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Oakwood’s Bobby Pierce runs in a race in 2016 at the Vermilion County Speedway. Pierce is coming off winning his fourth UMP national title and fourth UMP Summernationals title.

OAKWOOD — This year has been very good to Bobby Pierce and he is still not finished.

After a season winning the UMP National and UMP Summernational titles, the racer from Oakwood is still hitting the road.

“My next one is going to be at Las Vegas Friday-Saturday and after that, we race in St. Louis inside the Dome at America’s Center,” Pierce said. “They built a track there and we race from Dec. 2-4. I won the race in St. Louis twice and this is the first time I will be in Vegas because it is the first time they will have a major late model show there. It is $50 grand to win and $100 grand to win for those who have been in the series surrounding the race, the Gateway Dirt Nationals is $30,000 to win.”

The Duel in the Desert at the Las Vegas Speedway is heading into its 24th year, but it will be the first time the event will have late models with action starting on Friday and ending today.

He is also going to start next season early as well.

“In the new year, we will be going to New Mexico for the Wild West Shootout and then we might go to Florida in late January in February,” Pierce said. “There is a lot of racing in the so-called offseason if you wanted to. If you don’t want to slow down, you don’t have to.”

During the season, Pierce won 20 times in the UMP national points race and won 13 times during the Summernationals series, which ran from June through August.

“It was the fourth time I won the summernationals and fourth time I won the national title, they both pay a decent chunk of change,” Pierce said. “Also, I won my first two World of Outlaws late model features. I won the Illini 100 and the Hawkeye 100, a new race in Boone, Iowa and that was $30,000 to win. Had 20 wins and dominated the summernationals and had some really good seconds. I battled with Kyle Larson in a race and ended up second, so it has been a great year.”

The Summernationals put Pierce in the driver’s seat for the national title and he ended in the top 10 for the South, South West and West regions.

“The Summernationsls goes every night and we travel for a lot of tracks,” Pierce said. “It was a little longer this year and with the UMP National, you have guys who are racing for points all year at their local track and while I might be racing a Lucas Oil Series race or some race not under UMP, they pick up points.

“When I had a great Summernationals, it went hand and hand. I won so many summernational races, it went hand and hand because you are picking up national points. You have to get them in while you can. So dominating the tour was what got me some very needed points for the title with various races in the early part of the season and some late in the season so we can cap it off.”

While winning the titles and the battle with Larson, who has just won the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Championship were highlights, the wins in the World of Outlaws series fulfilled a long-time gap in Pierce’s resume.

“It surprised some people when they heard that, because I have won a lot of races and some of the biggest races out there and I just won my first World of Outlaws feature,” Pierce said. “It has been a long time coming, I took second in I don’t know how many of those events so it was pretty good. It was in Farmer City and it is 45 minutes from me and I led a lot of race. I got passed late in the race and then I passed him with a lap to go, so that was the best moment of the season.”

Along with the wins, Pierce also had to battle adversity when his father, National Dirt Track Hall of Famer Bob Pierce, had a bout with bladder cancer.

“He’s doing good. He’s been putting together my new car and he’s been pretty good lately and gets around like a person my age,” Pierce said. “After doctors first said he got it, we went for second opinion. Those doctors said he has very little of the cancer. There are doing little things to keep the cancer away and it is nothing major.”

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