Dominant Pierce Conquers West Liberty

Bobby Pierce en route to victory at West Liberty Raceway. (Mike Ruefer photo)

WEST LIBERTY, Iowa — For the second time in three days, Bobby Pierce showed his toughness as he dominated the Lucas Oil MLRA main event at the West Liberty Raceway.

Pierce’s win netted him a $5,000 pay day, and makes it his third on the season with the MLRA.

Heavy rains early in the week provided for a challenging track as a softer than normal racing surface left drivers searching for the smoothest line around the super-fast half-mile speedway in the twenty-five lap A-Main. For the second time this season Chad Simpson locked up the pole after a dominating heat race win after starting in the eighth position.

Pierce rolled off alongside of Simpson with both drivers making a deep run into turn one at the drop of the green flag. Side-by-side through the corner both drivers showed a sense of urgency to assume the lead and it was Pierce using the top side momentum to seize control down the back stretch. Simpson would stay within striking distance until the events first caution on lap six for a slowing Jeremy Grady.

As he would do all night, Pierce showed his strength on the restart to again distance himself from the field. A red flag would slow the pace two laps later as contact down the front stretch between Jordan Yaggy and Dave Wada would see Yaggy barrel rolling down the frontstretch multiple times.

The event would also see its fair share of drama among the leaders. Fourth-running Billy Moyer would exit the track during the red flag, while a hard charging Hudson O’Neal suffered a flat right rear tire after climbing into the runner-up spot on the 17th lap.

In the end, Pierce showed the way for the entire 25 laps and giving him back-to-back wins with the series. In the closing laps, series point leader Will Vaught was able to sneak past Chad Simpson for second, while Jason Rauen and Sunoco Rookie candidate Jake Neal completed the top five.

“I’ve got to give a big thanks to my crew, I guess all the nuts and bolts stayed tight on this thing. It was a little choppy out there, so just glad we hung onto it. Besides the track being a little rough it was a pretty fun place,” Pierce said. “There was actually a cushion on the inside of the track right next to the tires and if you hit it right you could sail through there pretty good. “It definitely had a lot of characteristic in this race track tonight that’s for sure, and you can’t complain about that.”

Chris Zogg won the modified feature.

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1.Bobby Pierce 2.Will Vaught 3.Chad Simpson 4.Jason Rauen 5.Jake Neal 6.Rich Bell 7.Logan Martin 8.Hudson O’Neal 9.Chad Holladay 10.Mitch McGrath 11.Dave Eckrich 12.Joseph Gorby 13.Billy Moyer 14.Jordan Yaggy 15.Dave Wada 16.Chris Simpson 17.Nick Marlof 18.Ray Guss Jr. 19.Jeremy Grady 20.Jay Johnson 21.Tim Simpson 22.Skip Frey 23.Jonathan Brauns