Bobby Pierce has done what no other Late Model driver has been able to do yet this season – win against World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model and DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model drives. Multiple times, as well.
This weekend, he’ll have the opportunity to do so again but in the same race – twice.
For the first time since 2019, the World of Outlaws and Summer Nationals tours collide during the St. Louis Firecracker Faceoff at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, Friday-Saturday, June 24-25. The best of both series will battle against each other for a $10,000 payday on Friday and then a $20,000 payday on Saturday.
For Pierce, the defending Summer Nationals I-55 winner and five-time overall victor at the Pevely, MO track, it’s an exciting opportunity to race at one of his best – and favorite tracks – for a large purse. But with the combination of the Summer Nationals and World of Outlaws fields, he said nothing will be easy.
“As a driver, I definitely don’t like the more competition,” Pierce said with a chuckle. “No, as a competitive side, it is great, and Pevely is a great track. So, should have no problem with it being a great show. Pevely is one of my favorite tracks. And then you bring in all that competition, it’s going to be a lot harder than your typical ‘Hell Tour’ show. Hopefully one of the Summer Nationals guys can win it and it’s me.”
Pierce, of Oakwood, IL, is the four-time and defending Summer Nationals champion and current points leader for the Series with two wins. Also, in four World of Outlaws starts this season he’s already matched a season-best for the Series by claiming two victories.
With that success comes the confidence he’s a top contender no matter which series he’s up against.
“It makes you feel good going into it,” Pierce said. “You feel like you have a good shot at winning because you’ve done it already. But I treat every race like the same. Whether it is the Million (at Eldora) or whatever race. You kind of have to forget about the last night or last week. Every night is a new night so you want to do the best you can every night. The best of the best forget about the last night and then try to win the next one.”
While Pierce has mastered that during the Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” (32 races in 40 days) so have many of the drivers he’ll be competing against list World of Outlaws champions Brandon Sheppard and Shane Clanton, and fellow Summer Nationals champion and current World of Outlaws points leader Dennis Erb Jr.
Fortunately, for Pierce, I-55 is a track he’s been racing at since he was 13 years old.
“You haul the mail there early if it is fast,” Pierce said. “Toward the end, the track moves around. I’ve been there for a Feature where in the one race you’re on the bottom, top, move to the middle. Kind of have to chase the racetrack around, which as a racer we love that. We love for a track to have those different lines we can choose from to race on and make moves and pass cars and get to where we need to be. It’s a racy little place when it’s right.
“Just like any time you have to qualify good and have a good Heat Race. This time especially with bringing in the World of Outlaws guys. You want to make sure you’re dialed all night.”
To win it, though, would mean more than any other I-55 win for Pierce. While it’s four hours away from his Illinois homestead, the Missouri track is almost a home away from home for him. He grew up going to the track with his father – legendary dirt Late Model driver Bob Pierce – ran against the World of Outlaws for the first time at I-55 and, simply, enjoys the track.
“It would be my biggest win at Pevely,” Pierce said. “I think it would be the most I’ve raced for at Pevely. I’m definitely going to want to win it.
“Heck, I kind of grew up racing at Pevely when I was younger. When I first got started in Supers I was 13 or 14. And the first time I went to Pevely was for a World of Outlaws show. And when I was 13, that was my first year in a Super and I was like all over the place. I made the show. I passed someone in the B-Main. I can’t remember who it was. But it was like one of the World of Outlaws guys. It would be my biggest win there for sure. It would mean a lot to me.”
To watch Pierce take on the stars of the World of Outlaws CASE Late Models and DIRTcar Summer Nationals, you can purchase your tickets here.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.