MONTPELIER, Ind. — Not even Mother Nature could hold back the determination of Bobby Pierce Wednesday night.
After a rain shower delayed the program, the DIRTcar Summer Nationals’ debut at Montpelier Motor Speedway took the green flag for 40 laps around the quarter-mile.
Pierce started from fifth on the grid and worked his way through positions four and three in the first 20 laps, getting around Joe Godsey and Payton Freeman in the bottom lane – a place few others dared to venture out.
“The bottom was really good, it really surprised me,” Pierce said. “I was talking with some buddies up in the grandstands about it, and I was like, ‘I don’t think the bottom’s gonna come in.’ But it shocked me, it did.”
Now with only Billy Moyer Jr. and leader Devin Moran still in his path, Pierce could smell victory lane stronger with every lap completed. Moran and Moyer were the first to reach lapped traffic, and when they both faltered behind the slower cars, Pierce took advantage, getting by both cars on the bottom.
A few final restarts in the final 10 laps tested Pierce’s concentration at the drop of the green, but neither Moran nor Moyer could get the jump they needed to make up the gap, and Pierce drove away with his sixth victory on the Hell Tour this year.
Devin Shiels crossed the line fourth in his first appearance of the season on tour, while Summer Nationals rookie sensation Payton Freeman bagged his second-straight top-five finish in fifth.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 9-Devin Moran; 3. 21-Billy Moyer Jr; 4. 51S-Devin Shiels; 5. F1-Payton Freeman; 6. 42- Chad Finley; 7. 27-Eric Spangler; 8. 17-Jeremy Creech; 9. 14G-Joe Godsey; 10. 20TC-Tristan Chamberlain; 11. 17SS-Brenden Smith; 12. 757-Bradley Jameson; 13. 71-Rusty Smith; 14. 30-Mark Voigt; 15. 23NZ-Mick Quin; 16. 91-Rusty Schlenk; 17. 38-Thomas Hunziker; 18. 31AUS-Paul Stubber; 19. 14R-Jeff Roth; 20. 44S-Colin Shipley; 21. 95J-Jerry Bowersock; 22. 16-Rusty Griffaw