Right as he was rolling trackside for the Feature, reigning DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Bobby Pierce caught a positive wave of energy. Inside, he knew Wednesday night’s return to Adams County Raceway (IL) for the first time since 2019 was going to go well for he and the #32 crew.
“I felt great before the Feature,” he said. “Just before we took the green, I felt like the car was good on the warmup laps. I had a great feeling.”
Pierce used the low side of the quarter-mile for the majority of the race, making moves to the inside of his competition to take the lead in the first half and the eventual trip to Hell Tour Victory Lane for the 44th time in his career.
“I started fifth on the bottom, and realized I had to move up and get going on top,” Pierce said of his lane choice in the opening laps. “I did and I was rolling, and I passed a car or two, and then I was the first one to go back down and find that really low line in Turns 1-2.
“When I found it, in a couple laps it seemed like I was in the lead. It changed that quick.”
Though he made quick work of the opponents in front of him en route to the lead, keeping them behind him got hairy in the home stretch. A caution was thrown with three laps remaining, which erased Pierce’s lead and put a hungry Shannon Babb right on his rear bumper.
Pierce mashed the throttle in Turn 4 and pulled away from Babb, leaving the others behind him as he crossed the stripe for his third Summer Nationals Feature win of the 2022 campaign.
“At that point, I didn’t really think anyone would have anything on the top,” Pierce said. “If I got pressured, maybe I could turn it up a notch and do something.
“I wasn’t too worried, I just knew I had to hit my marks the last few laps and not allow anything to happen.”
Babb, of Moweaqua, IL, came home second after spending the entire race inside the podium. Max Blair, of Centerville, PA, garnered his third-consecutive podium finish in his last three Summer Nationals starts with a third-place Wednesday night. Ryan Unzicker and Brian Shirley rounded-out the top-five.
The DIRTcar Summer Nationals next heads to its birthplace on Thursday, June 23 – Spoon River Speedway in Lewiston, IL. If you can’t be at the track, watch every lap live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 40 Laps | 00:16:42.305
1. 32-Bobby Pierce; 2. 18-Shannon Babb; 3. 111V-Max Blair; 4. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 5. 3S-Brian Shirley; 6. 25- Jason Feger; 7. 86-Kyle Beard; 8. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr; 9. 36-Logan Martin; 10. 42-Mckay Wenger; 11. 14G-Joe Godsey; 12. 81E-Tanner English; 13. F1-Payton Freeman; 14. 44-Blaze Burwell; 15. 77-Preston Luckman; 16. 31-Paul Stubber; 17. 4D-Doug Tye; 18. 97-Cade Dillard; 19. 10-Garrett Smith; 20. 30-Mark Voigt; 21. 7B-Mark Burgtorf; 22. 29-Spencer Diercks
EARNED IT: Hoffman Defends Against Challengers to Win at Adams County
While Nick Hoffman’s perfect DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals season is still intact, it was certainly challenged Wednesday night at Adams County Speedway (IL).
After the drop of the green on the 25-lap Feature, Hoffman slipped back to fourth after Elite Chassis customer Kelly Kovski made the pass on him for third inside the first five laps of the race. A yellow was thrown shortly after, which Hoffman used to return the favor on the ensuing restart.
“I kinda did a bad job in the first five laps at picking the correct lane,” Hoffman said. “I could’ve just fell in line and rode in third, which, looking back on it, probably would’ve been the smarter thing to do, but I was trying to run out the middle of the racetrack and it just go super dirty.”
Hoffman next set his sights on Kenny Wallace in second, catching and passing him the same way four laps later. That left only leader Tyler Nicely to go.
Hoffman and Nicely raced side-by-side for several laps, swapping the top spot back-and-forth a couple times before Hoffman used the lapped traffic to get away with the lead for good.
“[Nicely] was running the middle lane, kinda where I wanted to be, and I was able to make enough speed around the bottom to at least show him the nose,” Hoffman said of his pass for the lead on Nicely. “I was really surprised he didn’t come down and try it. There were plenty of times where he could’ve come down and ran the bottom, but he didn’t.”
In the end, Hoffman mastered Adams County for his 63rd career Summit Modified victory, while Kyle Steffens zoomed ahead on the final restart, taking four positions in two laps to claim the runner-up spot. Nicely rounded out the podium.
The DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals next heads to the birthplace of its sister Late Model tour on Thursday, June 23 – Spoon River Speedway in Lewiston, IL. If you can’t be at the track, watch every lap live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature 25 Laps | 00:16:31.199
1. 2-Nick Hoffman; 2. 8-Kyle Steffens; 3. 25-Tyler Nicely; 4. 22-Austen Becerra; 5. 05-Dave Wietholder; 6. 10K- Kelly Kovski; 7. 00S-Chris Spalding; 8. 36-Kenny Wallace; 9. 99B-Brandyn Ryan; 10. 130-Chase Allen; 11. 16D-Shawn Deering; 12. 9C-Russ Coultas; 13. 00B-Scott Bryant; 14. 54-Zachary Hawk; 15. 17V-Mike Vanderiet Jr; 16. ONE-William Huff; 17. 9-Charles Baker; 18. 117-Frankie Wellman; 19. 77S-Rick Stevenson; 20. 16-Levi Long; 21. 8C-Michael Claeys; 22. (DNS) 16S-Steve Stotler
DIRTcar Series PR