all 30 laps of the Feature for his eighth Summer Nationals win of the season. 

After competing with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series this past weekend as part of the Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, MN, Erb decided to make the nine-hour drive to Haubstadt, IN, for a dramatic return to the Hell Tour. The driver from New Waverly, TX, said after the race, he’d not slept for over 30 hours but still wanted to come run with the Summer Nationals despite his lack of sleep. 

“I’ve done this race before and I always thought this place was really cool and I’ve never had the opportunity to come back,” Erb said of why he made the long trip. “If I would’ve sat there all day and watched this race I kind of would’ve been disappointed in myself because it’s just a little of mind over matter. I’ve done dumber things, so this didn’t seem like the dumbest idea I’ve ever had.” 

In his return, Erb started from fourth on the grid and at the drop of the green flag, he was side-by-side with polesitter Rusty Schlenk going into Turns 1 and 2. Down the backstretch Schlenk, Erb and Tanner English were three-wide and coming out of Turn 4 all three were side-by-side again with Erb crossing the start/finish line first to take the lead. 

“At the drop of the green they spun the tires and I drove in between them,” Erb said. “Then Rusty bummed the cushion, and it was still kind of crumby and greasy so I turned and left pretty good and then in (Turns) 1 and 2 kind of same thing, I just bummed in there with [Schlenk] and when he came out of sight I just started easing up and felt him on my quarter panel and drove off.” 

Once he got by Schlenk, Erb began to set the pace around the 1/4-mile oval and was over a second ahead of second-place English with 10 laps-to-go. On Lap 23, Erb started to hit lapped traffic, allowing English to get closer on the high side, but he never got close enough to challenge Erb as he drove the Best Performance Motorsports No. 1 away and finished over a half-second ahead of English. 

“I knew at some point the top would be good,” Erb said. “The way the shape of the track is, you can kind of see who’s behind you, so in traffic I moved up and I feel like I could’ve drove a lot harder and I just didn’t feel the need to. 

“Tanner is a good racer. If he would’ve showed me a nose we would’ve raced hard, and I don’t know what would’ve happened but it didn’t get to that and it was a good night.” 

Along with his runner-up finish, English took home the Week 4 points title after winning twice and finishing in the top-five four times during the week. Before the week began, it had been two years since English had won a Hell Tour race, and this week, he proved he can still win at the highest level. 

“We’ve definitely been struggling and we turned it around,” English said. “Really last week was when we turned it around but this week, we really capitalized on it. We had some really good competition and I think we’ve all stepped our game up and everybody is getting better.” 

UP NEXT 

The fifth and final week of competition in the 39th DIRTcar Summer Nationals begins Tuesday, July 9, with a visit to Shadyhill Speedway in Medaryville, IN, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals. 

Tickets for all five events in Week 5 will be on sale at each track on race day. If you can’t make it to the track to watch in person, stream every lap live on DIRTVision

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view results here) 

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1-Tyler Erb[4]; 2. 96-Tanner English[3]; 3. 27M-Rodney Melvin[13]; 4. 8-Dillon McCowan[15]; 5. 91-Rusty Schlenk[1]; 6. 50-Ryan Missler[2]; 7. 42-Chad Finley[9]; 8. 75-Daniel Adam[10]; 9. 99-Dylan Thompson[5]; 10. 28B-Carson Brown[16]; 11. 51-Devin Shiels[12]; 12. 10J-Jordan Bauer[17]; 13. 15-Clayton Stuckey[8]; 14. S21-Seth Daniels[6]; 15. 8A-Rob Anderzack[14]; 16. 71R-Rod Conley[21]; 17. 49-Billy Green[11]; 18. 2-Charlie Cole[24]; 19. 33AJ-Austin Lay[23]; 20. 16-Rusty Griffaw[20]; 21. 38-Thomas Hunziker[22]; 22. 30-Mark Voigt[19]; 23. 1M-Connor Meade[18]; 24. 33-Kye Blight[7] 

Trent Young Outduels Lucas Lee in Closing Laps to Win Summit Modifieds at Tri-State 

With two laps-to-go, Trent Young said, “I knew I had to go for it.” 

Coming out Turn 4 on Lap 24, Young ripped the high side around Turns 3 and 4 behind race-leader Lucas Lee and Austin Wayne-Self and decided to put his car between both. As Young was splitting the two cars, Self slid up the track and made contact with the rear of Young’s car and spun on the frontstretch. Before the yellow flag was thrown, Young had nosed ahead of Lee at the start/finish line to take the lead for the upcoming restart. 

Now, all Young had to do was survive a green-white-checkered finish. He did just that, getting a great jump on the restart and taking the checkered flag for his second DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals win in three days. 

“I had the car to do it, I just hadn’t got the opportunity,” Young, of Crofton, KY, said. “I got stuck on the bottom every restart and just had to fall in line and the last one just worked out. Lucas knew the other car was pressuring him, so he wasn’t looking for me on the top, he was looking for him and I just used that to my advantage.” 

For most of the race, Young stayed patient around the high side of the 1/4-mile oval, swapping between fourth and fifth place until on a Lap 21 restart, he made his way to third with his sights set on Self and Lee. 

The next circuit around, Self tried a slider on Lee, but Lee crossed it over coming out of Turn 2 and down the backstretch. The intense battle Lee and Self were having allowed Young to get closer as he got to the tail of Self out of Turn 4. 

Once Young got close enough, he tried a slider on Self out of Turn 2, but Self crossed it over. Then coming out of Turn 4, Young got even with Self and took the runner-up spot from him at the start/finish line. 

After taking the second spot on Lap 24, Young jumped the cushion in Turn 1, allowing Self to get ahead of him on the bottom. Going down the backstretch, Young gained momentum on the outside before he made the winning move coming out of Turn 4. 

“I just kept trying to bide my time,” Young said. “I knew I was pretty fast and they was getting really wild in the top three or four so I kind of just wanted to ride and see how it played out. I got stuck on the bottom on every restart and just had to fall in line.” 

UP NEXT 

The final week of the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals starts Tuesday, July 9 at Shadyhill Speedway in Medaryville, IN, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models. 

Tickets will be on sale at the gate and if you can’t watch it in person, catch all the action on DIRTVision. 

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view results here) 

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 10Y-Trent Young[3]; 2. 12L-Lucas Lee[1]; 3. 95K-Levi Kissinger[5]; 4. 16C-John Clippinger[22]; 5. 50-Tyler Weiss[6]; 6. 55-Justin Jones[8]; 7. 67-Chris Moore[13]; 8. 35S-Zach Fair[9]; 9. 94-Austin Rettig[15]; 10. 54-Zachary Hawk[18]; 11. 69L-Josh Lemke[10]; 12. 1L-Mike Lentz[14]; 13. 91K-Cody Kibby[17]; 14. 3F-Rob Fuqua[19]; 15. 11-Brian Ashby[12]; 16. 23Z-Austin Wayne Self[7]; 17. 24-Jarod Deckard[21]; 18. 787-Cody Zobrist[16]; 19. 81C-Christopher Cole[4]; 20. 3G-Bryce Graber[20]; 21. 7-Mark Lamont[2]; 22. 14-Dalton Lane[11] 

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