Bobby Pearce (32) races under the leadership of Jonathan Davenport at Vadoo Speedway Park. (Photo by Mike Rover)
VADO, New Mexico – Bobby Pierce ended Jonathan Davenport’s three-race winning streak during the fourth round of the Rio Grande Wild West Waste Services Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts at FK Rod Ends Vado Speedway Park.
Lots of questions were running through Bobby Pearce’s mind before a two-lap shootout to complete 30 laps.
Can he snap Jonathan Davenport’s three-race winning streak? Can he grab his first career victory in the Longhorn structure? Can he win $10,000 and shoot the six shooters in victory lane?
Instead of ants behind the wheel, the 26-year-old Oakwood, Illinois, made sure he didn’t get caught up in the moment.
The fifth driver to outsprint Davenport with the task of sliding the 18th lap into the three-eighths of a mile oval held the last two laps to end Davenport’s chances in the $300,000 Penske Racing Shocks Paydirt Jackpot and sweep six races by taking Checkers .950 seconds ahead of the winner of the miniseries events. The first three.
Runners-up can still take advantage of the bonus program on Saturday and Sunday with a fourth win of $25,000 or a fifth win of $100,000.
Pole starter Jarrett Alperson mixed up with the leaders halfway through the 30-lapper and finished third while Kyle Larson and Brandon Sheppard rounded out the top five.
While Davenport was the only driver to visit victory lane, Pierce Longhorn was strong leading the most laps in the opener followed by third and second-place finishes. Pierce’s cool strategy on Friday after his caution on lap 29 for Dillon McCowan’s flat tire—an accident right in front of the leaders—helped him pick up Davenport’s line.
“I sat there on the restart with (two laps) to go, and I was like, ‘You know, it’s a losing race,’” I said to myself, “You know, it’s definitely a win I wanted. My first win at Longhorn and JD’s been on a hot streak.” Here.” “But I thought to myself, Just pretend you’re not racing for a big win. I just think you’re going to be in this situation a few times, racing for maybe a million dollars.”
Although the stakes weren’t very high, Pierce was happy to be on the right track after making the off-season move from his family’s Pierce Race Car to North Carolina-based Longhorn chassis.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for putting them in this position,” he said. “I’m just really writing to everyone, whether it’s the crew or the sponsors, everyone helps me out. I was on the phone with Matt (Langston from Longhorn Chassis today and he) helped me get through these punctures. We finally made the right call on the tyres.”
While Davenport had to drop his black cowboy hat three times in victory lane, the outside front row player took his hat to Pearce for passing him on the high side.
“I shifted my line a little bit (after restarting turn 10) and then I think Bobby found the very high side, you know, there in (Turns) one and two,” said Davenport. “Once I moved there, I could keep up, but (it’s) sometimes better (to run) in second place. But I have no excuses. My buddies gave me another great car again. Corey (Vusvedt), Vinnie (Giuliani) and Michael (Bixby) Great job. I did my best. We came one short. But hey, we’re still running second. We can’t get your head on that.”
The Advantage (30 laps): 1. 32 Bobby Pierce; 2.49 – Jonathan Davenport; 3.58 – Garrett Person; 4.6 – Kyle Larson; 5. B5- Brandon Sheppard; 6. 7-Ricky Weiss; 7. 157 – Mike Marlar; 8. 97 Kidd Dillard; 9. 1st- Johnny Scott; 10. 04- Tad Pospisil; 11. 24- Bill Leighton; 12. 14M Morgan Bagley; 13. 2S- Stormy Scott; 14. 91- Rusty Schlink; 15. 28- Dustin Sorenson; 16. 25- Mickey Kell; 17.8 – Dillon McCowan; 18. 15S- Clayton Stockey; 19. 21- Billy Muir Sr; 20. 1T- Tyler Erb; 21. 75- Terry Phillips; 22. 86- Kyle Bird; 23. 15- Justin Duty; 24. 42S- Don Shaw