BROWNSTOWN, IN – By now, the fans of the DIRTcar Summer Nationals would typically expect three-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce to have ice in his veins while leading halfway through the race, deep in traffic with a hungry pack of his competitors behind him. But on Tuesday night at Brownstown Speedway, the Smooth Operator was getting worried.
After leading the first 15 circuits of the 2021 season opener, Pierce, of Oakwood, IL, began taking on relentless pressure from someone behind him. That someone was a driver who’d yet to lead a single lap with the Summer Nationals since his return to full-time racing last year – Brimfield, IL’s own Tim Lance.
Lance, a regular on the tour in 2020, whipped his newer MB Customs Race Car around the bottom of the quarter-mile like the veteran racer he is and had Pierce completely reeled-in by Lap 18. That’s when he made his move.
“I was kind of a sitting duck, I felt like. Every lap I was watching my dad on the backstretch,” Pierce told DIRTVision Pit Reporter Georgia Henneberry.
With superb car control and speed at the very bottom of the track, Lance zoomed by Pierce, who was ripping the slicker top lane, into the lead and led Laps 19-21.
Pierce was forced to battle back on the outside to take the spot back, which he did on Lap 22, but Lance didn’t go away easy. The two battled inside-and-outside for another pair of circuits before Pierce cracked the whip and began to pull away as he reached lapped traffic. But he wasn’t completely out of the woods yet.
Devin Moran, the former World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year from Dresden, OH, found something on the top side of the speedway and reeled-in the lead duo as they dove head-first into lapped traffic in the final 10 laps. He mixed it up with Lance for several laps while simultaneously weaving through the slower cars, and finally got by Lance with just seven-to-go.
Back out front, Pierce had pulled away to a more comfortable advantage and crossed the stripe for his 28th career tour victory – tying him for fifth on the all-time Feature wins list with three-time Hell Tour champion Scott Bloomquist. In Victory Lane, Pierce was visibly relieved to get the win after all the challenge he faced to get it.
“That was a race,” Pierce said. “I was pretty nervous. I didn’t think we were going to hold onto it. About Lap 10 I kinda felt like I was struggling, so I knew with 30 laps to go it was going to be a long race.”
Moran crossed the stripe in second while Lance was able to hold off Tanner English for third. Three-time DIRTcar UMP Modified national champion Devin Gilpin completed the top-five.
The Summer Nationals Late Models are back in action Wednesday night at Peoria Speedway for Round #2 of the 2021 campaign. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Feature (40 Laps) 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 9-Devin Moran; 3. 48-Tim Lance; 4. 81E-Tanner English; 5. 1G-Devin Gilpin; 6. 14G- Joe Godsey; 7. 3S-Brian Shirley; 8. 12-Ashton Winger; 9. 74-Mitch McGrath; 10. 42-Chad Finley; 11. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr; 12. 51-Dean Carpenter; 13. 4G-Bob Gardner; 14. 15-Richard Frost; 15. 25-Jason Feger; 16. 51B-Brandon Carpenter; 17. 14R-Jeff Roth; 18. 24-Jared Bailey; 19. 14B-Britan Godsey; 20. 248- Brandon Lance; 21. 148-Tim Lance Jr; 22. 38-Thomas Hunziker; 23. 13-Brayton Laster
STEP ONE: Defending Champ Hoffman Collects First Victory in Pursuit of Wins Record at Brownstown
Picking up right where he left off in 2020 aboard the DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals tour, Nick Hoffman put on yet another dominating display in the season opener Tuesday night at Brownstown Speedway for his 37th career victory with the tour.
“This place is just so badass – it fits my driving style, fits our racecars, and it’s always in tip-top condition every time we come here,” Hoffman told DIRTVision Pit Reporter Georgia Henneberry in Victory Lane.
Hoffman led flag-to-flag and went largely unchallenged through 25 laps but took a big risk in traffic that turned some heads in the grandstands.
Once he reached lapped traffic on the final green flag run, the defending tour champion decided thread the needle and go right through the middle of two slower cars getting into Turn 3 late in the race.
“I couldn’t really see my stick guy very well over there, so I didn’t really know how big of a lead I had. I just pressed the issue and [the lapped cars] left me a big enough hole right through the middle, so I was just going to try and slide that guy,” Hoffman said.
He made it through cleanly and cruised away from the rest of the top-five – Tyler Nicely, Steven Brooks, Jacoby Hines and John DeMoss – to collect his first $1,500 winner’s check of the season.
As he chases a fourth Summit Modified championship this year and a 14-win season to break the single-season wins record of 13, which he reached last year, he’s got a great outlook for the rest of Week #1.
“Every track [on the schedule] this week I’ve already won a Summit Modified race at, so that really gives us a lot of confidence going into this week,” Hoffman said.
The Summit Modifieds are back in action Wednesday night at Peoria Speedway for Round #2 of the 2021 campaign. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
Feature (25 Laps) – 1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 25-Tyler Nicely; 3. 5-Steven Brooks; 4. 115-Jacoby Hines; 5. 9H-John Demoss; 6. D48- Derek Groomer; 7. 66-Cole Falloway; 8. T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr; 9. 29J-Jordan Weaver; 10. 45-Kyle Hammer; 11. 8K-Levi Kissinger; 12. 79-Caleb DeMoss; 13. 59R-Jacob Rexing; 14. 16C-John Clippinger; 15. 3W-Dylan Woodling; 16. 28B-Lucas Pace; 17. 46-Tim Rivers; 18. 9-Garrett Rons; 19. 2ND-Jake Leitzman; 20. 0-Travis Kohler; 21. 22-Matt Boknecht; 22. 21A-Nick Allen
DIRTcar Summer Nationals is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including: Arizona Sport Shirts/Gotta Race, Chevy Performance, DIRTVision (Official Live Broadcast Partner), FireAde, Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Indiana Decal Company, Intercomp, iRacing, Racing Electronics, SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider), Summit Racing Equipment, and VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel). Contingency sponsors include: ARP (Automotive Racing Products), Beyea Custom Headers, COMP Cams, Drydene, Fox Factory, Hoosier Racing Tire, MSD, Quarter Master, Summit Racing Equipment, VP Racing Fuels, and Wrisco (Exclusive Racing Aluminum).
Summit Modified Nationals is brought to fans by many important sponsors and partners, including : Summit Racing Equipment, Arizona Sport Shirts/Gotta Race, Chevy Performance, DIRTVision (Official Live Broadcast Partner), FireAde, Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Indiana Decal Company, Intercomp, iRacing, Racing Electronics, SIS Insurance (Official Insurance Provider), and VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel). Contingency sponsors include: ARP (Automotive Racing Products), Bassett Racing Wheel, Bell Helmets, Beyea Custom Headers, COMP Cams, Drydene, Fast Shafts, Fox Factory, Hoosier Racing Tire, Jerovetz Motorsports Shock Service, K1 Race Gear, KSE Racing Products, MSD, Mulit FireX, Schoenfeld Headers, Summit Racing Equipment, Velocita USA, VP Racing Fuels, Wrisco (Exclusive Racing Aluminum), and Xceldyne.