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Pierce, Hoffman Score FALS Super Nationals Wins

Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce

Nick Hoffman

Nick Hoffman

Results | Story & Pictures by Rocky Ragusa

As the race season begins to wind down, race teams and fans congregated to the Fairbury Speedway on Saturday night for the “Twin 10’s FALS Super Nationals” presented by New Solutions Ag and Casey’s. The winner of the 50-lap Late Model race and 50-lap Modified race each pocketed $10,000. Bobby Pierce (Late Model) and Nick Hoffman (Modified) put on a clinic in taking the wins in their respective features.

pierce lmThe final race on the MARS Late Model Series schedule saw 34 drivers in attendance. Wisconsin’s Taylor Scheffler’s time of 12.936 seconds led the group one qualifiers. Bloomington’s Jason Feger clipped a lap of 13.162 seconds to lead the second group. Bobby Pierce, Frank Heckenast Jr, Feger, and Billy Moyer were the four heat race winners. Mike Provenzano and Ryan Unzicker took the b-main wins. Pierce wasted little time establishing himself as the man to beat, as he jumped out to a 10-car length lead at the start. Moyer had his hands full dealing with Heckenast. The rapid pace set by Pierce had him catching the rear of the 22-car field by lap 10, with Heckenast, Brian Shirley, Moyer, and Feger trailing. Shirley raced Heckenast for second and allowed Pierce to open up a lead of more than three seconds by the halfway mark. Caution fell on lap 36 as Scott James made contact with an infield tire on the backstretch. Pierce pounded the Fairbury cushion on the ensuing restart as Heckenast and Shirley continued their heated duel. At the end of the 50 laps, Pierce held a 2.5 second lead over Heckenast Jr. “The car was really good tonight,” Pierce said. “I faded at the end. I think I was just too hard on the tires at the beginning of the race. I have to thank my dad. He was on the phone helping us. Fairbury has plagued me in the past for bad luck. We had a lot of good luck charms tonight.” Shirley took third, with Tim Manville and Feger following. Scheffler claimed sixth, as 18th starter Unzicker worked his way to seventh, followed by Allen Weisser, Moyer, and Rich Bell.

hoffman md80 of the best Modified drivers in the country came to town looking to take home the big check in the American Modified Series sanctioned race. Hailing from the Wolverine state, Curt Spalding toured the track with a lap of 13.966 seconds to lead the first group of qualifiers, while Oaklawn’s Bob Pohlman turned a lap of 14.126 to lead group two. Eight heat races were held with the top two finishers advancing to the main event. Spalding, Nick Hoffman, Tyler Nicely, Bobby Pierce, Pohlman, Chris Arnold, Dawson Cook, and Allen Weisser won their respective heat races. Four last chance races saw Will Krup, Bobby Stremme, Brian Shaw, and Kyle Hammer advancing to the feature race. As the green flag waved, Pohlman took the lead with Cook in second. Following a caution on lap two, Cook raced side-by-side with Pohlman before the son of the late Gary Cook Jr. pulled out to a 10-car length lead. As Cook was entering turn one, his car broke, spun around, and faced the traffic. Fourth running Mike Harrison, with nowhere to go, ran into Cook causing significant damage to both machines, ending both their nights. The restart had Hoffman as the new race leader, followed by Pohlman, Nicely, Pierce, and Spalding. Mike McKinney, who started deep in the field after dropping out of his heat race, moved into 11th after 10 laps. Hoffman was able to run the bottom of the track extending his lead as Pierce, running the top side, raced side-by-side with Nicely. Nicely fended off Pierce as Weisser began to make his move. Weisser got by Pierce and reeled in Nicely. Weisser overtook Nicely for second on lap 24, as Hoffman encountered slower traffic. After a lap 29 caution, Hoffman led Weisser, Nicely, Pierce, and Pohlman. The hard charging McKinney was scored in seventh. Both racing the bottom groove, Hoffman held a five-car length lead over Weisser before a caution fell on lap 38. Third running Pierce pulled into the pit area to change a tire and fell to the back of the pack. Going to a single file restart, Hoffman led Weisser, Nicely, David Stremme, and McKinney. With under 10 laps to go, Weisser began his charge in pursuit of the reigning Summit Modified champion, but as the checkered flag waved, Hoffman laid claim in winning the 8th Annual Casey’s Modified Nationals event. “Our car was good, but I think Allen was a little better,” spoke the Mooresville, N.C. driver. “I couldn’t figure out how to get through that hole in turn two. The car would bounce down the backstretch and I gave up a lot of time.” Returning to his early season form, Weisser took second, with Nicely, 16th starter David Stremme, and 25th starter McKinney rounding out the top five. The remainder of the top ten saw Derek Losh, Bobby Stremme, Hammer, Bradley Jameson, and Victor Lee as 18 of the 26 drivers finished the race.


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