Bobby Pierce hitting his stride at the right time

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Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce picked up his fourth win of the 2022 season on Saturday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway in his home state and it was his biggest so far in this current campaign. The Oakwood, Illinois driver earned $30,000 for his efforts in the MARS Racing Series-sanctioned event. And to do it, he had to beat out one of the top stars in Dirt Late Model racing and the same driver who had topped him in a hard fought affair on that same track in the 2019 Prairie Dirt Classic.

But this past weekend it was Pierce’s turn to come out on top as he fought off a late bid by Brandon Sheppard to be the first under the checkered flag after 60 laps on the popular quarter-mile clay oval. Like the 2019 PDC, Sheppard went low going into the final set of turns coming to the finish line. But unlike that race, Pierce did not wind up getting squeezed into the outside wall.

Over the closing laps of the MARS feature at FALS, Pierce worked furiously to hold off the competition and secure the win. But while racing among the similarly colored cars of Sheppard and Dennis Erb Jr. as well as the lapped machine of Tanner English, there was some confusion in the heat of the moment.

“The problem was there was Erb, Sheppard and English all with blue noses so I didn’t know who was on my inside,” Pierce explained in the Fairbury victory lane. “I was a nervous wreck because of that. When I jumped the cushion I thought it was whoever was in second but it was Tanner but then I knew whoever was in second had to be on my ass.”

The final laps of Saturday’s feature brought back memories for Pierce.

“Thanks to Brandon leaving me room, one time it was a good job there, flashbacks to the PDC, but this time he left me a little room luckily because I probably would have stayed right in the gas and it wouldn’t have been pretty so thanks to him for doing that.”

Pierce pointed out that the result of that race was the culmination of a great deal of work. It was something that had been building. After a weekend in which he had earned first and second place finishes with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series at Wisconsin’s Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Dairyland Showdown preliminary events, the No. 32 Bob Pierce Race Cars team headed for Spoon River Speedway.

The 25-year-old driver was in position to win the FloRacing Night in America feature at the Banner, Illinois track until he spun late in the race while running second. Pierce followed that up by being fastest in his qualifying group at FALS then winning his heat before claiming the feature trophy.

“We’ve worked so hard this week, thanks to my crew,” he stated. “I made a bonehead move at Spoon falling off the track and cost us a good finish. I haven’t qualified well the last two nights and felt like I was just stepping on us so tonight we redeemed ourselves. We were first all night which is just awesome. This is my biggest win of the year.”

Pierce believes the Illinois SpeedWeek races of last week could very well serve as a sign of things to come for this team.

“Definitely. I think we kind of hit our stride last night(Farmer City- finished 4th). We found a good setup that works for this car. Some cars might be a little different, but I think we found one that works really well and I’m happy with it. The track was also awesome tonight. That bottom probably went away but these fans love seeing cushion banging, wall riding, just give it your all at the end, and me and Sheppard were doing that.”

Pierce will be back in action on Wednesday night(May 18) in Iowa to test whether or not his team is hitting its stride in a $22,022-to-win FloRacing Night in America event at the Marshalltown Speedway. With summer approaching and the many high paying races that will go with it, this is the perfect time for the former World 100, North-South 100 and Silver Dollar Nationals winner to be at the top of his game.

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Sheldon Haudenschild outduels Larson for WoO Sprints win at Bridgeport

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