SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Bobby Pierce moved one step closer to a potential Keyser’s Quarter-Million Challenge bonus payout by wiring Wednesday’s super late model feature during the 13th annual Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway.
While Pierce led all 30 non-stop rounds to collect the $5,000 victory, it wasn’t without strong challenges from Brandon Overton over the final dozen laps.
With Pierce adding his second win of the six-race miniseries, Ricky Thornton Jr., bested the modified ranks while Cole Searing made it two in a row in X modified action.
Taking the green flag on the front row outside of the Black Diamond Super Late Models presented by M&W Transport feature event, Pierce gunned into the lead at the outset and set a torrid pace on the top side of the track.
In his wake, sixth-starter Overton worked his past Chase Junghans by the ninth round and chipped away at Pierce’s advantage over the ensuing circuits. Working through traffic, Overton closed to Pierce’s rear bumper by the 20thround and challenged for the point several times before a pair of last lap efforts fell just short at the line.
“I love this track,” Pierce said. “It’s just the perfect shape and it fits me really well.”
With the triumph, Pierce is still eligible for a $250,000 bonus courtesy of the Keyser’s Quarter-Million Challenge should he win all six events. One more win on the week assures a $10,000 bonus, two more is worth an extra $25,000 and three more to push his total to five would be worth $100,000.
“It’s a little more pressure, but I’m a lot more relaxed knowing that we’ve got a good car,” Pierce explained.
While Pierce took the checkered flag just ahead of Overton, the battle for third a half straightaway back waged on between a handful of cars with Scott Bloomquist utilizing traffic to his advantage to surge into the show position in the final handful of laps after running fifth much of the way.
Hudson O’Neal held fourth until mechanical problems slowed him on the final round with Cade Dillard capitalizing to snare fourth with Brandon Sheppard slipping by Junghans on the final lap to round out the top five.
Bobby Pierce, Brandon Overton, Scott Bloomquist, Cade Dillard, Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Chris Simpson, Earl Pearson Jr., Ricky Weiss, R.C. Whitwell, Jimmy Mars, Hudson O’Neal, Stormy Scott, Garrett Alberson, Ricky Thornton, Jr., Michael Maresca, Kyle Beard, Terry Phillips, Tony Toste, Pat Doar, Justin Duty, Cody Laney, Scott Ward, Joey Moriarty.