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Daily Dirt 06/19/2024 05:08:28

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May 25
Tri-City Speedway,
Granite City, IL
Sanction: Castrol FloRacing Night in America - $10,000
Information provided by: Staff and series reports (last updated May 31, 7:52 pm)
Pierce dominates Tri-City for $10,000 Castrol win
  1. Bobby Pierce
  2. Jonathan Davenport
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Earl Pearson Jr.
  5. Shannon Babb
  6. Jimmy Owens
  7. Tony Jackson Jr.
  8. Rick Eckert
  9. Tanner English
  10. Brandon Sheppard
  11. Mike Marlar
  12. Gordy Gundaker
  13. Jeff Herzog
  14. Reid Millard
  15. Rusty Griffaw
  16. Billy Laycock
  17. Trevor Gundaker
  18. Kyle Bronson
  19. Kent Robinson
  20. Kolby Vandenbergh
  21. Daryn Klein
  22. Billy Moyer Jr.
  23. Blake Bailey
  24. Ryan King
  25. Chris Simpson
  26. Brent McKinnon
  27. Paul Roider
presented by
Jacob Dearing/stlracingphotos.com
Bobby Pierce shows off his $10,000 paycheck at Tri-City.
What won the race: Pole-starting Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., led all 40 laps Tuesday at Tri-City Speedway for a $10,000 Castrol FloRacing Night in America victory. The high-running Pierce was never challenged in taking the checkers 4.177 seconds ahead of Jonathan Davenport at the 3/8-mile oval.
Key notes: Pierce notched his fourth overall victory of the season. ... He notched his 30th career Late Model victory at Tri-City (four are in Crate competition). ... He's won there every year since 2010 except 2011. ... He's the fourth winner in four races on the first-year tour ... Two cautions slowed the action. ... Kyle Bronson had a lap-five flat tire. ... Chris Simpson spun on a lap-five restart, collecting Paul Roider (both retired). ... The feature started at 8:32 p.m.
On the move: Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., started 11th and finished sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Pierce’s Pierce Race Car is sponsored by Hoker Trucking, Allgayer Inc., Premier Waste Services, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Go Lithium, Base Racing Fuel, Carnaghi Towing, Viper Risk Management, Extreme Electric, First Spear, Quality Paint & Body, Leka Tree Service, Advanced Suspension and Allstar Performance.
Points chase: After Tri-City: 1. Jonathan Davenport (327); 2. Mike Marlar (258); 3. Kyle Larson (243); 4. Bobby Pierce (222); 5. Devin Moran (210); 6. Tanner English (207); 7. Tyler Erb (207); 8. Ryan King (171); 9. Hudson O’Neal (165); 10. Boom Briggs (144).
Current weather: Broken Clouds, 81°F
Car count: 27
Fast qualifier: Bobby Pierce
Time: 15.576 seconds
Polesitter: Bobby Pierce
Heat race winners: Bobby Pierce, Billy Laycock, Tony Jackson Jr.
Next series race: June 2, Florence Speedway (Union, KY) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
From staff and track reports

GRANITE CITY, Ill. — Plenty of folks during the second half of Tuesday's Castrol FloRacing Night in America were hoping for a caution flag to tighten up the action — especially second- and third-running Jonathan Davenport and Kyle Larson — but dominating leader Bobby Pierce definitely wasn't one of them.

Holding a four-second lead through much of the race, Pierce wasn't interested in seeing a yellow flag at the 3/8-mile oval during the 40-lapper.

"I really didn't want to see a caution there. That could've got interesting," the 24-year-old Pierce said. "Bad for the fans, but good for me."

Good for Pierce for sure as the Oakwood, Ill., driver won yet again at a track where he's run as many laps as just about anywhere. Pierce clicked off his 30th career Tri-City Late Model victory — 26 in Super Late Models — and pushed his career earnings at the track near $100,000.

Davenport, of Blairsville, Ga., finished 4.177 seconds back in second with Larson, the open-wheel and NASCAR star from Elk Grove, Calif., in third on a drizzly night near St. Louis, Mo. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was fourth followed by Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., who started fourth and slipped back to 11th after a first-lap brush with the wall.

Pierce's biggest concern was Davenport, a previous Castrol tour winner who was looking for his first career victory at Tri-City after getting up to the second spot on the sixth lap.

"I was pretty nervous. The main reason I'm out of breath, you know, I had a pretty good guy running second behind me," said Pierce, whose high-side line kept him snuggled up against the outer concrete wall much of the race. "A couple of times I'd mess up (and) I could tell he caught me by my dad's signal sticks a little bit. It wasn't much, but just a little. It kind of made me a bit nervous and I almost wish he just would've lied to me. I probably could've run a better race there."

Davenport couldn't match Pierce's high-side momentum on a track that, because of prerace sprinkles, required some extra pace laps to get the surface into shape.

"We went a little bit softer on tires and I didn't know that (the surface) would quite blow off like it did," Davenport said. "I was hoping it would stay dirty and we could run more through the middle. Bobby done a great job. He's one of the best around the wall, especially here. If he'd have stayed at home, I think we could've finally gotten a win here."

Davenport matched his previous best Tri-City finish of second in 2016 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series action when he lost the lead to Scott Bloomquist with eight laps remaining.

"We rebounded from qualifying 17th. We was terrible," Davenport said of Tuesday night's performance. "We found some stuff on the car that we just overlooked and started that heat race and it was a whole different race car again and drove to the front."

Larson, whose car was towed off the track on his second time trial lap when he got into the wall, recovered to start sixth in the main event and moved into the third spot on the 16th lap. He'd advance no further after another bout with the concrete.

"I got into the wall, I don't know, as soon as I got to third and right after that I got really loose (into the corner)," said Larson, a Castrol winner at Brownstown, Ind. " I think if I wouldn't have gotten into the wall, I'd have been able to run the middle strong like I was and would've chased them down ... and who knows? We did get really good there at the end and was hoping for caution. I was watching the (score)board and was just praying that a caution would come out just to give me some sort of opportunity."

He feared the setup on his Kevin Rumley-owned ride might not like the wet surface for the 40-lapper.

"I just kept asking to be tighter and tighter, than it rained, and I was like, 'Uh-oh, we're going to be way too tight here.' But thankfully the track blew off quickly and we were really good," Larson said. "Definitely felt like I had a car to win. I just needed maybe a caution or (not gotten into) the wall and maybe we could've gotten it done."

Two cautions, both on the fifth lap, slowed the action. Kyle Bronson's flat left-rear tire halted the action first with 10th-running Chris Simpson spinning on the restart and collecting Paul Roider, whose car got hung up on Simpson's nosepiece. Both retired.

Notes: Pierce scored his fourth career five-figure payday at Tri-City. His previous came in DIRTcar Summer Nationals action in 2016 and '20 and in 2018 on the Lucas Oil Series. ... Jonathan Davenport poked fun at NASCAR driver Kyle Larson's rainy competition Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. "He was the only one that had any experience running in the rain, so I figured he might pull one out," Davenport cracked. ... Reigning track champion Billy Laycock was among heat winners and started alongside Pierce on the front row, but he slipped back before retiring. ... With the threatening weather, promoters scrapped the consolation race and started all 27 Late Model entrants with the feature starting about 8:35 p.m. ... Besides Larson, two other drivers had problems in time trials. Tanner English hit the wall in turns three and four and limped in without completing a lap; he started 20th in the feature and rallied to ninth. ... Ryan King caught the turn-four wall and did damage that kept him from running his heat; he retired from the feature in 24th.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Bobby Pierce, Billy Laycock
Row 2: Tony Jackson Jr., Shannon Babb
Row 3: Jonathan Davenport, Kyle Larson
Row 4: Earl Pearson Jr., Chris Simpson
Row 5: Daryn Klein, Kyle Bronson
Row 6: Jimmy Owens, Rick Eckert
Row 7: Brandon Sheppard, Kolby Vandenbergh
Row 8: Mike Marlar, Kent Robinson
Row 9: Billy Moyer Jr., Gordy Gundaker
Row 10: Brent McKinnon, Tanner English
Row 11: Jeff Herzog, Rusty Griffaw
Row 12: Paul Roider, Reid Millard
Row 13: Blake Bailey, Trevor Gundaker
Row 14: Ryan King

Heat race results

(Eight laps; all transfer)

First heat: Bobby Pierce, Shannon Babb, Earl Pearson Jr., Kyle Bronson, Brandon Sheppard, Kent Robinson, Brent McKinnon, Rusty Griffaw, Blake Bailey.

Second heat: Billy Laycock, Jonathan Davenport, Chris Simpson, Jimmy Owens, Kolby Vandenbergh, Billy Moyer Jr., Tanner English, Paul Roider, Trevor Gundaker.

Third heat : Tony Jackson Jr., Kyle Larson, Daryn Klein, Rick Eckert, Mike Marlar, Gordy Gundaker, Jeff Herzog, Reid Millard. Scratched: Ryan King.

Time trials

Driver (car no.), hometown, time

  1. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.576
  2. Billy Laycock (82), Marine, Ill., 15.749
  3. Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo., 15.762
  4. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 15.796
  5. Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 15.810
  6. Daryn Klein (33), Fairview Heights, Ill., 15.839
  7. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 15.846
  8. Kolby Vandenbergh (15), Ashland, Ill., 15.884
  9. Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.890
  10. Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill., 15.920
  11. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 15.922
  12. Kyle Larson (6), Elk Grove, Calif., 15.981
  13. Earl Pearson Jr. (1), Jacksonville, Fla., 16.038
  14. Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark., 16.044
  15. Rick Eckert (0E), York, Pa., 16.067
  16. Brent McKinnon (26M), Carlyle, Ill., 16.085
  17. Jonathan Davenport (49), Blairsville, Ga., 16.120
  18. Jeff Herzog (11H), Festus, Mo., 16.179
  19. Kent Robinson (7R), Bloomington, Ind., 16.245
  20. Trevor Gundaker (11T), St. Charles, Mo., 16.271
  21. Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo., 16.303
  22. Rusty Griffaw (16), Festus, Mo., 16.461
  23. Paul Roider (23), Columbia, Ill., 16.989
  24. Reid Millard (14R), Jefferson City, Mo., 17.115
  25. Blake Bailey (11B), Bunker Hill, Ill., 17.692
  26. Tanner English (81E), Benton, Ky., no time
  27. Ryan King (1G), Seymour, Tenn., no time

Feature lineup

Row 1: Pierce, Laycock
Row 2: Jackson, Babb
Row 3: Davenport, Larson
Row 4: Pearson, Simpson
Row 5: Klein, Bronson
Row 6: Owens, Eckert
Row 7: Sheppard, Vandenbergh
Row 8: Marlar, Robinson
Row 9: Moyer Jr., G. Gundaker
Row 10: McKinnon, English
Row 11: Herzog, Griffaw
Row 12: Roider, Millard
Row 13: Bailey, T. Gundaker
Row 14: King
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