By Tyson Graves
Photo: Mike Ruefer
Tampa, FL (January 29, 2021) – It is no news that Tyler Erb wears his emotions on his sleeve. Tyler is not one to hold back how he feels about any situation. The hard driving Erb has had his share of success and his share of controversy. So fans love him, so fans hate him. One thing is for certain everyone usually has their eyes on the youngster from Waverly, TX.
It started back several years ago when Tyler Erb came to the Fairbury Speedway for the annual Prairie Dirt Classic event. During B-Main action he drove it deep into turn one and made contact with Ryan Unzicker that took both out of the event and left Unzicker on his lid. Many people uttered the words “What were you thinking?”
Erb landed his ride with the Best Motorsports team a couple seasons ago and there was instant success during speedweeks. He won events at Golden Isles and East Bay. Tyler has won many races since then on the Lucas tour, the Summer Nationals and more. But along the way Tyler has also made some enemies or had some run ends on the track with his fellow competitors. Contact on the race track is inevitable at times and is part of racing but his recent outbursts and retaliations on the track leaves fans divided on the thought of the young Erb.
Last summer at Cedar Lake Tyler had a run in with fellow competitor Bobby Pierce that ended with Erb driving backwards around the track and running his car up the nose of Pierce. An Outlaw official and Bob Pierce Sr ended up on the track and being nearly thrown to the ground by a speeding off Erb. This resulted in Casey Shuman, the World of Outlaws director physically taking the steering wheel away and having Erb escorted from the property. This led to a social media storm of reactions to post race interviews and a line of T-shirts from Erb about meeting at truck stops.
After his outburst at Cedar Lake came fines, a suspension from all World Racing Group events and requirement to take some anger management courses. Tyler recently tweeted a picture on social media showing his completion of a four hour anger management course. Tyler working on his path back to World of Outlaw and DIRTcar Racing competition.
But this week Tyler has made contact with several drivers on the track at East Bay. Whether these run ins have been racing deals or intentional by either driver is up to interpretation. But the past couple nights Mason Zeigler and Tyler Erb have found themselves near each other a lot on the speedway. Contact and bent sheet metal has escalated the tension between the two drivers.
That tension came to a head on Friday night in heat race five. Mason Zeigler who started back towards the rear of the heat drove his way through the field trying to get in a transfer spot. During the last two laps Zeigler put a slide job on Erb between turns three and four. The two drivers made contact as Zeigler slider did not clear Erb and doored into the side of the Best Motorsports machine. Zeigler would go on to transfer to the main event but Erb was left out to go to a B-Main. On the cool down lap Erb stormed around the race track an drove into the door of the #25 machine of Mason Zeigler. Immediately the Lucas Oil officials announced over the radio that Erb was disqualified and parked for the night. This once again stirred a social media storm of people who love and hate Tyler Erb.
Where do you stand with the call Lucas Oil made Friday night? Agree or disagree it is going to make for a fun next few races as we watch things unfold. Is Tyler Erb out of line? Are we overreacting? The jury is still out but one thing is certain, rivalries are good for our sport. But where is the line on let the boys be boys and the safety of everyone in the sport. Does Tyler Erb have a problem? Only time will tell.