Story By: MIKE WARREN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – DAVENPORT, IA – Bobby Pierce has tried and tried to score a win at the My Place Hotels Quad Cities 150 presented by Hoker Trucking—finishing second five times in six starts. But on Thursday night at Davenport Speedway, the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series points leader finally broke through.
Pierce thundered around the outside of Dennis Erb Jr. and Shane Clanton on Lap 5 and led the final 30 laps to earn the $10,000 victory.
Erb led Lap 1 of the 35-lap affair before Clanton wrestled the lead away from him on Lap 2. But as the two former champions battled for the top spot, Pierce closed in.
On Lap 5, the Oakwood, IL driver moved to the outside. As the three drivers entered Turn 3, Pierce’s Longhorn Chassis found a burst of speed through the corner, passing Erb and Clanton to take the lead away at the start/finish line. The “Smooth Operator” led the final 30 laps to score his ninth World of Outlaws win of the season and third consecutive Series win in Iowa.
Despite his win, Pierce didn’t get off to the start he wanted to. However, he said what happened on the first lap showed him where he needed to be on the track.
“I was a little worried at the start,” Pierce said. “I don’t know if I missed Turn 1 or what. I didn’t want to jump up top that soon, but we did what we had to do. We got up on the wheel. It went caution-free. And got it done.”
Even though he led the final 30 laps, traffic was still challenging on Davenport’s bullring. He said his experience paid off, knowing what happened to him at the track in the past.
“You want to get by lap traffic as quick as you can, because here in the past it’s bit me,” Pierce said. “Tanner [English] snuck by me to get one last year, and that was somewhat to do with lap traffic. I was hammer-down all the time, and it stayed green. I didn’t have to worry about a restart, so it was a lot of fun.”
Along with the win, Pierce extended his Series points lead to 122 over Chris Madden, who finished seventh.
Erb crossed the line second, his 11th top-10 finish in his last 13 races. The Carpentersville, IL driver said he was happy with his Rocket Chassis despite coming up short.
“Shane and I were racing there, and he just got by us on the outside,” Erb said. “Once I got cleared of [Clanton] and I started rolling up through there, the car was really good. I thought one time we were going to get up underneath [Pierce], but lap traffic really played a factor.
“He’s been really good. His car’s been good all year, so we’re just happy with a second here, and we’ll try again tomorrow.”
Four-time Series champion Brandon Sheppard finished third—his eighth podium of the season. The New Berlin, IL driver snuck past Nick Hoffman in traffic with 10 laps to go to take over third but ran out of laps to get to the front.
“We had a really good car,” Sheppard said. “We were very maneuverable. We could run top, middle, bottom, wherever we wanted to. In these short races, you have to get them where you can in lap traffic. I was really good on the bottom. I was definitely better than those guys on the bottom, but when everybody’s down there, you have to move out. We were able to get out to the middle and move around them guys.
“Like I said, we had a really good car. Bobby’s just on it this year. He’s been really good.”
Germfree Labs Rookie of the Year contender Nick Hoffman finished fourth, and Kyle Bronson rounded out the top five.
Brian Shirley was Thursday’s Fox Factory Hard Charger, moving up 10 spots to finish sixth.
Clanton, who led four laps, finished 11th.
Pierce’s win on Thursday adds to his impressive World of Outlaws CASE Late Models season, scoring his seventh win in the last 12 Series races. He hopes to keep that consistency as long as he can.
“I’m just going to ride that wave,” Pierce said. “Ride that wave as long as possible.”
The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models return to Davenport Speedway for night two of the My Place Hotels Quad Cities 150 presented by Hoker Trucking along with the Xtreme Outlaw Midgets presented by Toyota. Another $10,000 is on the line in a 35-lap Feature.
CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Feature (35 Laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 4. 9-Nick Hoffman; 5. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 6. 3S-Brian Shirley; 7. 44-Chris Madden; 8. 97-Cade Dillard; 9. 96V-Tanner English; 10. B1-Brent Larson; 11. 25-Shane Clanton; 12. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 13. 25F-Jason Feger; 14. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 15. 25S-Chad Simpson; 16. 18-Shannon Babb; 17. 16-Tyler Bruening; 18. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 19. 30-Todd Cooney; 20. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 21. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 22. 49-Jake Timm; 23. 98-Jason Rauen; 24. 14G-Trevor Gundaker; 25. 29-Spencer Diercks FOX FACTORY HARD CHARGER: Brian Shirley [+10]