When Tyler Erb won three of the first four Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races this year, he put the dirt late model world on notice.
Erb, who joined the Best Performance Motorsports team during the offseason after previously driving his family’s equipment, is here and he’s here to say.
“I’m living the dream,” said the 22-year-old from New Waverly, Texas.
It’s been a fairly quick rise to prominence for Erb, who started racing street stocks when he was 15 years old.
“My dad used to race and I would go to the races with him and help and watch at our local race tracks in Houston, Texas,” Erb recalled. “My dad had a late model at the time and another guy, Robbie Starnes, drove it a little bit.”
After spending a little time racing street stocks, Erb moved to a limited modified for six months before an opportunity presented itself for him to step into his dad’s late model.
“The guy who was driving (dad’s car) at the time, he just got to where he wasn’t working on it as much and he got busy with other things,” Erb explained. “My dad asked me if I wanted to race it one weekend and I said sure, that’s fine.
“He would go race with the late model and me and my mom would go race by ourselves, so when we could all go race together it was pretty cool.”
For the next few years, Erb ran 20 or 30 races each season, racing mostly with the regional Southern United Professional Racing Series, otherwise known as SUPR. After he graduated from high school, Erb expanded his schedule and began traveling more around the country.
“The year I graduated high school I got to go racing a little bit more,” said Erb. “I went to my first week of Summer Nationals, kind of traveled to the bigger races and stuff. The next year I went to Florida. I didn’t have school, I was just starting college, so I talked them (his parents) into letting me go to Speedweeks down there.”
In 2016, Erb committed to the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series schedule. It was a rough season as he earned one top-five finish and posted 10 top-10 results while finishing 12th in points.
He made another go at the World of Outlaws schedule in 2017 and his results improved dramatically. Erb scored 10 top-five finishes and collected 25 top-10 efforts, leading to a solid sixth-place championship effort.
Despite those solid numbers, Erb remained winless on the WoO LMS tour.