Pierce Cashes In At I-80 Speedway

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Bobby Pierce in victory lane at I-80 Speedway. (Heath Lawson photo)
Bobby Pierce in victory lane at I-80 Speedway. (Heath Lawson photo)

GREENWOOD, Neb. — Bobby Pierce got his redemption at I-80 Speedway, winning Saturday night’s Imperial Tile 9th annual Silver Dollar Nationals.

Pierce’s first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season came exactly one year after he suffered the heartbreak of losing the race lead with three laps to go due to mechanical issues.

Pierce took the lead from Chris Madden for the final time on lap 66 and cruised on for the victory to become the twelfth different winner this year on the tour. Madden wound up in second. Brandon Sheppard got around Scott Bloomquist late in the race to take third ahead of Bloomquist and hard-charging Dale McDowell in fifth.

The event continued the tradition of exciting racing at I-80 Speedway with nine lead changes during the 80-lap affair. Tim McCreadie led the first 30 laps until Pierce took over the point for one circuit. Pierce who started sixth then yielded the lead back to McCreadie on lap 32.

Madden was on the move early on reaching third on lap 32 after starting fourteenth on the grid. Madden then went for the lead, taking it away from McCreadie on lap 33. Madden held the top spot until lap 39 when Pierce regained control. Pierce was on top of the scoring pylon for six laps until once again Madden flexed his muscles and wrestled away the lead. Madden started to pull away from Pierce momentarily, but Pierce regrouped and tracked Madden down, finally overhauling him on lap 59.

A caution with 20 laps to go allowed Madden to once again pick up the lead over Pierce. Pierce picked up his speed and momentum for the final time using the outside to pass Madden with fourteen laps remaining in the race and sailed on to the win.

“I felt really good,” Pierce said. “I had some trouble on the restarts. My dad was showing me different signals and wanting me to do more stuff out there. Luckily there wasn’t a caution with a few laps to go because it really could have been interesting. It’s the biggest win of my career. There were times tonight I didn’t think it was going to happen. Thanks to my crew for keeping the bolts tight on everything.”

Madden came home the runner-up after leading for 26 laps.

“It feels good to be back in the car,” Madden said. “Cody Sommer and Scott [Bloomquist] have put their hearts into this giving us everything we needed. What an awesome job they have done the last three days down here in this heat. We never gave up and to come home with a second-place finish I am proud of everyone with the team. He [Pierce] puts his car in positions I am not sure anyone else can. He earned the win.”

After starting eighth, Sheppard rallied in the final 14 laps to claim a podium finish.

“My car just wasn’t where I wanted it to be on the cushion,” he said. “I felt like we couldn’t run down low on the track, like several could. The restarts definitely helped me out. We were good when we restarted on the top, but on the bottom, we weren’t nearly as good. Congrats tom Bobby and Chris, it was a lot of fun racing out there.”

The finish:

Bobby Pierce, Chris Madden, Brandon Sheppard, Scott Bloomquist, Dale McDowell, Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, Mike Marlar, Devin Moran, Dennis Erb Jr., Jimmy Owens, Shanon Buckingham, Stormy Scott, Ricky Weiss, Hudson O’Neal, Josh Richards, Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Bronson, Ben Schaller, Corey Zeitner, Cody Laney, Tyler Bruening, Billy Moyer Jr., Tyler Erb, Mason Zeigler.