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

Tyler Carr Photo

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.

Schlenk (91), Erb (1) and English (96) going three-wide. (Tyler Carr Photo)

“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.

English (96) challenging Erb (1) near the end of the race. (Tyler Carr Photo)

“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]

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