Dilllard Scores As Flat Tire Stops Pierce

Cade Dillard in victory lane at Arizona Speedway. (Mike Ruefer photo)

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Cade Dillard got his first taste of Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts glory by racing to victory lane in the fifth of six rounds of the 13th annual event on Saturday night at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway.

The Robeline, La., racer took quick advantage of Bobby Pierce’s mid-race misfortune and then fought off a late-race bid from Scott Bloomquist in the 40-lapper to collect the $5,000 winner’s share in Hoker Trucking Victory Lane.

While Dillard took the spotlight amidst on-and-off light rain, Cole Searing added another X modified triumph while the Modified feature was ultimately postponed to Sunday’s finale due to persistent light showers that rendered track conditions unsafe to race upon.

In the 40-lap Black Diamond Super Late Models presented by M&W Transport feature event, Bobby Pierce battled into the early from the front row outside and appeared poised to capture a fourth Wild West Shootout win of the week that would have pushed his Keyser Quarter Million bonus from $10,000 to $25,000 with the potential to make it a cool $100K with another triumph in the Sunday finale.

The storyline made a dramatic shift after 18 laps however when Pierce came to a stop in turn four with a cut right-rear tire.

Suddenly, after battling past Hudson O’Neal for second a half-dozen rounds early, Dillard found himself in the driver’s seat. And, he didn’t squander the opportunity, even with the legendary Scott Bloomquist giving chase.

Cade Dillard (Mike Ruefer photo)

Racing through traffic over the final 15 rounds, Bloomquist’s best opportunity came on the 35th lap when Dillard’s momentum was briefly interrupted by a lapped car. Bloomquist pulled alongside on the backstretch, but Dillard countered adeptly and made a couple of swift moves through traffic to put the win away.

Bloomquist settled for second with O’Neal filling out the podium with his second third-place finish of the mini-series. After winning the matinee feature earlier in the day, Canadian Ricky Weiss was fourth with Brandon Sheppard rounding out the top five.

After putting on a new right-rear tire, Pierce started at the tail of the field and rallied through the pack to salvage a ninth-place finish that gives him an 18-point advantage over Sheppard in Wild West Shootout points going into Sunday’s $14,000-to-win Shaw Trucking finale.

The finish:

Cade Dillard, Scott Bloomquist, Hudson O’Neal, Ricky Weiss, Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Brandon Overton, Kyle Beard, Bobby Pierce, Earl Pearson Jr., R.C. Whitwell, Garrett Alberson, Stormy Scott, Terry Phillips, Don Shaw, Cole Schill, Chris Simpson, Joey Moriarty, Michael Maresca, Tony Toste, Jason Papich, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jimmy Mars, Terry Casey.