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BACK-TO-BACK FOR BOBBY: Bobby Pierce Wins at Mason City, Takes Over Series Points Lead
English, the outside pole sitter, took the lead on Lap 1, hoping to win his third consecutive World of Outlaws race in Iowa. But before he could pull away, a red flag came out on Lap 6 when Jason Strand flipped after hitting the entrance to the pit area in Turn 3.
When the race resumed, English dealt with pressure from Pierce, as the two waged war in lap traffic along with Shane Clanton and Brian Shirley. However, that battle led to English’s eventual downfall. Contact with Bobby Hansen, a lap car, punctured English’s right rear tire, causing it to go flat.
The tire held together until Lap 26, when the Viper Motorsports #96V slowed on the front stretch, handing the lead to Pierce.
From there, Pierce when unchallenged over the final 14 laps to earn the $10,000 prize and his eighth career World of Outlaws win.
Despite his triumph, Pierce said he was worried about his right rear tire and how long it might hold up.
“Tanner got the jump on me, and he was keeping a really good pace,” Pierce said. “Clanton was there with us, too. Good thing we got a good redraw tonight. I saw Tanner’s right rear getting low, and I didn’t know if it was his setup or his tire. I was more nervous because I hoped it didn’t happen to me. My tire was completely bald because of the rubber, and we definitely got a little luck tonight.”
With the win, Pierce also takes over the Series points lead from Chris Madden, who finished 13th. “The Smooth Operator” leads by 12 points over Germfree Labs Rookie of the Year contender Nick Hoffman, who finished fifth. Meanwhile, Madden dropped to third—22 points behind Pierce.
While his focus is still on winning races, Pierce said his team’s hard work all season led to the change at the top of the standings.
“It’s a challenge for us, and we like a challenge,” Pierce said. “It’s something fun and intriguing to look at the end of the day when you’re done racing. All the hard work is paying off from making gains at this point.”
Clanton crossed the line second, narrowly missing out on his second win at Mason City. It’s the second consecutive podium for the 2015 Series champion, who said the red flag on Lap 6 impacted his chances of getting to the front.
“If the red flag doesn’t come out, I think we had them right where we wanted them,” Clanton said. “You can’t see their crew guys, so no one knew I was coming off three and four. So, I think I could’ve gotten both of the other two. I don’t know if we could’ve or not, but we were slicing and dicing until it really rubbered. If I had track position, I probably would’ve won the race.”
Like Clanton, four-time Series champion Brandon Sheppard scored his second straight podium, finishing third.
The New Berlin, IL driver said he was happy with how his Longhorn Chassis drove in the Feature, but that he still needs improvement earlier in the night.
“We had a really good car tonight all night long,” Sheppard said. “The track is what it is. We had a good car all night. We have to work on our Qualifying program. That’s where we’re lacking right now. We just have to work on that a little bit and get a little better there.
“We just have to hopefully keep this thing up front and keep our consistency going and the wins and that stuff are going to come eventually.”
Mike Marlar, the 2018 Series champion, finished fourth.
English crossed the line 19th after leading 24 laps. He was disappointed with his finish, saying he felt it was his race to lose.
“It wasn’t like it went down because of the rubber,” English said. “It went down because we made contact with [Hansen]. We went into the corner, and he turned left on me. I gave him all that racetrack up there. It’s a tough deal to be that close and let it go like that.”
UP NEXT: World of Outlaws Heartland Speedweek continues with a trip to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND on Wednesday, June 28.
Then, the Series moves north to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND on Friday, June 30, before closing out the inaugural Speedweek on Saturday July 1 at I-94 EMR Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN.
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If you can’t make it to the track, watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online on with the DIRTVision App.CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Feature (40 Laps): 1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 25-Shane Clanton; 3. B5-Brandon Sheppard; 4. 157-Mike Marlar; 5. 9-Nick Hoffman; 6. B1-Brent Larson; 7. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 8. 28-Dennis Erb Jr; 9. 32S-Chris Simpson; 10. 97-Cade Dillard; 11. 22-Daniel Hilsabeck; 12. 40B-Kyle Bronson; 13. 44-Chris Madden; 14. 11-Gordy Gundaker; 15. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 16. 77-Jordan Yaggy; 17. 76-Blair Nothdurft; 18. 3S-Brian Shirley; 19. 96V-Tanner English; 20. 14W-Dustin Walker; 21. 30-Todd Cooney; 22. 9*-Bobby Hansen; 23. E85-Jason Strand; 24. (DNS) 29-Spencer Diercks Fox Factory Hard Charger: Brent Larson [+6]