BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Bobby Pierce was one of three different drivers to control the top stop Tuesday night at Belle-Claire Speedway, as he made a daring pass on Shannon Babb with four laps to go to claim the lead and the $5,000 checkered flag, his first of the 2014 DIRTcar Summer Nationals season.
Reigning Summer Nationals champion Brandon Sheppard captured the pole position, with Randy Korte starting on his outside. Bobby Pierce started just behind them in the third position.
On the first lap, Korte would slingshot around Sheppard, keeping the pole-sitter from leading a single lap all night. Korte led the most laps of the night as he controlled the top spot for the first 17 laps of the 40-lap feature. Korte eventually was chased down by a charging Pierce and Shannon Babb, who started the race in the fourth position.
Pierce made his way to the lead but couldn’t pull away from Babb, as he led only seven laps before Babb grabbed the lead on lap 25. Babb looked as if he would capture his third win of the season with ease after securing the top spot and leading the next 11 laps.
Unfortunately for Babb, Pierce had just enough left in his car to surge his way back to the front and challenge the leader for the win. Pierce would not be denied the victory as he caught and passed Babb with a thrilling, go-for-broke slide job on lap 36. Pierce held off Babb for the remaining four laps, capturing the victory at Belle-Claire Speedway.
“When you’re leading the race and then you end up losing it, no matter what you have to do, you wanna get that lead back,” said the 17-year-old Pierce. “I had a couple of good corners right in a row there, I caught Babb, and I knew that [a slider] was the only chance I had.”
Heat race winners included Pierce, Babb, Korte, and Sheppard.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals continues on Wednesday night as they join the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals at Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Ill.
DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Belle-Claire Speedway; Belleville, Ill; July 2, 2014; A-Main (40-laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce ($5,000), 2. 18-Shannon Babb, 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard, 4. 24-Ryan Unzicker, 5. 0-Randy Korte, 6. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr, 7. 24T-Matt Taylor, 8. 81-Brian Shirley, 9. 10-Daryn Klein, 10. 6K-Michael Kloos, 11. 1S-Rick Salter, 12. 81JR-Jason Riggs, 13. 16H-Mike Hammerle, 14. 1M-Jim Moon, 15. 28B-John Beck, 16. 27S-Mike Schulte, 17. T4-Adam Tischhauser, 18. 20-Alan Westling, 19. 91-Rusty Schlenk, 20. 25L-Steve Lance Jr, 21. 29W-Brian Divley, 22. 30V-Mark Voigt.