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Daily Dirt 05/25/2024 09:26:49

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April 13
Farmer City Raceway,
Farmer City, IL
Sanction: World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series (Illini 100) - $20,000
Information provided by: Kyle McFadden, series and track reports (last updated April 15, 1:07 pm)
Pierce storms to runaway Illini win worth $20,000
Illini 100
  1. Bobby Pierce
  2. Nick Hoffman
  3. Tyler Erb
  4. Kyle Bronson
  5. Brandon Sheppard
  6. Chris Madden
  7. Tim McCreadie
  8. Cade Dillard
  9. Jason Feger
  10. Cody Overton
  11. Tyler Bruening
  12. Jason Riggs
  13. Max Blair
  14. Brian Shirley
  15. Dennis Erb Jr.
  16. Dustin Sorensen
  17. Myles Moos
  18. Max McLaughlin
  19. Brent Larson
  20. Parker Martin
  21. Ryan Gustin
  22. Jimmy Owens
  23. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  24. Ethan Dotson
  25. Tripp Gerrald
  26. Shannon Babb
presented by
Josh James/joshjamesartwork.com
Bobby Pierce powering toward a runaway victory in Saturday's Illini 100 weekend finale.
What won the race: Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., put on a driving clinic Saturday night at Farmer City Raceway, storming to a runaway $20,000 victory in the 60-lap Illini 100 weekend finale. The 27-year-old superstar overtook Chris Madden for the lead on lap 13 and never looked back en route to beating Nick Hoffman — the driver who topped Pierce in a photo finish to win Friday’s 40-lapper — by a commanding margin of 8.825 seconds for his first World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series triumph of 2024.
Key notes: The triumph was the second Illini 100 finale checkered flag of Pierce’s career — he won in 2021 that last time the event was contested — and the 19th of his career on the WoO tour. … Shannon Babb was the first retiree when he suddenly pulled off the track while running third on a lap-three restart.
On the move: Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., started 23rd and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Pierce’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Vic Hill Racing Engine and carries sponsorship from Low Voltage Solutions, Inc., Rio Grande Waste Services, Inc., Hoker Trucking LLC, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Oakwood Tire Center, Bloomington Normal Truck Performance, Carnaghi Towing & Repair, Toyota of Danville, Floyd’s Waste Systems, PureMax Racing Oil, A Plus Vacuum, Leka Tree Service, Velocita, Bert Transmissions by Budda, Ted Brown’s Quality Paint & Body Shop, VP Race Fuels, Swift Springs, Bilstein Shocks, Dirt Car Lift and Performance Bodies.
Points chase: After Farmer City Saturday: 1. Brandon Sheppard (1,142); 2. Chris Madden (1,118); 3. Nick Hoffman (1,108); 4. Cade Dillard (1,106); 5. Tyler Bruening (1,060); 6. Dennis Erb Jr. (1,050); 7. Kyle Bronson (1,044); 8. Bobby Pierce (1,020); 9. Brian Shirley (1,008); 10. Ryan Gustin (1,000); 11. Cody Overton (990); 12. Dustin Sorensen (972).
Current weather: Clear, 61°F
Car count: 44
Fast qualifier: Tim McCreadie
Time: 12.741 seconds
Polesitter: Chris Madden
Heat race winners: Chris Madden, Nick Hoffman, Shannon Babb, Bobby Pierce
Consolation race winners: Max Blair, Tripp Gerrald
Provisional starters: Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin, Brian Shirley, Ethan Dotson
Next series race: April 18, Thunderhill Raceway Park (Summertown, TN) $10,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Matt Skipper
World of Outlaws P.R.

FARMER CITY, Ill. (April 13) — If there is one thing that can be expected at Farmer City Raceway in the 2020s, it’s Bobby Pierce will be the driver all Dirt Late Model drivers are chasing.

The reigning World of Outlaws Case Late Model Series champion showed the way around the quarter-mile oval again on Saturday night, running away with a convincing victory in the 60-lap Illini 100 finale.

Pierce, 27, of Oakwood, Ill., opened up his notebook to make a tire choice for the feature and it was right on the mark, giving him the ability to put his Longhorn Chassis in any lane as he romped to a $20,000 triumph that was his first of 2024 and the 19th of his career on the tour.

After overtaking Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., for the lead on lap 13, Pierce simply drove away from the field. He beat Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C. — the driver who nipped Pierce in a photo finish to win Friday’s 40-lap feature — by a commanding margin of 8.825 seconds in a race that ran caution-free after three slowdowns in the first four laps.

Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, advanced from the 10th starting spot to finish third after reaching the position on lap 32. Kyle Bronson of Brandon, Fla., placed fourth after holding off a late charge by Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., a three-time Illini 100 finale victor who advanced from the 23rd starting spot to complete the top five.

Madden, who led laps 1-12, faded to sixth in the finishing order. His car belched smoke on lap 27 as he battled Hoffman for second but he was able to continue, though his machine sported right-side body damage after the race.

With lapped traffic a constant throughout the largely incident-free race, Pierce used a mix of the high and low lines around the track to navigate the slower cars like he was playing a video game on easy mode. He lapped up to ninth place when he took the checkered flag for his second Illini 100 finale victory, repeating his triumph in 2021 when the event was last contested.

For Pierce, the difference was an abrupt change of tires before he rolled the car up to the grid because he noticed the Xtreme Outlaw Midgets Feature made the race track slick.

“I made a last-second call on the tires,” Pierce said. “My dad was like, ‘Are you sure?’ and I said, ‘Yes, because the Midgets slicked up the track.’

“It just worked out for us, I loved to see the race go caution-free the rest of the way once we got going. That really helped us out there.”

Pierce registered his sixth straight podium finish in WoO features at Farmer City, demonstrating his acumen at the track.

“Growing up here, watching races as a young kid, I remember watching Late Models around here and thinking, Man, these guys are crazy for running the cushion like that,” Pierce said. “So, it’s pretty cool to get another win here.”

Hoffman settled for a second-place finish in his Tye Twarog-owned Longhorn. He wrestled second from Madden on lap 28 and held it for the remaining distance.

“At the start we were frustrated because we couldn’t even get a lap in,” Hoffman said. “Then we basically went the distance from there.

“Looking at the lapped traffic, you had to look at their tendencies and where they were gonna move around. You can’t be too aggressive, but you have to find some ground because you know they are coming from behind. I had a decent lead over third so I was just doing what I needed to do to not be in a bad spot or hit the yuke tires too hard or something stupid.”

Erb climbed his way through the field to finish third, but he was losing patience with the lapped traffic while chasing Hoffman late in the race.

“Our cars are fast,” Erb said. “I’m trying to be better, and if we could’ve gotten through lapped traffic a little better … but it’s part of not winning our heat. It’s our fault. We’re qualifying and heat-racing good. We just need to win those heat races so we can be in a better position in the feature.”

Sheppard was the night’s hard charger with his 18-position gain to finish fifth.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Sheppard, who left Farmer City leading the WoO points standings. “For a lack of better words, I effin sucked to begin the night. We changed a bunch of stuff tonight, got the car back to how I raced it last year and it was really good. It’s small stuff that I’ve got to do better at, and I have no idea what it is yet.

“At this point, it’s about making the qualifying and early-night program better. We have to get that dialed in if we’re going to win the championship. There’s no other way around it. These Longhorn guys and Sheppard Riggs Racing crew are trying and it's all hands on deck to get back to where we need to be. We gotta keep our heads up, keep the team pumped, because nights like these are a testament to the team. I’m putting in 100 percent effort.”

The feature was slowed by three caution flags, all in the first four circuits: laps two and three for spins by Dustin Sorensen and lap four for Max McLaughlin slowing with nosepiece damage.

Feature lineup

(60 laps)
Row 1: Chris Madden, Nick Hoffman
Row 2: Shannon Babb, Bobby Pierce
Row 3: Kyle Bronson, Jason Feger
Row 4: Tim McCreadie, Jason Riggs
Row 5: Cade Dillard, Tyler Erb
Row 6: Dennis Erb Jr., Dustin Sorensen
Row 7: Cody Overton, Jimmy Owens
Row 8: Myles Moos, Parker Martin
Row 9: Max Blair, Tripp Gerrald
Row 10: Max McLaughlin, Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 11: Brent Larson, Tyler Bruening
Row 12: Brandon Sheppard, Ryan Gustin
Row 13: Brian Shirley, Ethan Dotson

Consolation results

(10 laps; top three transfer)

First consolation: Max Blair, Max McLaughlin, Brent Larson, Ethan Dotson, Todd Cooney, Ryan Unzicker, McKay Wenger, Roben Huffman, Rich Bell, Brandon Sheppard, Timmy Dick, Steve Sheppard Jr., Dustin Walker, Jeffrey Ledford.

Second consolation: Tripp Gerrald, Frank Heckenast Jr., Tyler Bruening, Allen Weisser, Brian Shirley, Bob Gardner, Tanner English, Ryan Gustin, Mike Spatola, Tristan Chamberlain, Daniel Adam, Donny Walden, Daniel Hilsabeck, Drake Troutman.

Heat race results

(Eight laps; top four transfer)

First heat: Chris Madden, Tim McCreadie, Cade Dillard, Cody Overton, Max Blair, Max McLaughlin, Todd Cooney, Ryan Unzicker, McKay Wenger, Roben Huffman, Dustin Walker.

Second heat: Nick Hoffman, Kyle Bronson, Dennis Erb Jr., Myles Moos, Brent Larson, Ethan Dotson, Rich Bell, Brandon Sheppard, Steve Sheppard Jr., Timmy Dick, Jeffrey Ledford.

Third heat: Shannon Babb, Jason Riggs, Tyler Erb, Jimmy Owens, Tripp Gerrald, Tyler Bruening, Allen Weisser, Brian Shirley, Mike Spatola, Ryan Gustin, Daniel Hilsabeck.

Fourth heat: Bobby Pierce, Jason Feger, Dustin Sorensen, Parker Martin, Frank Heckenast Jr., Bob Gardner, Tanner English, Donny Walden, Tristan Chamberlain, Drake Troutman, Daniel Adam.

Time trials

Group A
Driver (car no.), hometown, time (unofficial)
1. Tim McCreadie (1), Watertown, N.Y., 12.741
2. Nick Hoffman (9), Mooresville, N.C., 12.774
3. Chris Madden (44), Gray Court, S.C., 12.928
4. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., 13.035
5. Cody Overton (97c), Evans, Ga., 13.036
6. Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla., 13.056
7. Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 13.110
8. Rich Bell (21B), Sheffield, Ill., 13.141
9. Max McLaughlin (22*), Mooresville, N.C., 13.157
10. Myles Moos (84), Lincoln, Ill., 13.293
11. Max Blair (111), Centerville, Pa., 13.295
12. Ethan Dotson (174), Bakersfield, Calif., 13.340
13. Roben Huffman (33H), Midland City, Ill., 13.424
14. Timmy Dick (122), Monticello, Ill., 13.475
15. Todd Cooney (30), Des Moines, Iowa, 13.500
16. Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 13.543
17. McKay Wenger (99), Fairbury, Ill., 13.563
18. Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn., 13.598
19. Ryan Unzicker (24), El Paso, Ill., 13.649
20. Steve Sheppard Jr. (5s), New Berlin, Ill., 13.782
21. Dustin Walker (14w), Polk, Mo., 13.810
22. Jeffrey Ledford (8L), Pontiac, Ill., no time
Group B
1. Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill., 13.025
2. Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 13.025
3. Tyler Erb (1T), New Waverly, Texas, 13.051
4. Bob Gardner (4G), East Peoria, Ill., 13.085
5. Jason Riggs (81), College Grove, Tenn., 13.090
6. Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill., 13.093
7. Tyler Bruening (16), Decorah, Iowa, 13.105
8. Tristan Chamberlain (20tc), Richmond, Ind., 13.108
9. Tripp Gerrald (4gg), Versailles, Ky., 13.125
10. Dustin Sorensen (19), Rochester, Minn., 13.125
11. Ryan Gustin (19R), Marshalltown, Iowa, 13.128
12. Tanner English (96), Benton, Ky., 13.135
13. Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn., 13.161
14. Frank Heckenast Jr. (33), Frankfort, Ill., 13.180
15. Brian Shirley (3s), Chatham, Ill., 13.203
16. Daniel Adam (75), Wade, N.C., 13.221
17. Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 13.231
18. Parker Martin (6jr), Milledgeville, Ga., 13.307
19. Daniel Hilsabeck (22), Earlham, Iowa, 13.312
20. Drake Troutman (7), Hyndman, Pa., 13.416
21. Allen Weisser (25w), Peoria, Ill., 13.725
22. Donny Walden (1w), Towanda, Ill., 13.822

Saturday’s schedule

(All times local)
Noon - Pits open
1 p.m. - Grandstands open
4:30 p.m. - Drivers’ autograph session
6 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
6:30p.m. - On-track activity begins
- Midget hot laps
- Super Late Model hot laps
- Midget time trials (2 laps)
- Super Late Model time trials (2 laps)
- Modifieds hot laps/time trials
Opening ceremonies
- Midget heats (8 laps)
- Super Late Model heats (8 laps)
- Modified heats (8 laps)
Intermission/WoO redraw
- Super Late Model consolations (10 laps)
- Modified consolations (10 laps)
Feature events
- Midgets (30 laps)
- Super Late Models (60 laps)
- Modifieds (30 laps)

Feature lineup

Row 1: Madden, Hoffman
Row 2: Babb, Pierce
Row 3: Bronson, Feger
Row 4: McCreadie, Jas. Riggs
Row 5: Dillard, T. Erb
Row 6: D. Erb Jr., Sorensen
Row 7: C. Overton, Owens
Row 8: Moos, Martin
Row 9: Blair, Gerrald
Row 10: McLaughlin, Heckenast
Row 11: Larson, Bruening
Row 12: B. Sheppard, Gustin
Row 13: Shirley, Dotson

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