The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


May 21, 2013

Bobby Pierce captures first main event of 2013

OAKWOOD — There’s no place like home.

That was the sentiment of Oakwood’s Bobby Pierce on Sunday night at the Vermilion County Speedway.

Pierce, driving a back-up Pierce Racing late model, claimed his first feature win of the 2013 season, winning the Salt Fork Shootout at the Vermilion County Speedway.

“I haven’t won a race since last season,’’ said Pierce, who earned the $2,000 first-place prize. “So, that makes this a big night right there.

“And the fact that this is my home track also made it very special. It’s like a minute or so from my home and I had a bunch of buddies out here tonight.’’

And while the victory was a big reward for those reasons, there was even a bigger one for his racing team.

“We were pretty down,’’ said Bobby’s sister, Ciara Pierce, one of his crew members. “It was a hard weekend. We were at a two-day show in Arkansas and we had a couple of rough nights.’’

Pierce, who was the fastest qualifier in his group on Friday night at Batesville, Ark., had wheel issues in his heat race and then he wound up 24th in the main event after getting involved in a big accident.

“We have a torn up car at home,’’ Ciara said. “We almost didn’t come here tonight, but we knew we needed to end our weekend with a win.’’

Pierce, the 2013 Champion Spark Plugs Search for a Champion winner, started the night strong with a second-place finish in his heat behind Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin.

In the 30-lap main event, it was Sheppard taking the lead from the drop of the green flag as Pierce struggled earlier.

After starting fourth, Pierce almost fell back to fifth but a caution flew as Bill Hough spun out in turns No. 3 and 4. That seemed to be the turning point for Pierce.

In the next 18 circuits, Pierce went from fourth to second and he closed in on Sheppard.

“That caution let me calm down a little bit and get my focus,’’ Pierce said. “I race this track a lot, but it’s been a while since I’ve raced here. I still know what this track does, and you have to search around and find where the track is fastest.

“Brandon was starting to pull away. I just started testing different spots on the track. I found that the top was working for me in turns 3 and 4 and the bottom to the middle in 1 and 2.’’

A group of slow cars gave Pierce the chance to pull up behind Sheppard.

On the 21st lap, Sheppard got caught behind the car of John Gummere and Pierce darted low to take the lead.

“A couple times I was getting nervous with those lapped cars,’’ Pierce admitted. “It’s usually better to be in second place when the leader comes up on lapped traffic.

“You get to see what he is doing and when he makes a mistake, you have to attack it. That’s what I did.’’

Sheppard, who figured that Pierce would be one of the drivers to contend with the Vermilion County Speedway, was admittedly a little disappointed.

“It sucks that we led all them laps and finish second,’’ he said. “But, if I was going to run second to anyone, I knew Bobby would be up there. His dad (Bob Pierce) is the king of this place, and I knew he would have something for me.

“I think we were pretty equal. But being the leader going into traffic, he could see where I was going and make the dodge to do something different.’’

The third and final caution of the race was thrown with three laps remaining, but that just delayed the celebration for Pierce and his large contingent of fans.

“Now, I’m going to have something to talk about at school,’’ said the Oakwood High School student.

But more important, the win gives Pierce a little confidence after a rough weekend on the Lucas Oil Tour.

“That’s a really hard tour and you are racing against some of the best racers in the country,’’ said Pierce, who previous best finish in a main event was third on three different occasions. “Those events make you better for each and every night you race.

“Going to Wheatland (Ind.) next weekend, I will have better feelings compared to what we had after (Saturday’s) race.’’

And while it wasn’t a win, Sheppard said it was still a big night for him.

“We had bad luck all weekend,’’ he said. “We had a flat tire (Saturday night) and we had electrical problem on Thursday. We were still able to salvage those nights, but we’re just not running as good as we should be running.

“We really needed a win, but a second will help.’’

Rounding out the top five in the late-model division were Brian Shirley, Ryan Unzicker and Scott Schmitt.

In the UMP Modified main event, Devin Gilpin went from the pole position to feature winner, leading every lap en route to collecting the $600 first-place prize.

Steven Brooks was second, Ryan Cary was third, while Kenny Carmichael and Gabe Menser rounded out the top five.

In the street stock division, Jerrad Krick turned the tables on Jesse Simmons.

Krick went flag-to-flag winning the UMP Stock Car main event with Simmons finishing second. A month earlier, it was Simmons winning the feature event and Krick finishing second.

Next up for the Vermilion County Speedway will be the Lucas Oil National Midgets on Sunday, June 9th. It will be the final race of Illinois Midget Week.

Text Only
  • SPT- CN0420 - Danville baseball photo 1 Vikings continue to learn Vikings continue to learn BY AARON PATTERSON

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0420- NV Softball photo 2 The Mustangs, Falcons split twinbill VEEDERSBURG, Ind. - Too many mistakes cost the Fountain Central softball team any chance of defeating North Vermillion in the first game of their double header. At least that is how Mustang head coach Allison Alexander saw the game. "We had nine erro

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Salt Fork softball continues with strong start CATLIN -- The Salt Fork softball team continued its undefeated start with a sweep of Unity on Saturday by identical 10-0 scores. In the first game, Kayln Learnard had a triple and two RBIs while Kaylee McFadden, Lea Hall, Kylie Summers and Camryn Tod

    April 20, 2014

  • Saturday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Danville Stadium Game 1 Normal Community 8, Danville 1 Normal Community 400 003 1 — 8 11 0 Danville 100 000 0 — 1 4 2 WP — Mike Shepard (3-1). LP — Mike Vascura. Two or more hits — NC: Luke McC

    April 20, 2014

  • SPT- CN0419 - Bis-Henn Baseball photo 1 Taylor slows Blue Devils BISMARCK -- After a perfect game from Ross Learnard on Tuesday, the Salt Fork baseball team received another outstanding pitching performance on Friday from Cole Taylor, who struck out nine and allowed only one hit over five innings as the Storm beat

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0419 - Danville softball photo 1 Danville blasts three homers to beat Westville WESTVILLE -- Danville coach Corey Pullin knew it was just a matter of time until junior Alissa Peelman and sophomore Lindsey Lowenstein started seeing positive results at the plate. On Friday afternoon, the duo of Peelman and Lowenstein gave the Viki

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Danville girls track wins Raider Invitational BLOOMINGTON -- The Danville girls track team picked up four wins as they were able to beat the pack at the Lady Raider Invitational on Friday. Sadie Elliott won the 3,200 in 11 minutes, 51.75 seconds for Danville, while Aariona Graham won the long ju

    April 19, 2014

  • Friday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Salt Fork 15, Bismarck-Henning 0 Salt Fork 040 0(11) -- 15 14 0 Bis-Henn 000 0 0 -- 0 1 8 WP -- Cole Taylor. LP -- Dustyn Ingram. Two or more hits -- SF: Ross Learnard 3, Max Stutsman 3, Garrett McFadden, Lane West

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT- Cn0418 - Covington softball photo 2 Trojans cruise to victory COVINGTON, Ind. - The Covington softball team had a big first inning as they scored five runs on their way to defeating Attica 11-1. Attica threatened to score in the first, getting Karrah Pattengale to second, but they were unable to drive her home.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lunger steps up for Buffaloes GEORGETOWN -- In only the second start of his career, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman pitcher Tyler Lunger pitched a five-hit complete game as the Buffaloes defeated Milford 8-2 on Thursday in Vermilion Valley Conference action. "I feel I threw well

    April 18, 2014

NCAA basketball
NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday