2019 A Good Start For Tyler Erb & Best Performance

PHOTOS: Lucas Late Models Debut
Tyler Erb (1) battles Hudson O'Neal during a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Kokomo Speedway. (Jim DenHamer photo)

CONCORD, N.C. – Tyler Erb knew his start to the 2019 season wasn’t sustainable.

Erb, in his first season driving for Best Performance Motorsports, opened his season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by earning three victories in the first four races at Georgia’s Golden Isles Speedway and Florida’s East Bay Raceway Park.

The driver from New Waverly, Texas, didn’t finish outside the top-10 with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series until mid-April, but slowly his performance began to dip over the following weeks and months.

“It started out as good as it possibly could,” Erb recalled when discussing the start to his season. “We won the first race, won three of the first four and never ran out of the top-five for the first 10 or 15 nights. It’s not that we fell off, we came back to Earth.

“It’s not very often you get on a hot streak like a lot of those guys can do. JD (Jonathan Davenport) does it, Shepp (Brandon Sheppard) does, Scott (Bloomquist) has done it before, (Chris) Madden had a little streak. It’s just part of racing. It’s not easy to be the guy to beat every single night.”

Tyler Erb celebrates after winning Thursday's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Tri-City Speedway. (Don Figler Photo)
Tyler Erb celebrates after winning a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at Tri-City Speedway. (Don Figler Photo)

Erb said he and Best Performance reached a low point in late July during events at Missouri’s Lucas Oil Speedway and I-80 Speedway in Kansas. At Lucas Oil Speedway during the Diamond Nationals the team struggled for speed, earning finishes of 16th and 21st.

A week later the struggles continued at I-80 Speedway, with Erb and company registering finishes of 15th and 25th on consecutive nights during the Silver Dollar Nationals.

“When we went to Wheatland and I-80 is when we had kind of our worst little stretch,” Erb said. “It wasn’t that we were slow. At I-80 I broke running third in a 100-lap race. Just a lot of bad things kind of all happened at once.”

After that low point, Erb said he and the team got back to work and put together several strong performances, which included a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series triumph at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway in September.

Erb and Best Performance ended the year with seven victories – six with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and a victory with the American Ethanol Late Model Tour at LaSalle Speedway in March.

When the team rolled into The Dirt Track at Charlotte in November for the Can-Am World Finals, Erb said he and the team were experimenting in an effort to get a leg up on the 2020 season.

“If we don’t try stuff now, when we go to Florida it’ll be hard to start over and try different things because we were so good,” Erb said.

The goal for next year is for Erb and company to improve upon the fourth-place finish he earned in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season standings this year. He plans to be back at Best Performance Motorsports next year and he see’s no reason why he and the team can’t be among the best in the country for the second-straight year.

“I think this was the best season we could have,” Erb said. “I let a lot of races kind of slide that I think we were in contention to win and I made a mistake or we had a flat tire or something like that. You’ll have that. For our first year with everybody being together, me driving for Eric (Brock) and everything with Randall (Edwards) and Colby.

“I think we had, for sure, out of everyone that races late models, I think we were definitely in the top-10 all year. Nothing to hang our heads about. It just gives us goals for next year.”