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gateway dec17In a season with many come from the back finishes, Bobby added another one Saturday night under the dome in St. Louis as he charged from his 12th starting position to capture a fourth place finish in this historic weekend of indoor racing. He had to fight from the back throughout the weekend as he qualified 74th out of the 97 cars on hand Thursday. On Friday, he failed to advance out of his heat race so he had to play the alphabet soup game. He won the C-Main from the pole advancing to the B-Main where he started 17th. He advanced 12 spots to get fifth and put himself into the A-Main. Starting 18th, he grabbed a 12th place finish in the 25-lap preliminary race. On Saturday, Bobby had to run a B-Main to advance into the big show. He started and finished second to move into the $20,000 to win main event. -- Brendon Bauman Photo

new zealand dec3Starting on the pole of the 25-lap BK Pro Dirt Series feature Saturday night at Robertson Holden (NZ), Bobby parked the #32USA Super Saloon in victory lane in only his second start! In heat race action, Bobby drove from sixth to third in his first heat, and finished second in his other heat after starting fifth. A successful trip to NZ for Team 32 with a win and a runner-up finish! -- Focal Photo

new zealand nov26Rebounding from a broken front suspension in his heat race, Bobby showed the fans in New Zealand what we in America have seen a lot...charging from the back to the front! Starting 12th, he worked his way up to second at the finish. A solid debut in the Super Saloon in his first of three races in NZ. -- Focal Photo

florence oct22Taking the lead on lap 13 of the 50-lap Fall 50 Saturday night at Florence, Bobby dominated the remaining distance to score the $5,000 victory, his 24th feature win of the season. "I think we've got something figured out here," Pierce said. "Going through the race, I was thinking of the different driving styles here...I like a track like, the Kings, they do a great job, and everyone here. This used to be one of my least favorite tracks because I was never really good here, but then I started getting the hang of it and I really like it now." -- Roy Walker Photo

lucasoil oct8For the second consecutive night, Bobby had to come from the back and this time he was able to complete the rally as he captured the $5,000 MLRA Fall Nationals Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. He started 18th after winning one of the last chance races and took the lead with two laps to go in the 50-lap main event. "I'm glad we were one spot better tonight", Bobby said, referring to his 16th to second run Friday night. "It's been a crazy year so far. We have a couple of races left and hopefully we can get some more wins." -- Chris Bork Photo

Bobby charged from his 16th starting position to grab a runner-up finish Friday night in the opener of the MLRA Fall Nationals two-night event at Lucas Oil Speedway. He passed for second with two laps to go in the 40-lap race and a caution would then fly setting up a two-lap shootout. He was unable to overtake the leader, settling for a close second, only 0.279 seconds back. "This was a lot of fun," Bobby said. "The track was very raceable at the top. I like coming here. I'm glad with the run we had starting back."

tricity sep24Bobby swept the Tri-City tripleheader Saturday night as he scored the $3,000 win. He was fast qualifier in his group, won his heat race, and started fourth in the main event. -- STLRacing Photo

Bobby nabbed his second consecutive win at Tri-City on Friday night. The victory worth $2,500 was his 21st of the season. He started fifth in the feature after winning his heat race.

Making his second ever trip to Knoxville and first since 2012, Bobby started 10th in Saturday night's Knoxville Nationals feature and notched a podium finish in third after the 100-lap crown jewel event. “I can’t say enough about the car. We started to get tight there at the end. It was really fun out there. I fell way back for a while. We got lucky here and there. Some guys fell out with fuel issues. I don’t think I have any fuel left in the car right now. I would like to thank Berger Marina for coming on board this weekend helping us with a motor.”

eldora sep10Bobby reached the pinnacle of the sport Saturday night by winning the 46th Annual World 100 at Eldora! Starting 22nd, he quickly charged through the field entering the top five by lap 25, then took the lead on the 56th lap and led the rest of the way becoming the youngest winner in the history of the crown jewel event.

“I’ve won some big races, and this is by far the biggest win,” Pierce said in victory lane with his father and chassis builder Bob, mother Angie, sister Ciara and girlfriend Maddy after his $49,000 victory in Dirt Late Model racing’s biggest event. It means the world. I kind of dreamed of this day, and when I cross the finish line, am I going to have tears coming out of my eyes or what. But I didn’t … I didn’t, because I think it’s going to take a while to sink in. Like I don’t even think I won it yet. To win it for (my family) is awesome." His father Bob came so close to winning this race many times in his Hall of Fame career. He finally gets to hoist the globe trophy in victory lane with his son, not as a driver but as a proud dad. -- Heath Lawson Photo

eldora sep9Rebounding from a broken fan blade that knocked him out of a transfer spot in Thursday night's heat race at Eldora, Bobby took the lead on the 21st lap of Friday night's 25-lap feature and pulled away by over three seconds as he grabbed the $10,000 World 100 preliminary night victory. He went from fourth to first between laps 19-21 in a wild four-car duel for the lead.

“I’ve just got to give a big hand to my crew and my dad and everyone that works on the car,” Pierce said. “I think they kind of won the race for me with the choices they made for the feature. Me and Devin (Moran) racing for the lead like that is always fun. We had an amazing race for the lead with all four of those cars out there.” -- Heath Lawson Photo

i55 aug27Bobby started fourth Saturday night at I-55 and took the lead on the sixth lap and never looked back as he captured the $5,000 MARS DIRTcar Series feature by 3.4 seconds. -- STLRacing Photo

lincoln aug25Bobby wrapped up his UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals championship run as he picked up his eleventh tour win and a $5,000 payday Thursday night at Lincoln. He finished the series tour with 11 wins, 19 top fives, and 21 top tens in 23 races. -- Brendon Bauman Photo

florence aug13Add crown jewel winner to Bobby's list of accomplishments!! Starting 16th, Bobby took the lead on the 91st lap and led the rest of the way to score his biggest career win Saturday night in the $50,000 to win North/South 100 at Florence! To capture his richest victory in front of family and friends makes this triumph even sweeter. He joins his dad on the list of winners of this prestigious event as Bob was victorious in 1999.

“A lot of guys gave me plenty of room tonight," Pierce said. "I passed Billy Moyer and then later Scott Bloomquist for the win. I just don’t know what to say; to win a crown jewel at a track that I haven’t raced a lot is really cool. I can’t even put into words what I’m feeling right now. Between the $50,000 and just the whole history of this place and the race and the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame being here and everything. It’s just crazy. A big shout out to Bob Pierce Race Cars, Advanced Suspension, Pro Power Engines, Champion Spark Plugs, Allgayer Inc., Hoosier, VP, and all the other sponsors who make it work.” -- Heath Lawson Photo

Bobby charged from the 18th starting position to finish fourth Thursday at the $30,000 to win Lucas Oil Series Latham Memorial race at Florence. He battled for the runner-up spot for most of the last 25 laps of the 75-lap event before getting passed for third on the final lap.

Bobby started seventh at the USA Nationals Saturday night at Cedar Lake. He stayed inside the top ten throughout the 100-lap race and made a late charge to grab the fourth position at the finish of the $50,000 to win crown jewel event. On Thursday night, Bobby advanced from the 19th starting spot to finish seventh in a World of Outlaws preliminary event.

Bobby's father Bob is tied for the most wins in the prestigious Prairie Dirt Classic with five. Saturday night at Fairbury, Bobby looked to join his dad on the list of winners of one of the biggest races in his home state. It all started Friday with qualifying and heat races. Qualifying mid-pack in his group, Bobby was running in the transfer spot in his heat race when the cushion bit him and knocked the front end out. Struggling to keep pace, he lost the transfer spot which put him in the Last Chance Showdown Saturday. Starting on the front row of the 18-car Showdown, Bobby took the second and final transfer spot to advance into the Classic. Starting 22nd in the 100-lap race, the Smooth Operator decided to take on the cushion once more as he blasted forward at the drop of the green flag. Running the high side masterfully, he advanced all the way up to fifth when the first caution flew with 60 laps to go. Five laps later, he was in second looking for the lead as the crowd was in a frenzy! Two laps later, disaster struck as something in the front end broke and he got into the turn four wall, rolling over and what looked like a great chance to win came to a screeching halt as he was done for the night as his banged up car was helped off the track with a pair of wreckers.

macon jul26Taking the lead on the third lap, Bobby led the rest of the way but had to fend off intense pressure late to score the $12,000 Lucas Oil Series victory Tuesday night at Macon Speedway. He built up a straightaway lead in the first 50 laps but the second 50 proved to be challenging as he lost power steering and had to wrestle his car to hang on to the top spot. “We lost our power steering there at one point, I was worn out," Pierce said. "I was tight at the beginning of the race but the car was great. Thanks to Champion Spark Plugs, Allgayer Inc., Advanced Shocks, RPM Services, Keyser, AR Bodies, Ted Brown, Pro Power Engines, and of course, Bob Pierce Race Cars. A big thanks to the fans for coming out, they saw a heck of a race.” This was Bobby's third career Lucas Oil Series win. -- Heath Lawson Photo

eldora jul20Bobby led 102 of the first 118 laps in Wednesday night's Dirt Derby NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway but clutch problems and later a cut tire derailed any chance of winning his first NASCAR national series event. Making just his seventh career truck start, Bobby jumped out to nearly a five second lead at one point from his pole starting spot and appeared to have the truck to beat. But during a caution with 31 laps to go, he radioed to his team that his shifter was stuck in fourth gear. That made it nearly impossible to get up to speed on the ensuing restart and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson took advantage as he took the lead away. Bobby still had one last chance as he dived underneath Larson with 25 to go going into turn three hoping to slide in front of him to retake the lead. Unfortunately, Bobby got into the corner a little too hard and the truck didn't stick as good as he hoped and he bounced off the wall resulting in a right rear flat tire ending his once-promising night.

“Hate that we got knocked out of this race,” said Pierce. “We had a good truck but once I lost fourth gear it was just a handful and finally we lost a tire and our night was over. But still had such a great time and thankful to have a chance to be here.” A disappointing ending to another impressive run. People knew Bobby was there, hopefully some of those are sponsors so he can continue to get opportunities to impress on a NASCAR national series stage. -- Brian Lawdermilk Photo

summer nationals championBobby was crowned the 2016 UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals Champion Saturday night at Oakshade! He finished the tour with 11 wins, 19 top fives, and 21 top tens in 23 races. He became just the fifth driver in tour history to reach double figures in wins in a single season. “It’s been a great Hell Tour,” Pierce said. “It’s really cool to do it again. There’s a lot of competition with this series, and venturing out to other places … not only did we win the championship, but we ran really good at a lot of tracks that I’m not really used to running at. I’m pretty proud of the team and everyone who helped us out.” -- Jim DenHamer Photo

quincy jul10Bobby became just the fifth driver in Summer Nationals history to reach the double figure mark in single season victories with his tenth win Sunday night at Quincy. Taking the lead in turn two on the opening lap, Bobby held off the competition and pulled away late to win by nearly 2.5 seconds. “It was a different Quincy Raceway tonight … they kind of refigured the racetrack and made it a lot less banked. It was really bottom dominant,” Pierce said. “When we took the lead that early, I was like, ‘All right, just settle down here and try to find a smooth line around the racetrack.’ And then once we kind of got rolling there … it got pretty simple to just stay down there and try not to make a little mistake, and it worked out for us.” -- Jim DenHamer Photo

macon jul7Inheriting the lead on lap 38, Bobby led the remaining distance, dominating the final laps to capture his ninth UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals victory of the season and first career Herald & Review 100 triumph Thursday at Macon. Bobby joins his father Bob on the winners list for this prestigious Illinois race. “That’s what it takes to get this many wins. You’ve got to have luck,” Pierce said. “You can be running first and break like (Kevin) Weaver did. He was super fast tonight. I was just kind of waiting for the track to slick off a little bit. I was just kind of bidding my time, but he was really fast. It was a great night." -- Jim DenHamer Photo

peoria jul6Bobby overtook Kevin Weaver on the ninth lap and led the rest of the way to capture his eighth Summer Nationals win of the season and 15th of his career Wednesday night at Peoria. With the victory, Bobby surpassed his father Bob on the all-time tour wins list. “It’s just so hard to pass here because you swing out to the wall," Pierce said. "If you’ve got a run on the top, then you always have to check up for the other person. I was trying to make a bottom lane work and (Weaver) got in there and washed up a little bit and got stuck behind the lapped car and I got under there. Peoria’s a racetrack where you’ve got to expect a lot of cars. I’m just glad we got another win. It’s really awesome. The car was great tonight.” -- Todd Battin Photo

lasalle jul4Starting 12th Monday night at LaSalle, Bobby utilized the bottom of the race track to quickly move up to second. With a lap and a half to go, Bob motioned Bobby to jump to the top and try to win it and the Hall of Famer's advice was the winning move as Bobby edged fellow Pierce Race Cars driver Kevin Weaver at the line to win his seventh Summer Nationals feature and a $5,000 payday. “It was such a close finish,” Pierce said. “Right when I moved up was when we were coming to the white flag on the backstretch. I went in (turn) three and had decent bite, just coming off I wasn’t as good as (Weaver). I got a good run off of (turn) four and dove down into (turn) one. “I got through (turns) one and two really good, so I was like, “Well … I might have a shot at him.’ Going into (turn) three we were almost dead even. The car just turned right around the corner and still maintained a lot of traction. Between that and just hauling it in there, that’s what won us the race. I think this was my first last-lap, last-corner pass to win the race." The victory was Bobby's 14th career Summer Nationals win tying Bob on the tour's all-time wins list. -- Todd Battin Photo

belleclair jun29Taking advantage when the leader bobbled out of turn two on the 35th lap, Bobby grabbed the lead away and controlled the rest of the 40-lapper for his sixth tour victory in the first 11 starts and a $5,000 payday Wednesday night at Belle-Clair. Having a 150-point advantage entering the night, he extended his lead in pursuit of a second straight Summer Nationals title. “I was just kind of being patient, waiting for him to hopefully do that," Pierce said, "and right when he did that, at the same time I had a heckuva run, and I just decided to take it right there, and luckily it paid off.” -- Jim DenHamer Photo

tristate jun26Coming out on top of a battle of slide jobs with Brandon Sheppard Sunday night at Tri-State, Bobby earned his fifth Summer Nationals victory in nine starts and a $5,000 payday. “Oh, man, that was probably one of the craziest races I’ve been in,” Pierce said. “Me and Sheppy were throwing some awesome sliders, and between lapped traffic and everything, it was just crazy. I know he was bouncing off the wall and everything trying to catch me, and I was doing the same thing trying to stay ahead of him, so it was just an awesome race.” Bobby won three out of the five races in the Heartland Tour week and collected enough points earning him a $2,000 prize, the second of five weekly miniseries within the tour.

tricity jun24Making his race winning move after a lap ten restart, Bobby dropped to the bottom groove as the track started to rubber up, passing Hall of Famer Billy Moyer and leading the rest of the way to collect his fourth Summer Nationals victory Friday night at Tri-City. “This was a Billy Moyer racetrack,” Pierce said, “and I kind of like watched him through the years and take everything that I see him doing, and try to convert it into my own (style) and go up against him like that, that’s really cool. The first five laps, me and him raced side-by-side, and it was honestly some of the most fun racing I’ve had.” -- Jim DenHamer Photo

jacksonville jun21Taking the lead on lap 14, Bobby cruised to his second straight Summer Nationals victory and third in the first five events Tuesday night at Jacksonville. He built up more than a half-lap advantage by lap 28 and was threatening to tear through a five-car battle for third place and lap nearly the entire field when a caution flag on lap 37 brought him back to the pack. “Man, it’s starting off really good,” said Pierce, who earned $5,000 for capturing Jacksonville’s Summer Nationals feature for the second consecutive year. “I just hope it keeps going.” -- Jim DenHamer Photo

wilmot jun19Taking the lead on the ninth circuit with a great move in lapped traffic, Bobby led the rest of the way and held on through several restarts to pick up the $5,000 Summer Nationals victory Sunday night at Wilmot, his second win in four starts and a great Father's Day gift for his dad. “I went in turn one and I thought I had more room than that,” Pierce said of the critical moment on lap nine. “By the time I got out from (Feger’s) spoiler I saw the corner was right there, so I was like, ‘Man, I hope I don’t go flying off the racetrack.’ But the car stuck right there on the cushion. “He was just getting bottled up behind all those (lapped) guys, and I knew I had to make my move in lapped traffic or else I would’ve had to get a really good run on him (in open track) … and I don’t think that would’ve happened. “That lapped traffic kind of helped me out because it made him go to the middle and then he hit that slick and I had the perfect line around the top and got around him,” he added. “The rest of the race it was just holding on and praying for the race to get over soon.” Bobby is the only driver with a top-five finish in all four events, giving him the early points lead and earning him a $2,000 prize for capturing the Northern Kickoff points race, the first of five weekly miniseries within the tour that concluded at Wilmot. -- Jim DenHamer Photo

Bobby charged from the back in both the consi and then the feature to score a top five finish Friday night at Cedar Lake's Summer Nationals event. While running second with three laps remaining in his heat race, smoke began to trail Bobby's car forcing him pitside. The team pulled out the backup car for the consi and in ten laps Bobby went from the back to third and he transferred to the feature. Starting 18th, he didn't stay there long as he climbed all the way to fourth at the checkers.

kankakee jun16Beginning his title defense Thursday night at Kankakee, Bobby took the lead on lap 26 and went on capture the 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals opener and the $5,000 top prize. He was fastest overall qualifier and won his heat race to complete the sweep. “A lot of times you’re searching for just one win throughout the tour, so to just get it out of the way as soon as possible is really cool,” said Pierce, whose single-season career-high victory total on the Summer Nationals came in 2013 when he won four races, including one at Kankakee. “Last year I won twice. The year before that I won only one. So starting off the year with a win is really good." -- Jim DenHamer Photo

Battling back from two separate incidents in the 100-lap Dream finale on Saturday night, Bobby finished 11th in his first career Dream race start. He started fifth in the feature event after winning his heat race by over five seconds. He fell back outside the top ten early and on lap 27 drew a caution as he slowed on the track. He went pitside to have his crew work on the car and he returned to the race. On lap 38, Bobby was involved in a multi-car pileup in turns one and two but was able to continue.

Rebounding from a disappointing finish Thursday night, Bobby qualified inside of the top ten on Friday for the second round of the Dream at Eldora setting up a second place heat race finish and fourth starting position in the $10,000 feature event. He moved up a spot during the course of the 25-lap race but never got close enough to take a crack at the lead. “We need to find a little bit more. The track was really nice tonight and it kind of fit my driving style with the top being there, and you could even go to the middle, too,” said Pierce. “We just need to get a little faster for tomorrow. Hopefully it’s a slick track, because our big motor got hurt the other day. We’re down to this and we’ll just see what we’ve got.”

The bad luck that potentially cost Bobby a win in the last crown jewel race continued Thursday during opening night of the Dream at Eldora. Starting tenth in the $5,000 to win preliminary feature, Bobby was charging to the front and was running fourth with four laps to go when the second place car blew a tire and slowed in front of him. With nowhere to go, Bobby sideswiped him and just like that his race was over. The team can take solace in the fact that the car is fast...just need to shake off the bad luck.

Chasing his first crown jewel victory Saturday night at the Show-Me 100, Bobby started 29th in the 30-car field after declining the $2,500 prize for winning the last chance race. "We're gonna put it in the show and try to win $30,000," Bobby said. He came within nine laps of possibly doing just that.

Bobby marched toward the front and by lap 44 he was in the top ten. Five laps later he was seventh. By lap 60 he was inside the top five in fourth. He moved to third on lap 66. Sliding inside of Bloomquist, Bobby took second on lap 85 and looked for the lead. Bloomquist rallied back and passed both Owens and Bobby to lead lap 91. Then on the same lap, Bloomquist spun sideways in turns one and two bringing out a caution and giving the lead to Bobby. Only nine more laps until Bobby could have his first crown jewel! But under caution Bobby slowed with a right-rear flat tire. He came home in sixth place after the 100-lap race.

fairbury may7Bobby put the fans at FALS into a frenzy Saturday night picking up the $10,000 victory in dramatic fashion. Starting ninth in the fifty-lap feature, he fell back to around 14th at one point early on. With green flag racing from the start, a caution would fly with twenty-six laps to go bunching the field up. After going back to green, Bobby's car came to life and he mounted a furious charge on the topside. He slid by Sheppard for fourth with 13 to go. Three laps later he powered by Moyer for third. With seven to go, he dropped down from his preferred top groove to the middle of the track and snuck by Erb down the backstretch for second. With five laps to go, he caught the leader (Pearson) and slid by him going into turns one and two. Pearson battled back into turns three and four as they ran side by side. Bobby took the lead for good as he crossed the line with four laps to go and led the rest of the way, winning by 1.6 seconds at the checkers.

“I honestly did not think we’d have a chance to win the race after starting ninth,” said Pierce, who registered his second triumph of the 2016 season driving his family-owned Pierce Race Car. “I knew if I could kind of get a break we’d have a chance to win it, but I wasn’t thinking we’d win that race.”

“Fairbury’s such a tight racetrack, and when it gets like that it’s so hard to pass,” Pierce said. “You have to have a lot of luck on your side. “We kind of had to just go where they weren’t, but it was kind of hard when my car was so fast up top.”

“It’s always just great racing,” Pierce said of another typically thrilling special event at Fairbury. “Whenever you can come from the fifth row and win a race, it just says a lot about the racetrack. Always fun to win at a place like Fairbury, where my Dad had so much success. I’ll be looking forward to the next time we come here.” -- Rocky Ragusa Photo

kansas may5Not even having had to replace an engine or running out fuel could put a damper on the teams enthusiasm after the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway. Bobby Pierce, making his debut on a mile and a half track, performed flawlessly. Working with spotter Coleman Pressley, Bobby continued to improve his performance in the #63 Vatterott College / Champion Oil Chevy with each lap he completed.

"This kid is so impressive. He's the real deal," says team owner Mike Mittler. "Bobby performed so much better than the results sheet will show. For never having driven on an intermediate track, he was unbelievable. He out-drove his equipment, that's for sure."

Add crew chief Trip Bruce, "Going to the back up engine cost us time on the track, as it didn't have the power our primary engine did. Knowing that, Bobby's lap times are even more impressive."

From the time green flag flew, Bobby, with guidance from Pressley, continued to adjust his line. As the race drew to a close, Pierce had found his groove and was turning the third fastest laps times on the track.

"I kept searching for traction," according to Pierce. "Once we found it, we were good. I was cautious at the beginning of the night, never having raced at Kansas or any track like it. After a while, Coleman and I figured out what we needed to do."

Unfortunately, the gas tank ran dry, a situation the #63 was not alone in. However, that did guarantee the team would not score a finish representative of how well Bobby drove.

"All in all it was a great day," notes Mittler. "Bobby was fantastic, it was the first race to have Vatterott College back on board with us and it was the debut for Champion Oil with our team. Both had people join us at the track and that's always great."

34 apr16Building up leads as much as a half-track margin, Bobby scored his first victory of the season in dominating fashion Saturday night at 34 Raceway. He lapped all but seven competitors before the final restart as he ran virtually unchallenged. He collected $10,555, repeating his 2014 Slocum 50 triumph.

“The first one is always the toughest. It's always the most nerve-wracking, too,” Pierce said. “There with a couple laps to go, I hit the cushion really hard. I know something's broke or bent in the rear end, and I could feel it going sideways. Just praying to God nothing would break. We got it, and that's all that matters. We finally got one.” -- John Vass Photo

farmercity apr3A late-race charge to run down the leader fell short as Bobby finished second in one of the richest paying races in Illinois, the Illini 100, Sunday at Farmer City Raceway. As he was reeling in the race leader as the race neared the checkers, a lap-55 caution was all Richards needed as it took him out of lapped traffic and into clean air. As Richards was on his way to the win, Bobby fought back late-race challenges from Bloomquist to finish runner-up.

“I was really catching Josh (Richards) and I think I might have went harder on tires than he did, so I was better on the long runs,” Pierce said. “But I was hoping that as long as I got to second on the restart I’d be OK, but then Scott (Bloomquist), right going into (turn) three came up on me a little bit. After that I was just stuck behind him the rest of the way. I was trying to get back by him, but to pass Scott once is hard. To pass him twice, that’s just unheard of. I tried my best and we’ll take second.”

On Saturday, Bobby was running among the top five when he jumped the cushion in turn one, bringing out a lap-21 caution and his evening was done. -- STLRacing Photo

lasalle mar26Rallying from the back after being forced to pit on lap 27, Bobby charged up through the field Saturday night at LaSalle's Thaw Brawl, falling just a half car length short at the conclusion of the 75-lap race.

“It was a heck of a race,” Pierce said. “The whole time out there it was just so rough and I was pounding the cushion. There’s just such a fine line of making a crazy-fast lap or pushing over the cushion — like I did a lot of times.

“The last lap I knew Brian (Shirley) might be going to the bottom, so I was trying extra hard just to get as close as I could possibly get in case he did. He shot to the bottom and I just wasn’t close enough to be able to do anything. I’m sure I made it exciting … I knew I wasn’t gonna get him, but I was trying to just get as close to his nose as I could. If he would’ve took the bottom just a little bit slower, if he was trying to be cautious or whatever, then I might’ve been able to sneak around the outside but I didn’t want to wreck him coming to the checkers or anything."

Bobby set fast time in qualifying both Friday and Saturday. He was challenging for fifth in the feature on Friday when smoke began appearing from his car and he stopped to bring out a lap 30 yellow, ending his evening. -- Jeff Hall Photo

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