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Bobby Pierce Takes Late Model Knoxville Nationals Night 2; Earns Pole For Saturday Night's Finale

From 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 or on Facebook and Twitter.

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

1. 32, Bobby Pierce, 498

2. 49, Jonathan Davenport, 489

3. 16, Tyler Bruening, 489

4. 20RT, Ricky Thornton Jr., 488

5. 46, Earl Pearson Jr., 486

6. 32s, Chris Simpson, 482

7. 25c, Shane Clanton, 482

8. 76, Brandon Overton, 481

9. 39, Tim McCreadie, 480

10. 20, Jimmy Owens, 480

11. 1, Brandon Sheppard, 478

12. 8, Kyle Strickler, 477

13. 71, Hudson O’Neal, 476

14. 7w, Ricky Weiss, 461

15. 11, Spencer Hughes, 460

16. 19R, Ryan Gustin, 458

17. 04, Tad Pospisil, 456

18. 1x, Aaron Marrant, 454

19. 18J, Chase Junghans, 452

20. 3s, Brian Shirley, 451

21. 58, Garrett Alberson, 450

22. 157, Mike Marlar, 449

23. 62, Justin Zeitner, 448

24. 29D, Spencer Diercks, 445

Drivers Eligible for B main(s)

25. 7, Ross Robinson, 441

26. 22H, Daniel Hilsabeck, 440

27. 44, Chris Madden, 439

28. 2s, Stormy Scott, 436

29. 99JR, Frank Heckenast Jr., 432

30. 56, Chris Spieker, 419

31. 1T, Tyler Erb, 414

32. 18s, Jesse Sobbing, 413

33. 18D, Daulton Wilson, 398

34. 15, Justin Duty, 397

35. 22, Charlie McKenna, 396

36. 21, Billy Moyer, 392

37. 51, Matt Furman, 391

38. 33, Nick Marolf, 391

39. 40B, Kyle Bronson, 390

40. 1st, Johnny Scott, 390

41. 42, Johnathan Huston, 385

42. 53, Andrew Kosiski, 384

43. 14w, Dustin Walker, 378

44. 93, Chad Simpson, 378

45. 14M, Reid Millard, 375

46. 48, Tim Lance, 373

47. 10, Junior Coover, 369

48. 6H, Al Humphrey, 367

See the full story and results:

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Photo: / Knoxville Raceway


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