RPW Column: Consistency Helped Jaden Pierce In 2021; Will That Lead To Checkered Flags In ’22?

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – EAGLE BRIDGE, NY – Getting better from one year to the next is the sign of a good race car driver, and helps you to make a name for yourself.

When you have a family member who’s raced before, and been successful, it’s important to have good solid runs if you want to be known for who you are, not who you’re related to.

The 2021 season was a great stepping stone for young Jaden Pierce and his development as a race car driver.

For the Eagle Bridge, NY youngster, this past year saw him race on the Regional Slingshot Empire Series. That consisted of eight events contested at a multitude of speedways.

During that series, Pierce brought home three top three finishes and a solid runner-up position in points. Not bad for a first year racer.

“Finishing second overall in points made it a great year for me and our team,” Pierce said. “I loved traveling to different tracks. It helped me learn to adapt to differing conditions and competition, depending on where we went.”

Overall this past season, Pierce raced at 12 different tracks for the first time in his career. Of those races, he finished half of them in the top 5 finishes.

“We didn’t win, but running up front as much as I can is huge,” he said. “I like being consistent and running up front is always fun. Getting a checkered flag and trophy is the goal, but running well feels awesome.”

While he’s trying to be his own racer, having a championship winning father, former Lebanon Valley Sportsman Champion Chad Pierce, as his crew chief definitely has to be a positive.

“The fact that Dad has driven is huge for my racing,” he said. “It’s very important because he watches what my car is doing to work on setups and also helps pick my line on the track. He also is big with helping me get better on my restarts.”

The Pierce team also competed in the 2021 Slingshot Speedweeks in Pennsylvania. The week consisted of five different tracks in five nights. Jaden’s best finish during those events was a third, but getting to more speedways was the key.

Even with the success they enjoyed in 2021, does Pierce believe there’s room for his team to improve this coming year?

“I really need to get better on my restarts,” he said. “That’s a big thing for me and we need to eliminate problems with the car. Between me, my dad and the crew, we need to stop problems from happening.”

The new season will see the family-owned team heading out on the road again with sights set squarely on gaining experience, but also nabbing that elusive checkered flag.

“We plan to do some more traveling this year,” he said. “But, I want to get to victory lane. I loved winning in karts. Now, I want to win in a Slingshot.”

Would one be enough?

“Getting my first career Slingshot win would make 2022 a great season,” he said. “But, my goal is to get multiple wins and to just have fun. I love racing and it’s just a blast that I get to do it with my family.”

It’s not just his family that’s helped Jaden Pierce get to where he is today. He is grateful for the support he has behind him.

“My family is huge for my racing,” he said. “My parents, my brother, Nana, Chad Lapine, Tremain, Dool and JR are amazing and a great crew to have behind me. I also need to thank my sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Battenkill Valley Electric, Big Boys Toys, H. Sausville Construction, Walt’s Service Center and our newest, Crik Gravel. Without all of them, I couldn’t do this.”

This coming year has the makings of another strong season for young Jaden Pierce. Consistent progression forward, each time he straps in, will help with his development as a driver and assist in his goal of chasing trophies and checkered flags.

There’s no doubt the team has the equipment to get the job done and the wheelman has the drive to do so. Put that recipe together with a little bit of luck and Jaden Pierce will be a winner in 2022.

 
 
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