BK PRO DIRT SERIES
USA Sensation Bobby Pierce
sets sights on BK Pro Dirt Series
The Burger King Pro Dirt Super Saloon series will break new ground this season when American Super Late Model racer Bobby Pierce guests for three rounds.
Pierce (19) from Oakwood Illinois, is the son of racer and chassis builder Bob Pierce, and will take the seat of 24A Ben Harding, that has been re-liveried with Pierce's colours and number - 32 USA.
In a whistle stop visit, Pierce will contest the Waikakara Park (Nov 26), Meeanee (Dec 2) and Palmerston North (Dec 3) rounds of the series.
"I am super excited about the upcoming visit to New Zealand," he said.
"I have been watching some videos on the Super Saloons and the team I will be racing for. It looks extremely different to the Super Late Model that I'm accustomed to, but looks like a lot of fun."
"I'm very competitive and like to win. I am looking forward to getting some seat time in the Lucas Oil Harding Motorsport car ahead of my first foray onto New Zealand dirt so I am comfortable with the car in the hope that my team and I run up front."
It isn't just the racing Pierce is looking forward to.
"I am equally excited to see and visit the country. All I've heard is how beautiful it is."
Series promoter Grant Flynn says having one of the best Late Model drivers in the US as part of the series will add to what is already a great spectacle.
"It's going to lift the intensity of everything we are doing. We have a professional driver, who wants to win. Every time he puts his helmet on, he's there trying to earn a dollar."
"I had a list of drivers who were keen and I thought I'd start at the top. T o me, he's the best driver out there. The fact that he's won the 2016 World 100, which is pretty much the biggest meeting in the USA, speaks for itself."
The deal wouldn't have gone ahead without the support of Waikaraka, Meeanee and Palmerston North promoters Bruce Robertson and Bryan Puklowski.
"They have been a real driving force and it's great to have supporters who are backing our class. They can see the benefit of including an International competitor, and they are blown away we have secured such calibre in Bobby."
If Pierce's star wasn't already on the rise, he really made observers sit up and notice when he became the youngest ever winner of Eldora Speedway's World 100 in September, which is regarded as Dirt Late Model Racing's biggest event.
He came from 22nd spot in the feature to take the win, and said it would take a long time for the magnitude of the win to sink in.
"I kind of dreamed of this day, and when I cross the finish line, am I going to have tears coming out of my eyes or what. But I didn't … I didn't, because I think it's going to take a while to sink in. To win it for (his family) is awesome," he said at the time.
Starting in the 1 1th row, Pierce was inside the top five in the 100-lapper by lap 25, slipped back on a lap-37 restart, then caught and overtook fellow Illinois driver Dennis Erb Jr on the 56th lap to lead the rest of the way.
The win added to the $50,000 Lucas Oil Late Model Series North/South 100 win at Florence Speedway, Kentucky, which was also the track he won is 24th and final feature of the 2016 season, the 50 lap Fall 50 on October 22.
Pierce junior has always been around racing, as a youngster travelling from track to track, securing the prime job of scraping the mud off his dad's car.
With Pierce senior having the nickname The T all Cool One, Bobby was quickly christened The Short Cool One.
It was no coincidence that the year Bob vacated the driver's seat, 2005, was Bobby's first on the dirt — in a quarter midget.
He left the quarter midget ranks in 2007 and the following season took the wheel of a "kid modified" — full sized modified racers with restricted motors.
At 12 he began racing "Crate Late models" where, in 2009, he won 16 feature races.
By 2010 he was in a fully-fledged late model, and finished 18th in his first World of Outlaws Late Model show in Lincoln, Illinois after securing the final qualifying spot in the consolation race.
Bobby Pierce in Late Model 32 USA
You can learn more about Bobby Pierce at bobbypierceracing.com
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