SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Bobby Pierce continues to find Arizona’s desert setting to his liking as he raced to his third Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts victory in as many events Friday night at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway.
Pierce railed the topside around Kyle Beard on the 20th round en route to Hoker Trucking victory lane and another $5,000 payday.
Rodney Sanders and Josh Cain picked off their first wins of the 13th annual Wild West Shootout in modified and X modified action, respectively.
With his third win the six-race mini-series, Pierce has already secured a minimum $10,000 bonus courtesy of the Keyser’s Quarter-Million Challenge and is still in contention to add more with three events over the next two days.
Another triumph by Pierce will push his bonus to $25,000 while two more wins in the remaining events bumps it to $100,000. A complete sweep of all six features would net Pierce a $250,000 bonus.
While Pierce started Friday’s Black Diamond Super Late Models presented by M&W Transport feature from the pole position, he spent a majority of the race in “chaser” mode rather than “chasee” after fellow front row starter Kyle Beard took advantage of the outside line to gun into the initial lead.
Pierce fought off Hudson O’Neal for second in the ensuing laps until the race’s first caution flew after seven circuits when Scott Bloomquist rolled to a stop on the backstretch.
Pierce fell back another position behind Jimmy Mars in the scramble behind Beard on the restart, only to start working his way back towards the front after the final caution flew three laps later for Chase Junghans’ turn-two spin while running sixth.
“The Smooth Operator” worked his way back around O’Neal for second by the 14th round and then set his sights on Beard, taking advantage of traffic on the 20th lap. With Beard forced low by a lapped car, Pierce stuck to the high side of turns three and four and used his momentum to edge ahead of Beard at the line.
Keeping Beard at bay, Pierce survived several dicey moments through traffic over the final rounds to secure the win with Beard settling for second. O’Neal rounded out the podium in third with Brandon Sheppard and Mars rounding out the top five.
Bobby Pierce, Kyle Beard, Hudson O’Neal, Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Mars, Ricky Weiss, Ricky Thornton Jr., Terry Phillips, Tony Toste, Brandon Overton, Cade Dillard, Jason Papich, Michael Maresca, Earl Pearson, Jr., Chase Junghans, Joey Moriarty, Don Shaw, Garrett Alberson, Justin Duty, Scott Bloomquist, Stormy Scott, Cody Laney, Billy Franklin, Pat Doar.