Tyler Speer Building Towards Multiple Drag Boat Titles

Tyler Speer Building Towards Multiple Drag Boat Titles

The following is reprinted with permission from the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger News.

By Alex Resnak

Early in his career, Woodstock native Tyler Speer has already shown he can hold his own in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series, but this year, he has emerged as one of the top drivers in the world.

This season, Speer has positioned himself for a chance to win championships in two different divisions, leading the Top Fuel Hydro division by 106 points and leading the Pro Outlaw division by 112 points with two races to go.

“It’s been a crazy ride,” Speer said. “Obviously, you come into the season wanting to win, but we’ve had a lot of things break right for us this year. We just want to keep it going and finish it out.”

The pressure of trying to bring home a pair of titles will mount as the season comes to a close, but Speer does have experience closing out a championship season.

In 2016, he won the Pro Modified division, and he said the lessons learned staying on top during that run has helped him this season.

“It comes down to preparation,” Speer said. “We’re making small changes every race, just trying to get our times down. We spend hours and hours in the shop for just a few seconds out there actually racing. It comes down to everyone doing their jobs. It takes some luck too, but you have to put in the work to make sure you’re ready for it.”

Speer, who is the only driver to compete regularly in both divisions, will have an extra challenge to pull off the double, though, as he tries to navigate the difference in his two boats.

His team has worked to make those adjustments as small as possible, though, and it has paid off.

“It’s different the way they launch,” Speer said. “We work on both, so you get to a pretty good feel for them. We even changed the capsules, so they’re almost the same with where the switches are and everything.”

While Speer has risen to the top of the standing in both divisions, that was not the original plan.

Speer originally planned to compete full time in the Pro Outlaw division, run a few races in the Top Fuel Hydro circuit and continue racing ARCA cars, but some early success changed that.

“We were going to get back into the cars, but we were doing so well,” Speer said. “We won the first two races, and (boat owner Robert Montgomery) said we couldn’t pull out now. We’re running on limited resources, so we didn’t want to spread ourselves too thin and take our eye off the ball. I’m definitely not done racing cars, though.”

Though limited resources may have limited what Speer can do outside the series, it is also part of what he said has made this season so special.

His team remains a family operation, and while he has added to it in recent years, he said having a relatively inexperienced team has also been an advantage.

“It’s just a small, family operation still,” he said. “We meet some fans who are big gearheads who kind of become part of the team. We’re all kind of learning together. We’re picking up the details together. We don’t have the most experience, but I like that. We’re more careful with stuff, and we don’t have the bad habits you can pick up over time.”