Tyler Erb, Mike McKinney Win Summer Nationals Openers at Peoria Speedway

In his first race out on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals in 2024, Tyler Erb made a clear statement to his competition Wednesday night – he didn’t come to play games.

Erb, 27, of New Waverly, TX, won his fifth career Summer Nationals Feature in dominant fashion, leading all 30 laps. He started on the outside pole next to Dennis Erb Jr., ripped the high side around the banked 1/4-mile bullring on Lap 1 to snatch the lead, and never looked back as he raced to his first win on the Hell Tour in nearly two years.

“It feels good, it’s what it’s supposed to be,” Erb said. “When you do everything right that’s how it’s supposed to go. A lot of nights it doesn’t go like that so you gotta be happy when things go your way.”

After making only two appearances on the Hell Tour in the past two seasons due to his national tour commitments, Erb and the Best Performance Motorsports team recently decided not to continue down the same path for 2024 and instead settled on a pick-and-choose schedule for the rest of the season. They soon added the first week of Summer Nationals to their docket and set out on the road for Illinois.

When deciding where next to race, it was simple for Erb.

“I like the Hell Tour, I like the racetracks,” he said.

Erb grabbed the lead on the opening lap and was forced to execute multiple clean restarts as the caution flag flew twice in the first seven laps. With past Summer Nationals champions Erb Jr. and Jason Feger behind him, Erb got the jump he needed to keep his lead.

“Racing a lot, I feel like I’m a seasoned veteran and that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Erb said. “Restarts is just another aspect of the race and you gotta make good decisions to be able to restart and maintain the lead.”

The race’s final caution came on Lap 7 and after maintaining his lead on the restart, Erb started to build his lead on the rest of the field. Erb Jr. kept pace with the leader in the early going but Erb soon found his groove around the track, using the top, middle and bottom lanes to open a gap of over two seconds in the second half of the race.

“[Turns] 1 and 2 after the first couple of laps I pretty much knew where to be,” Erb said. “[Turns] 3 and 4 I wasn’t sure and then I seen the [infield] tires get pushed in and I just made the decision that I was gonna enter as low as possible and if somebody got a run they would have to cross me over.”

Despite catching lapped traffic on Lap 18, Erb maintained his gap on Erb Jr. and the rest of the field, weaving inside and outside of the slower cars. He kept it clean in the final laps and crossed under the checkered flag to collect the $5,000 grand prize.

Aside from the dominance of Erb, five-time Hell Tour champion Bobby Pierce had to start from 16th on the grid after falling short of a transfer spot in his Heat. Pierce won the Consolation Race and worked his way up to eighth place by the end of the race.


The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models next head for Kankakee County Speedway on Thursday, June 13, for another $5,000-to-win program, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate. If you can’t be there, stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1-Tyler Erb[2]; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[1]; 3. 8-Dillon McCowan[6]; 4. 25-Jason Feger[3]; 5. 33-Kye Blight[4]; 6. 27-Rodney Melvin[8]; 7. T2-Brayton Wallace[12]; 8. 32-Bobby Pierce[16]; 9. 25W-Allen Weisser[18]; 10. 96-Tanner English[17]; 11. 22*-Max McLaughlin[14]; 12. 4G-Bob Gardner[11]; 13. 38J-Jake Little[10]; 14. 14JR-Trey Mills[15]; 15. 58-Tyler Clem[22]; 16. 38-Thomas Hunziker[19]; 17. 17-Andy Clark[21]; 18. D1-Turk Letizia[13]; 19. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck[5]; 20. 187-David McCoy[7]; 21. 30-Mark Voigt[9]; 22. 4D-Doug Tye[20]

Mike McKinney Wins 14th Annual Summit Modified Season Opener at Peoria

There’s a reason why Mike McKinney is currently the No. 1-ranked DIRTcar UMP Modified driver in the nation, and he showed exactly why Wednesday night at Peoria Speedway.

McKinney, 31, of Plainfield, IL, kicked off competition in the 14th annual DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals with a win, taking command on Lap 7 of the 25-lap Feature and leading the rest of the way unchallenged for his 19th career victory with the series.

“I’ve won a lot of these now, fortunately, and this is my first Peoria one, so it feels good to finally check that one off,” McKinney said. “I feel like I’ve been close a couple times, and it’s cool to add this one to the list, for sure. I’ve always enjoyed coming here.”

It was McKinney’s fourth Feature win of the year in his 20th DIRTcar-sanctioned start. He currently leads the nation in points accumulated – a vital part of his chase for his first UMP Modified national points championship.

“That’s my ultimate goal, for sure,” McKinney said. “I’ve ran second three times now, and I’d love to get one now. Not even just for me, I want to get this one for my dad.”

At the drop of the green, third-starting McKinney was forced to contend for the lead with 16-year-old polesitter Manix Furqueron, who led through the first six laps. While Furqueron survived several restarts in that span, he was unable to hold McKinney off on the race’s final restart on Lap 7 as McKinney slid under him in Turn 4 in a bid for the lead.

“I could see he was kinda missing the corner entry a little bit,” McKinney said. “I just needed the race to play-out; we’d go half a lap and then get a yellow. I was as patient as I could be, and I knew the longer we went, eventually he’d make a mistake. He eventually washed-up and allowed me to get under him there and drive away.”

He raced Furqueron down the frontstretch and completed the pass in Turn 1 and never looked back, stretching his lead out over runner-up Charles Hess to over six seconds by the checkered flag.

Trevor Neville crossed the finish line third, Hunt Gossum in fourth while Furqueron faded back to fifth.


The Summit Modifieds return to action with a visit to Kankakee County Speedway on Thursday, June 13, racing alongside the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Models.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate on race day. If you can’t be there, stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 96M-Mike McKinney[3]; 2. 97-Charles Hess[7]; 3. 777-Trevor Neville[8]; 4. 99-Hunt Gossum[9]; 5. 74M-Manix Furqueron[1]; 6. 12L-Lucas Lee[10]; 7. 54-Zachary Hawk[15]; 8. 27-Michael Turner[17]; 9. 135-Austin Simpson[21]; 10. 25-Greg Belyea[16]; 11. 73-Mark Rhoades[18]; 12. (DNF) 14-Dalton Lane[20]; 13. (DNF) 05-Dave Wietholder[4]; 14. (DNF) 150-Collin Alexander[5]; 15. (DNF) 18L-Michael Long[6]; 16. (DNF) 24-Zeke McKenzie[13]; 17. (DNF) 17D-Degan Dozard[12]; 18. (DNF) 1-Nash Hilmes[14]; 19. (DNF) 5P-Nicholas Porter[19]; 20. (DNF) 242-Evan Fink[11]; 21. (DNF) 37L-Michael Ledford[2]

DIRTcar Series PR