GIBSONTON, Fla. – Bobby Pierce took the lead at the start of the race and never looked back as he went on to win Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series feature at East Bay Raceway Park.
It was Pierce’s first win at East Bay as well as his first career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory. Pierce was followed across the finish line by Gregg Satterlee, Steve Francis, Billy Moyer, Jr., and Eddie Carrier Jr.
“It feels great to win here at East Bay. My dad never won here. We have been coming down here for three years now and to finally break through with this win, I don’t know what to say,” said the 17-year-old, who became the second youngest driver to win a Winternationals event in a Late Model at East Bay.
“I am going to have to text my buddy Tyler Reddick and tell him I won. He is the youngest to win here [when he was 15], so I have to rub it in a little. It was important to win that first heat and get the pole. We have had a tough week with our other car. I am not sure if something is bent on it or what, so we brought this one out today. If dad let’s me, I guess I should drive it tonight,” said the winner.
“My biggest challenge today was to conserve tires. Obviously, in a day race there was no moisture out there. You have to drive the car straighter. Traffic wasn’t too bad out there. I kept some distance between myself and the last place car for a while, and then I thought I had better get going. I knew someone was close behind me, so I had to pick up the pace a little bit,” said the driver of the Pierce Posse, Champion, Bob Pierce Race Cars, Pro Power Racing Engines, Chevrolet.
Satterlee, who racing at East Bay this week for the first time in his career, finished second today.
“The car was really good. You have to be extremely patient in those conditions during the day. I think we did a good job with the tires as well. We developed an oil leak there towards the end of the race, so we will take a look at that before tonight’s show, and hopefully win tonight,” Satterlee said.
On the first lap Francis quickly moved up two spots from his third-row starting spot. He stayed there the rest of the race to finish third.
“We just hung around, hoping something would happen to the 32 (Pierce) and the 22 (Satterlee) car, so we could gain a spot or two,” Francis said. “They drove a great race. I saw some smoke out of Satterlee’s car towards the end. I didn’t know if it was an oil leak or tire smoke. We will take third and head to tonight’s race. We have been struggling some this week. It’s a point’s race, so we have to go and make some adjustments.”
Completing the top 10 were Jimmy Owens, Eric Jacobsen, Ray Cook, Brian Shirley, and John Blankenship.
In preliminary action, Billy Moyer Jr. set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the 35 entrants, with a lap of 15.196 seconds. Eddie Carrier Jr. set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 15.350 seconds. Bobby Pierce, Gregg Satterlee, Billy Moyer Jr., and Ray Cook. won their respective heat races. Kenny PettyJohn won the B-Main.