FARMER CITY, Ill. — Bobby Pierce made sure to let his Illinois fans know he was back home Thursday night at Farmer City Raceway with the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Models.
Pierce slid past Nick Hoffman on lap 27 and held on to earn his second series win of the season.
Hoffman outran series points leader Chris Madden on the opening lap of the Farmer City Showdown and went unchallenged through the first half of the race.
However, a caution on lap 19 for Shane Clanton put Pierce in a position to strike.
The “Smooth Operator,” who was third at the time, started to move forward on the restart, thundering around Madden for second as the race reached halfway.
That’s when he started to lurk behind Hoffman, closing in on Hoffman as they reached the tail of the field.
After two laps of pulling his nose even with Hoffman’s left rear quarter panel, Pierce saw his opportunity on lap 27.
Hoffman picked the outside lane in turn three while trying to get by the lap car of Dustin Walker.
That allowed Pierce to choose the bottom, thundering past the No. 9 in the middle of turn three and sliding his spoiler in front of Hoffman’s nose as they exited turn four.
“We caught that lap car, and we caught him at the right time because I made up a lot of ground on Nick,” Pierce said. “Nick kind of got bottled up and even pushed a little bit, and I had that bottom, and I just swung it in there, and I felt him get me a little bit in the rear when I slid in front of him.
“That was probably going to be the only time I was going to pass him. He made a couple of bobbles, but he was pretty fast. Out front by himself, it would’ve been hard to pass him.”
From there, not even a caution with three laps to go could stop Pierce as he held on for his sixth career World of Outlaws win—one worth $10,000.
“The car was awesome tonight,” Pierce said. “I think we had a really good setup for how fast the track was.”
Hoffman crossed the line second – his second podium in the last five World of Outlaws races.
“I just screwed up one time behind lap cars,” Hoffman said. “I wasn’t sure which one to pick, and I chose the wrong one, obviously. He was pretty good on the bottom to be able to get underneath me and slide me into [turn] three. I knew he was close. I could kind of hear him back there.
“Biggest thing is I made one little mistake and opened the door a little bit, and he capitalized.”
Kyle Bronson finished third, moving up seven spots from 10th.
“I felt I had a really good car,” Bronson said. “It was kind of hard to get position on a car and pass them the way the track was. It’s just tough to start 10th and run that good. The guys are too good to spot them that many spots.
“I felt like we were kind of too snug all night long, but we raced really well, and that’s the goal, to race really well. We just have to get better in our qualifying package.”
Defending champion Dennis Erb Jr. finished fourth and Ryan Gustin rounded the top five.
Feature (40 Laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 9-Nick Hoffman; 3. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 5. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley; 7. 44-Chris Madden; 8. 96V-Tanner English; 9. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 10. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 11. 97-Cade Dillard; 12. B1-Brent Larson; 13. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 14. 36-Logan Martin; 15. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 16. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 17. 30-Todd Cooney; 18. 33H-Roben Huffman; 19. 14W-Dustin Walker; 20. 25-Shane Clanton; 21. 25F-Jason Feger; 22. B12-Kevin Weaver; 23. 81J-Jack Riggs; 24. 18B-Shannon Babb