Bobby Pierce Holds Them Off On Night #2 of the Late Model Knoxville Nationals; Earns the Pole for Saturday Night! 

Bobby Pierce – Mike Ruefer photo

by Bill Wright 

 KNOXVILLE, Iowa (September 16, 2022) – Bobby Pierce claimed his first ever win at the Knoxville Raceway Friday on Night #2 of the 18th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals.  The Oakwood, Illinois native had to persevere and hold off Ricky Thornton Jr. for his well-deserved win.  Pierce had a near perfect night, earning 498 points.  His only slip was registering the second quick time in his group.  His heat and feature win were enough to land him on the pole of Saturday night’s $50,000 to win main event.

Brandon Overton edged Chris Simpson to lead early in the 25-lap main event.  Earl Pearson Jr. was third, ahead of Tyler Bruening and Pierce.  Pierce shot by Bruening for fourth on lap two, and picked off Pearson for third on the fifth circuit.  By lap seven, Chris Simpson was Pierce’s next victim, as he moved into the runner-up spot behind Overton.

Pierce found the cushion to his liking on the half-mile, and shot by Overton to complete lap nine.  Four laps later, Simpson followed him into second.  At that point, Tyler Erb brought the only caution of the event out when he stopped in turn two.  The restart was a wild one, with Overton reclaiming the point, followed by Pierce, Bruening, Simpson and Thornton.

Pierce regained his composure and used the low side to move by Overton for the lead with ten to go.  Thornton claimed fourth on the same lap, and then passed Bruening in close racing high in turn four on lap 16.  Thornton used the cushion to ride by Overton with six to go and set his sights on Pierce.

Thornton gained on the leader, but never seriously challenged him down the stretch.  Pierce’s win came ahead of Thornton, Simpson, Overton and Bruening.  Ricky Weiss, Hudson O’Neal, Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie and Jimmy Owens rounded out the top ten.  Bruening and Tad Pospisil set quick time over their respective groups, while O’Neal, Pierce, Davenport and Daniel Hilsabeck claimed the four heats.  Chris Madden and Weiss were the B main winners.

“It was an awesome night,” said Pierce in Victory Lane.  “It was a big turnaround from last night from not even making the show.  We were a little negative heading into it, because we know it takes some luck just to make the show.  We had an awesome car.  Hat’s off to everyone that works on this thing.  To end up here in Victory Lane means everything.  I made it kind of exciting on the restart when the carburetor stumbled and I couldn’t get going. I hope I didn’t bottle the field behind me.  We got back to the lead and it was awesome.  The track was good.  If you hit the brown right, it was like a traction strip on Mario and you would rocket off!”

“We weren’t very good early, and then we started railing the top,” said Thornton.  “I kind of figured out a line through one and two where we were straight like a sprint car up against the wall.  We got pretty good.  I was worried I was going to hit it too hard and put the right front in the wall.  We got pretty lucky we didn’t.”

“We started on the pole there and Overton got by us,” said Simpson.  “I moved up and probably should have just stayed on the bottom.  We worked our way back up to third, and messed up a bit on the restart.  We struggled a little bit last night, but it’s good to be up here tonight.  We rolled the bottom really well.”

Join us for Saturday’s finale of the 18th Annual Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals on Thursday!  For more information, visit or check Knoxville Raceway’s website at www.KnoxvilleRaceway.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

18th Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals Night #2 Results 

 Time Trials Group A (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 16, Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA (2), 17.778; 2. 32, Bobby Pierce, Oakwood, IL (3), 17.806; 3. 58, Garrett Alberson, Las Cruces, NM (6), 17.863; 4. 46, Earl Pearson Jr., Trinity, NC (9), 17.896; 5. 32S, Chris Simpson, Marion, IA (1), 17.912; 6. 44, Chris Madden, Gray Court, SC (5), 17.931; 7. 71, Hudson O’Neal, Martinsville, IN (19), 18.136; 8. 20, Jimmy Owens, Newport, TN (10), 18.173; 9. 25C, Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA (20), 18.176; 10. 11, Spencer Hughes, Meridian, MS (22), 18.186; 11. 3S, Brian Shirley, Chatham, IL (11), 18.196; 12. 42, Johnathan Huston, Columbus Junction, IA (7), 18.225; 13. 18J, Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS (8), 18.293; 14. 22, Charlie McKenna, Clear Lake, IA (14), 18.303; 15. 7, Ross Robinson, Georgetown, DE (13), 18.304; 16. 1T, Tyler Erb, Houston, TX (17), 18.323; 17. 18D, Daulton Wilson, Fayetteville, NC (21), 18.445; 18. 157, Mike Marlar, Winfield, TN (15), 18.465; 19. 18S, Jesse Sobbing, Glenwood, IA (18), 18.588; 20. 56, Chris Spieker, Massena, IA (16), 18.734; 21. 6H, Al Humphrey, Giltner, NE (4), 19.03; 22. 14M, Reid Millard, Jefferson City, MO (12), 19.951

Time Trials Group B (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 04, Tad Pospisil, Norfolk, NE (10), 17.717; 2. 39, Tim McCreadie, Watertown, NY (1), 18.222; 3. 20RT, Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, AZ (9), 18.355; 4. 1, Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL (13), 18.364; 5. 29D, Spencer Diercks, Davenport, IA (2), 18.412; 6. 76, Brandon Overton, Evans, GA (15), 18.419; 7. 49, Jonathan Davenport, Blairsville, GA (20), 18.439; 8. 7W, Ricky Weiss, Headingley, MB, Can. (5), 18.451; 9. 19R, Ryan Gustin, Marshalltown, IA (3), 18.580; 10. 22H, Daniel Hilsabeck, Earlham, IA (12), 18.623; 11. 8, Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, NC (21), 18.691; 12. 99JR, Frank Heckenast Jr., Orland Park, IL (7), 18.706; 13. 15, Justin Duty, Molalia, OR (4), 18.751; 14. 51, Matt Furman, Iowa City, IA (16), 18.776; 15. 1X, Aaron Marrant, Orrick, MO (18), 18.805; 16. 2S, Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, NM (11), 19.080; 17. 33, Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA (8), 19.094; 18. 14W, Dustin Walker, Polk, MO (14), 19.352; 19. 93, Chad Simpson, Mount Vernon, IA (6), 19.614; 20. 10, Junior Coover, Norfolk, NE (17), 20.859; 21. 40B, Kyle Bronson, Brandon, FL (19), NT

Heat one (started), 12 Laps, 3:54.0: 1. Hudson O’Neal (3); 2. Tyler Bruening (6); 3. Chris Simpson (4); 4. Brian Shirley (1) / 5. Shane Clanton (2); 6. Chase Junghans (7); 7. Garrett Alberson (5); 8. Jesse Sobbing (10); 9. Ross Robinson (8); 10. Daulton Wilson (9); 11. Al Humphrey (11)

Heat two (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Bobby Pierce (6); 2. Jimmy Owens (3); 3. Earl Pearson Jr. (5); 4. Spencer Hughes (2) / 5. Tyler Erb (8); 6. Chris Madden (4); 7. Charlie McKenna (7); 8. Reid Millard (11); 9. Mike Marlar (9); 10. Johnathan Huston (1); 11. Chris Spieker (10)

Heat three (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Jonathan Davenport (3); 2. Kyle Strickler (1); 3. Ricky Thornton Jr. (5); 4. Spencer Diercks (4) / 5. Tad Pospisil (6); 6. Aaron Marrant (8); 7. Chad Simpson (10); 8. Justin Duty (7); 9. Nick Marolf (9); 10. Kyle Bronson (11); 11. Ryan Gustin (2)

Heat four (started), 12 Laps, 3:59.0: 1. Daniel Hilsabeck (2); 2. Brandon Overton (4); 3. Frank Heckenast Jr. (1); 4. Tim McCreadie (6) / 5. Brandon Sheppard (5); 6. Ricky Weiss (3); 7. Stormy Scott (8); 8. Matt Furman (7); 9. Dustin Walker (9); 10. Junior Coover (10)

B main #1 (started), 12 Laps, NT: 1. Chris Madden (2); 2. Garrett Alberson (1); 3. Chase Junghans (4); 4. Tyler Erb (6) / 5. Daulton Wilson (9); 6. Charlie McKenna (3); 7. Reid Millard (8); 8. Jesse Sobbing (5); 9. Johnathan Huston (12); 10. Al Humphrey (11); 11. Ross Robinson (7); 12. Mike Marlar (10) DNS – 13. Shane Clanton 14. Chris Spieker

B main #2 (started), 12 Laps, 4:07.0: 1. Ricky Weiss (3); 2. Brandon Sheppard (2); 3. Tad Pospisil (1); 4. Aaron Marrant (4) / 5. Justin Duty (7); 6. Nick Marolf (9); 7. Matt Furman (8); 8. Dustin Walker (10); 9. Junior Coover (11); 10. Chad Simpson (6); 11. Stormy Scott (5) DNS – 12. Kyle Bronson 13. Ryan Gustin

A main, 25 Laps, NT: 1. Bobby Pierce (5); 2. Ricky Thornton Jr. (6); 3. Chris Simpson (1); 4. Brandon Overton (2); 5. Tyler Bruening (7); 6. Ricky Weiss (18); 7. Hudson O’Neal (9); 8. Jonathan Davenport (10); 9. Tim McCreadie (8); 10. Jimmy Owens (11); 11. Brian Shirley (15); 12. Earl Pearson Jr. (3); 13. Spencer Hughes (13); 14. Brandon Sheppard (20); 15. Garrett Alberson (19); 16. Kyle Strickler (14); 17. Tad Pospisil (22); 18. Chase Junghans (0); 19. Chris Madden (17); 20. Spencer Diercks (4); 21. Frank Heckenast Jr. (16); 22. Daniel Hilsabeck (12); 23. Tyler Erb (23); 24. Aaron Marrant (24)

18th Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals Saturday Lineups (Subject to Change) 

 A main 

 32, Bobby Pierce, 498

  1. 49, Jonathan Davenport, 489
  2. 16, Tyler Bruening, 489
  3. 20RT, Ricky Thornton Jr., 488
  4. 46, Earl Pearson Jr., 486
  5. 32s, Chris Simpson, 482
  6. 25c, Shane Clanton, 482
  7. 76, Brandon Overton, 481
  8. 39, Tim McCreadie, 480
  9. 20, Jimmy Owens, 480
  10. 1, Brandon Sheppard, 478
  11. 8, Kyle Strickler, 477
  12. 71, Hudson O’Neal, 476
  13. 7w, Ricky Weiss, 461
  14. 11, Spencer Hughes, 460
  15. 19R, Ryan Gustin, 458
  16. 04, Tad Pospisil, 456
  17. 1x, Aaron Marrant, 454
  18. 18J, Chase Junghans, 452
  19. 3s, Brian Shirley, 451
  20. 58, Garrett Alberson, 450
  21. 157, Mike Marlar, 449
  22. 62, Justin Zeitner, 448
  23. 29D, Spencer Diercks, 445

Drivers Eligible for B main(s) 

 24. 7, Ross Robinson, 441

  1. 22H, Daniel Hilsabeck, 440
  2. 44, Chris Madden, 439
  3. 2s, Stormy Scott, 436
  4. 99JR, Frank Heckenast Jr., 432
  5. 56, Chris Spieker, 419
  6. 1T, Tyler Erb, 414
  7. 18s, Jesse Sobbing, 413
  8. 18D, Daulton Wilson, 398
  9. 15, Justin Duty, 397
  10. 22, Charlie McKenna, 396
  11. 21, Billy Moyer, 392
  12. 51, Matt Furman, 391
  13. 33, Nick Marolf, 391
  14. 40B, Kyle Bronson, 390
  15. 1st, Johnny Scott, 390
  16. 42, Johnathan Huston, 385
  17. 53, Andrew Kosiski, 384
  18. 14w, Dustin Walker, 378
  19. 93, Chad Simpson, 378
  20. 14M, Reid Millard, 375
  21. 48, Tim Lance, 373
  22. 10, Junior Coover, 369
  23. 6H, Al Humphrey, 367