Pierce Tops Slocum 50 For The Fourth Time

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Bobby Pierce celebrates after winning Friday's Lucas Oil MLRA Slocum 50 at 34 Raceway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Bobby Pierce celebrates after winning Friday's Lucas Oil MLRA Slocum 50 at 34 Raceway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa – Bobby Pierce took advantage of Tony Jackson Jr.’s misfortune in the closing laps of Friday night’s 12th Annual Slocum 50 at the 34 Raceway, capturing his fourth win in the marquee event.

When the green flag waved it was polesitter and fast qualifier Brian Birkhofer shooting out to the early race lead. However, it did not take long for 2013 Lucas Oil MLRA champion Jackson to find his groove on the low line, as he by-passed Birkhofer and quickly began to distance himself from the field.

After a quick caution on lap eight, Jackson again set sail and found himself working deep into lapped traffic as the 50 lapper progressed. As Jackson set the pace, Shannon Babb worked his way into second but, could not close the gap on the leader as he found himself battling with lapped traffic for a good portion of the event.

Pierce took advantage of the lapped traffic and used the top side to drive by Babb with just 18 laps to go. Piece quickly began to close on Jackson in the closing laps, taking the advantage from over 2.5 seconds down to just 1.391 seconds when the caution waved over the field with only 9 laps to go for a slowing Brian Shirley.

On the ensuing restart, Jackson again left the field and appeared on his way to the win when disaster struck the Lebanon, Mo., driver. As he excited turn four with just four laps to go, his BWRC ICON chassis limped across the line without power before coming to rest at the top of the race track due to fuel pump issues.

With Jackson out of the picture, Pierce restarted from the point and held off a pair of late charges by Babb to secure the victory, worth $10,555.

At the line it was Pierce by a margin of .131 seconds over Babb, while Birkhofer held on for his first Lucas Oil MLRA podium finish of the year in third. Jeremiah Hurst was fourth, with Chris Simpson rounding out the top-five.

“Shannon was really good on those restarts and I don’t know but it seemed like I was better on the longer runs,” Pierce said. “I was pretty nervous, I knew it was going to be a close race ever since I got into third and I started reeling those guys in. Normally when you catch guys you catch them a lot and it just felt like I was catching them a nose at a time. It was very frustrating because I like to get going and get the lead quick and not wait until the very end, but we made it exciting that’s for sure.”

The finish:

Bobby Pierce, Shannon Babb, Brian Birkhofer, Jeremiah Hurst, Chris Simpson, Johnny Scott, Mike Spatola, Chad Simpson, Garrett Alberson, Tim Manville, Mason Oberkramer, Jason Feger, Payton Looney, Tony Toste, Tony Jackson Jr., Brian Shirley, Mckay Wenger, Matt Furman, Justin Duty, Brennon Willard, Dave Eckrich, Chad Holladay, Kolby Vandenbergh, Ricket Frankel, Jason Papich, Mitch McGrath.