FAIRBURY, Ill. — The “Smooth Operator” Bobby Pierce scored an impressive victory Tuesday night at the Fairbury American Legion Speedway as he captured the 50-lap, $22,022-to-win, Castrol FloRacing Night in America “One for the Road” presented by I-Beam Sliding Doors dirt late model event.
The 25-year-old Pierce, from Oakwood, Ill., wheeled his Hoker Trucking/Allgayer Inc./Rio Grande Waste Services-sponsored Chevrolet No. 32 to the victory at the banked, quarter-mile, dirt oval.
Pierce took the checkered flag .427 seconds ahead of a fast-closing Frank Heckenast Jr. Shannon Babb finished third, followed by Ricky Thornton Jr., who started well back in the 22-car field, Ryan Unzicker and Gordy Gundaker.
Bobby Pierce (Stan Kalwasinski photo)
The front row of Dennis Erb Jr. and Pierce brought the rest of the field down for the green flag start with Erb and Pierce battling for the lead with Erb hugging the bottom groove and Pierce on the high side. Pierce finally got the lead for good, getting by Erb on lap 13.
Pierce then moved to the bottom line, getting slowed by two yellow flag caution periods. Erb, who the evening’s fastest qualifier among 42 entries, began drifting back and finished seventh. Babb put some pressure on the leader only to lose second to Heckenast in the closing laps. Heckenast was pressuring Pierce at the end.
“The track was very smooth. It had a top and a bottom (groove),” said Pierce. “We were on the top battling early on with Dennis Erb. I got to the bottom to protect (my lead). Then at the end, I knew they were all around swarming me. I moved up at the end. It was the right choice because Frankie (Heckenast) was coming there.”
It was Pierce’s 15th victory this season. Brandon Sheppard leads the series standings after Tuesday’s program.
Bobby Pierce, Frank Heckenast Jr., Shannon Babb, Ricky Thornton Jr., Ryan Unzicker, Gordy Gundaker, Dennis Erb Jr., Tanner English, Brandon Sheppard, Chris Madden, Brandon Overton, Mike Marlar, Shane Clanton, Daulton Wilson, Trevor Gundaker, Tyler Erb, Myles Moos, Billy Moyer Sr., Kyle Bronson, Kevin Weaver, Steve Sheppard, Nick Allen
Keyword: It’s All Pierce In $22,022 Fairbury Score