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Bobby Pierce Fires Opening Shot in DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Kankakee County Speedway

Bobby Pierce - Jim Denhamer
Bobby Pierce – Jim Denhamer

The Summer Nationals opens up a double-header Friday night at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.

KANKAKEE, Ill. – June 16, 2016 – Bobby Pierce, the reigning DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion, fired the opening shot of the grueling tour, scoring a hard fought win over Mike Marlar at Kankakee County (Ill.) Speedway on Thursday night.

Pierce, a native of Oakwood, Ill. and son of legendary late model racer Bob Pierce, battled forward through the opening laps as Tanner English led. Mike Marlar battled past English on a restart while Pierce moved to second over English. World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series regular Frank Heckenast Jr. moved to the fourth position.

By the halfway mark, the 19-year-old Pierce had cut Marlar’s lead to half a second as Heckenast moved to third. Pierce continued to cut down the lead in the succeeding laps, ultimately taking the lead on a slider. Pierce and Marlar fought a two-lap battle but Pierce held the position and ultimately claimed the $5,000-to-win opener.

“A lot of times you’re searching for just one win throughout the tour, so to just get it out of the way as soon as possible is really cool,” Pierce said. “Last year I won twice. The year before that I won only one. So starting off the year with a win is really good.”

The Summer Nationals returns to action Friday for the start of a double-header at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis.

Follow the Summer Nationals and Summit Modified Nationals on Twitter at Twitter.com/SummerNationals or on Facebook at Facebook.com/SummerNationals. Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the series throughout the lead up and the summer on the series’ websites at TheHellTour.com and ModifiedNationals.com.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Statistical Report; Kankakee County Speedway, Kankakee, Ill.

A-Main – 1. Bobby Pierce (Oakwood, IL) ($5,000), 2. Mike Marlar (Winfield, TN), 3. Frank Heckenast Jr (Frankfort, IL), 4. Mike Spatola (Manhattan, IL), 5. Jon Henry (Ada, OH), 6. Tanner English (Benton, KY), 7. Bob Gardner (East Peoria, IL), 8. Cody Mahoney (Hanover, IN), 9. Rodney Melvin (Benton, IL), 10. Shannon Babb (Moweaqua, IL), 11. Ryan Unzicker (El Paso, IL), 12. Gordy Gundaker (St Charles, MO), 13. Jay Morris (Watseka, IL), 14. Jason Feger (Bloomington, IL), 15. Timothy Culp (Sheridan, AR), 16. Billy Moyer Jr (Batesville, AR), 17. Kevin Weaver (Gibson City, IL), 18. Billy Hough (Thomasboro, IL), 19. Allen Murray (San Antonio, TX), 20. Glen Thompson (Buckingham, IL), 21. Billy Moyer (Batesville, AR), 22. Steve Thorsten (Milford, IL)

Heat 1:
1.  32  Bobby Pierce
2.  21  Billy Moyer
3.  21JR  Billy Moyer Jr
4.  12B  Kevin Weaver
5.  25  Jason Feger
6.  24  Ryan Unzicker
7.  11  Gordy Gundaker
8.  15H  Jon Henry
9.  77M  Jay Morris

Heat 2:
1.  157  Mike Marlar
2.  99JR  Frank Heckenast Jr
3.  89  Mike Spatola
4.  27M  Rodney Melvin
5.  2  Allen Murray
6.  4  Cody Mahoney
7.  5H  Jeremy Hines
8.  45  Don Hammer
9.  9  Lyle Zanker

Heat 3:
1.  96  Tanner English
2.  4G  Bob Gardner
3.  18  Shannon Babb
4.  C8  Timothy Culp
5.  7T  Steve Thorsten
6.  14  Glen Thompson
7.  33H  Billy Hough
8.  01JR  Greg Cantrell

C-Main 1:
1.  15H  Jon Henry
2.  4  Cody Mahoney
3.  11  Gordy Gundaker
4.  24  Ryan Unzicker
5.  45  Don Hammer
6.  77M  Jay Morris
7.  33H  Billy Hough
8.  14  Glen Thompson
9.  01JR  Greg Cantrell
10.  5H  Jeremy Hines
11.  Lyle Zanker

2016 DIRTcar Summer Nationals Schedule

Date Day Track Winners
Northern Kickoff
June 15 Wednesday Brownstown Speedway Rain/Cancelled
June 16 Thursday Kankakee Co. Speedway Bobby Pierce
June 17 Friday Cedar Lake Speedway
June 18 Saturday Cedar Lake Speedway
June 19 Sunday Wilmot Speedway
Heartland Tour
June 20 Monday OFF
June 21 Tuesday Jacksonville Speedway
June 22 Wednesday Farley Speedway
June 23 Thursday Spoon River Speedway
June 24 Friday Tri-City Speedway
June 25 Saturday Fairbury Speedway
June 26 Sunday Tri-State Speedway
Southern Tour
June 27 Monday OFF
June 28 Tuesday Clarksville Speedway
June 29 Wednesday Belle Clair Speedway
June 30 Thursday Springfield Raceway
July 1 Friday Fayette Co. Speedway
July 2 Saturday Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55
July 3 Sunday Lincoln Speedway
Independence Week
July 4 Monday LaSalle Speedway
July 5 Tuesday Daugherty Speedway
July 6 Wednesday Peoria Speedway
July 7 Thursday Macon Speedway
July 8 Friday Farmer City Speedway
July 9 Saturday Highland Speedway
July 10 Sunday Quincy Raceways
Champions Week
July 11 Monday OFF
July 12 Tuesday Plymouth Speedway
July 13 Wednesday Shadyhill Speedway
July 14 Thursday Merritt Speedway
July 15 Friday Oakshade Raceway
July 16 Saturday Oakshade Raceway

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” is brought to fans across the country by many important partners including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Racing Electronics (Official Communication), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel); in addition to these fine Contingency Partners: Beyea Headers, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, MSD, Impact Race Products, Quartermaster, Superflow Dynos, Summit Racing Equipment and Wrisco Aluminum; Promotional Partners include: Chevy Performance Parts, Indiana Decal, Intercomp and Petroff Towing.

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