Pierce claims second consecutive Gopher 50

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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Bobby Pierce dug deep like a gopher to win his second consecutive NAPA Auto Parts Gopher 50 at Deer Creek Speedway.

The Oakwood, Illinois driver had to creatively maneuver his way through the stout field of World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model competitors and pass four-time Series champion Brandon Sheppard for his second Gopher triumph.

Beginning the feature from the second row, Pierce squeezed his way to second place after a four-wide chase for the spot on the first lap of the 75-lap race.

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While in second, he had to juggle keeping Sheppard within reach while having to also worry about Friday winner Ryan Gustin behind him. The Marshalltown, Iowa driver was using every inch of the track to craft strong runs toward the front.

Pierce needed traffic to hamper Sheppard’s lead, but an excess number of cautions helped keep the No. B5 Sheppard Riggs Racing Longhorn in clean air.

But with 15 laps to go, Pierce found the opportunity to craft his move for the lead. Sliding low on Sheppard through turn 3, the two drivers entered a dead heat for the top spot – set to award $50,000.

Sheppard enters the next race as the series points leader with an 18-point lead over Hoffman. Pierce is third, 154 points behind Sheppard.

The World of Outlaws CASE Late Models make their second trip to Pennsylvania and Ohio with Bedford Speedway on Thursday, July 11, and Sharon Speedway on July 12-13.