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SMOOTH OPERATION: Pierce Dominates MARS Field for $5k in Farmer City 74 Prelim

FARMER CITY, IL – A single word can sum up Bobby Pierce’s performance Thursday night at Farmer City Raceway – dominant.

Before the race’s only caution flag flew with six laps remaining in the MARS Super Late Model DIRTcar Racing Series Feature event, Pierce had lapped up to eighth-place and was carrying a seven-second advantage over second-place Ryan Unzicker when the yellow came out, erasing the big lead and putting a hungry field right on his bumper.

“The whole race, I was pretty nervous, even though I had that big of a lead because I’m used to seeing a distance being shown to me from the guy in second. It had me up on the wheel most of the time,” Pierce said.

Tyler Carr Photo

Pierce’s crew members did not have their signal sticks with them for the Feature, so Pierce had to go without them for all 40 laps out front. In the end, it didn’t seem to matter, though, as the Smooth Operator easily sliced through lapped traffic throughout the race and cruised to his 10th career MARS Late Model victory.

The 3-time DIRTcar Late Model National points champion redrew the pole position for the Feature after a victory in Heat Race #3 and jetted out to a commanding lead at the drop of the green, reaching the rear of the field by Lap 10.

Pierce smoothly maneuvered around slower traffic, using multiple grooves to make passes, and looked to have the race in-hand if only it weren’t for the Lap 35 caution. On the first restart attempt, third-running Jason Feger got a good run out of Turn 4 and dove deep under Pierce into Turn 1 in a shot for the lead. He ended up spinning around in front of the field after contact with Pierce and was forced to restart near the rear.

Tyler Carr Photo

“Something about happened on that first restart when Feger charged in there and got the door,” Pierce said. “Luckily, it didn’t cut any tires down or anything. That second restart I hit a lot better and never saw anyone on my left side after that, so I was trying to hit my marks. I knew there was six [laps] to go, so I was just counting the laps down.”

And hit his marks he did. Pierce got good separation from the field on the second restart attempt and carried it all the way back home for the $5,000 payday.

UP NEXT

The MARS Late Model action continues Friday with night #2 of the Farmer City 74 weekend – another $5,000-to-win show on-tap. This time, 47 laps the distance of the Feature.

RESULTS

Feature (40 Laps) 1. 32-Bobby Pierce [1][]; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker [5][]; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin [8][]; 4. 18-Shannon Babb [3][]; 5. 21-Billy Moyer [4][]; 6. 99JR-Frank Heckenast [14][]; 7. 33M-Tim Manville [6][]; 8. 25-Jason Feger [2][]; 9. 89-Mike Spatola [9][]; 10. 4G-Bob Gardner [7][]; 11. 74-Mitch McGrath [12][]; 12. 10S-Taylor Scheffler [10][]; 13. 9-Eric Smith [17][]; 14. 111-Steven Roberts [19][]; 15. J12-Jason Wagner [15][]; 16. 30-Mike Glasscock [20][]; 17. B12-Kevin Weaver [13][]; 18. 42-McKay Wenger [11][]; 19. 83-Scott James [16][]; 20. 21B-Rich Bell [21][]; 21. 25W-Allen Weisser [22][]; 22. 1W-Donny Walden [18][] Hard Charger: 99JR-Frank Heckenast[+8]

Qualifying Flight-A 1. 25-Jason Feger, 13.061; 2. 21-Billy Moyer, 13.25; 3. B12-Kevin Weaver, 13.269; 4. 33M-Tim Manville, 13.364; 5. 4G-Bob Gardner, 13.37; 6. 42-McKay Wenger, 13.392; 7. 9-Eric Smith, 13.397; 8. 21B-Rich Bell, 13.404; 9. 89-Mike Spatola, 13.589; 10. J12-Jason Wagner, 13.614; 11. 25W-Allen Weisser, 13.696; 12. 111-Steven Roberts, 13.81; 13. 48T-Phil Taylor, 15.093; 14. 3S-Brian Shirley, 99.999; DQ. 1W-Donny Walden, 13.118

Qualifying Flight-B 1. 10S-Taylor Scheffler, 12.989; 2. 18-Shannon Babb, 13.071; 3. 19R-Ryan Gustin, 13.102; 4. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 13.15; 5. 32-Bobby Pierce, 13.174; 6. 83-Scott James, 13.233; 7. 99JR-Frank Heckenast, 13.326; 8. 74-Mitch McGrath, 13.499; 9. 30-Mike Glasscock, 13.515; 10. 30V-Mark Voigt, 13.774; 11. 118-Mike Fenton, 14.154; 12. 74A-Russ Adams, 14.276; 13. 28M-Jake Miller, 14.569; 14. 84-Myles Moos, 99.999

Heat #1 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 25-Jason Feger [1]; 2. 4G-Bob Gardner [3]; 3. 89-Mike Spatola [5]; 4. B12-Kevin Weaver [2]; 5. 9-Eric Smith [4]; 6. 25W-Allen Weisser [6]; 7. 48T-Phil Taylor [7]; 8. 3S-Brian Shirley [8]

Heat #2 – Flight (A) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 21-Billy Moyer [1]; 2. 33M-Tim Manville [2]; 3. 42-McKay Wenger [3]; 4. J12-Jason Wagner [5]; 5. 1W-Donny Walden [7]; 6. 21B-Rich Bell [4]; 7. 111-Steven Roberts [6]

Heat #3 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 32-Bobby Pierce [3]; 2. 19R-Ryan Gustin [2]; 3. 10S-Taylor Scheffler [1]; 4. 99JR-Frank Heckenast [4]; 5. 30-Mike Glasscock [5]; 6. 118-Mike Fenton [6]; 7. 28M-Jake Miller [7]

Heat #4 – Flight (B) (10 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 18-Shannon Babb [1]; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker [2]; 3. 74-Mitch McGrath [4]; 4. 83-Scott James [3]; 5. 30V-Mark Voigt [5]; 6. 74A-Russ Adams [6]; 7. 84-Myles Moos [7]

B-Main #1 (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer 1. 9-Eric Smith [1][]; 2. 1W-Donny Walden [3][]; 3. 111-Steven Roberts [11][]; 4. 30-Mike Glasscock [2][]; 5. 30V-Mark Voigt [4][]; 6. 118-Mike Fenton [6][]; 7. 74A-Russ Adams [8][]; 8. 28M-Jake Miller [10][]; 9. 48T-Phil Taylor [9][]; 10. 21B-Rich Bell [7][]; 11. 25W-Allen Weisser [5][]; 12. 84-Myles Moos [12][]; 13. 3S-Brian Shirley [13][]