MEDARYVILLE, Ind. — Seemingly on his way to his fifth career DIRTcar Summer Nationals crown, Bobby Pierce led from flag to flag and captured the $5,000-to-win 40-lap “Hell Tour” main event at Shadyhill Speedway Thursday night.
The 25-year-old second generation speedster wheeled his Hoker Trucking/Allgayer Inc./Rio Grande Waste Systems/Toyota of Danville-sponsored Camry No. 32 to his seventh victory on this year’s tour, giving the Oakwood, Ill., driver three consecutive wins and 47 career Summer Nationals victories.
Pierce’s dad, hall of fame driver Bob Pierce, won a Summer Nationals race at Shadyhill in 1980 when the annual summer racing swing visited the speedway for the first time.
Pierce was third quick overall in time trials among 34 entries, won his heat race and, with the draw, started on the inside of the front row as 21 cars took the green flag.
A complete-restart yellow flag flew at the start of the race. Once the race got a lap or two in, it was Pierce and fellow front row starter Chad Finley battling side-by-side with Pierce leading each of the early laps and pulling away from Finley and 15-year-old Tristan Chamberlain.
Three more yellow flags slowed the action with Pierce building comfortable margins only to see them erased by the caution flag. The final yellow flag flew with 15 laps to go with Pierce again leading the way when racing resumed, ending up about a full straightaway ahead of Chamberlain as the checkered flag waved.
“Really, the car was great and I think we were probably the best car,” said Pierce. “We were lucky with the draw.”
It was Pierce, Chamberlain and Finley at the end with Joe Godsey, Brian Shirley and Billy Moyer Jr. rounding out the top six.
Besides Pierce, other heat race winners were Chamberlain, Godsey and Finley. Jace Owens won the 12-lap semi/consolation feature that saw 16 cars start. Owens finished ahead of Brenden Smith and Payton Freeman.
Bobby Pierce, Tristan Chamberlain, Ryan Finley, Joe Godsey, Brian Shirley, Bill Moyer Jr., Rusty Schlenk, Devin Moran, Eric Spangler, Nick Allen, Payton Freeman, Rich Dawson, Brenden Smith, Bradley Jameson, Paul Stubber, Thomas Hunziker, Jace Owens, Jeff Roth, Lynn Johns, Justin Duty, Mike Mataragas.