Bobby Pierce 092723 Josh James Artwork Image
Bobby Pierce in victory lane Wednesday night at Tyler County Speedway.

Another $23,023 For Bobby Pierce

MIDDLEBOURNE, W. Va. — Bobby Pierce raced to his second straight Castrol FloRacing Night in America’s victory on Wednesday evening at Tyler County Speedway.

With little racing experience at the West Virginia oval, Bobby Pierce wasn’t particularly confident about finding success at the high-banked quarter-mile bullring when penciling it onto his racing calendar.

“You know, this is one of them race tracks we were looking at on the schedule saying, ‘Man if we, if we get a top-five or something like that, that’s a win,’” Pierce said.

But the Pierce who was crafting his schedule and the Pierce who’s on the winningest stretch of his racing career is two different drivers, so no one was too surprised Wednesday when he led all 50 laps.

To take the checkers at Tyler County “is just unbelievable,” the 26-year-old Oakwood, Ill., driver, but he added it to a list of unbelievable performances going back to Aug. 1.

Pierce, who has 31 victories overall in 2023, has 15 victories in 19 starts going back to the beginning of August, and Tyler County marks his sixth victory in his last seven feature starts (losing on at Eldora Speedway’s World 100).

Even taking a 16-day break after his Sept. 12 Castrol victory at Fairbury — earning $23,023 just like he did at Tyler County — didn’t slow Pierce’s momentum.

Pierce turned back a late-race challenge from Hudson O’Neal taking the checkers .931 seconds ahead of the Rocket Chassis house car, while Tim McCreadie finished third. Ricky Thornton Jr., who overcame a heat race wreck, was fourth and Jonathan Davenport, rounded out the top five.

Pierce deftly handled lapped traffic most of the way and adjusted his line to keep O’Neal at bay before a lap-45 caution that gave him some breathing room over the final five laps.

“I was a little nervous whole race because I don’t have many laps here. The dirty air was really hard. When you get behind a (lapped car) it would just set your car over. It was tough, man. It was hard to see in a lapped traffic, the caution came out and had some clean air that kind of helped,” Pierce said. “Hudson showed his nose and I was like, ‘Man, I gotta keep blocking the slider, because it’s possibly coming.’ It was kind of hurting my lap times when I was doing that, but it’s just kind of what I had to do there. I guess he eventually jumped the cushion a little bit and I got back away from him, but an awesome night.”

O’Neal would’ve like to have had a shot at Pierce without the slowdown in the final stages.

“I didn’t need the yellow. I felt like I had a better shot with him in lapped traffic. I felt like my car was really, really maneuverable everywhere and, yeah, once we had that caution, like (Pierce) said, just clean air and being able to predict your own line and keep your car loaded’s everything,” O’Neal said. “I thought I was gonna have a run at him, and then he moved down and took my line away from me just a little bit. And then that was it. … This the best I’ve ever ran here, so I’ll take it.”

The most serious incident in Tyler County’s 50-lapper drew a red flag when, following a lap-five restart, Shane Hitt barrel-rolled down the backstretch. Hitt’s car ended up on its wheels and he wasn’t injured.

The finish:

Feature (50 Laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce[2]; 2. 1-Hudson O’Neal[3]; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie[4]; 4. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr[7]; 5. 49-Jonathan Davenport[9]; 6. 58-Garrett Alberson[1]; 7. 157-Mike Marlar[11]; 8. 39H-Henry Hornsby[6]; 9. 28-Dennis Erb Jr[8]; 10. 00-Kyle Hardy[15]; 11. 4S-Ryan Montgomery[5]; 12. 25-Mike Benedum[10]; 13. 18D-Daulton Wilson[18]; 14. K2-Kristopher Southern[20]; 15. 65-Derek Stefanick[22]; 16. (DNF) 28C-Tyler Carpenter[19]; 17. (DNF) 44-Colten Burdette[17]; 18. (DNF) 32B-Brian Baumberger[21]; 19. (DNF) 7T-Drake Troutman[14]; 20. (DNF) 5*-Shane Hitt[16]; 21. (DNF) C4-Freddie Carpenter[12]; 22. (DNF) 37-Jacob Hawkins[13]