MACON, Ill. — Despite what many would call a ‘quiet’ run during this year’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals, Bobby Pierce asserted why he is the two-time defending Hell Tour champion with a dominant win in Thursday night’s 37th annual Herald & Review 100 at Macon Speedway.
Pierce and Ryan Unzicker went back and forth the entire way, trading the lead furiously around the tight, fifth-mile dirt oval as both struggled to find supremacy.
But after a caution flag with 24 laps to go, Pierce pulled away, while Unzicker was left to duel for second in the final laps.
The win was Pierce’s second-straight in the Herald & Review 100, his third Summernationals win of the year and paid $5,000 in prize money.
“That was probably one of the funnest races ever,” Pierce said after climbing from his car. “We rubbed fenders a little bit through lapped traffic. I’m just glad that (Bob) Pierce (Race) cars finished 1-2-3, so that’s pretty cool. Heck we could go anywhere tonight.”
The race featured 12 official lead changes, with 10 of them coming between Pierce and Unzicker.
However, the final caution slayed Unzicker’s chances, as he faded while Gordy Gundaker and current World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series points leader Brandon Sheppard rose.
Gundaker ultimately came home in second, just ahead of Sheppard, who was seeking his sixth-consecutive Hell Tour win.
Unzicker ended up fourth after being nipped by Sheppard at the checkered flag.
“I didn’t feel like that last caution really helped me,” Unzicker said. “After that caution the car just wasn’t sticking on the right rear. I don’t know … It was a good race between me and Bobby there. At the beginning I thought we were gonna have him and then he was gonna have us.”
All-time event king Shannon Babb, a five-time winner of the Macon special, set fast time and led the field to green from the pole but ended up a distant eighth at the finish.
Mike Harrison won the Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals feature, and Tim Hancock Jr. topped the B-Mod main event.
RESULTS: Herald & Review 100; Macon Speedway; July 7, 2017
A-Feature (100 laps): 1. Bobby Pierce; 2. Gordy Gundaker; 3. Brandon Sheppard; 4. Ryan Unzicker; 5. Billy Moyer Jr.; 6. Brian Shirley; 7. Kevin Weaver; 8. Shannon Babb; 9. Brent Larson; 10. Rusty Schlenk; 11. Jason Feger; 12. Bob Gardner; 13. Austin Theiss; 14. Paul Stubber; 15. Dustin Nobbe; 16. Jeff Herzog; 17. Timothy Culp; 18. Rusty Griffaw; 19. Eric Cooley; 20. Jordan Bauer; 21. Daryn Klein; 22. Michael Kloos.
Dirt on Dirt and DIRTcar Communications contributed to this story.
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