ROSSBURG, Ohio — Twice, Bobby Pierce has arrived at Eldora Speedway with Mike Mittler and the No. 63 MB Motorsports team seeking a win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
And twice, Pierce has had one of the fastest trucks on the property, only to see the trophy slip through his fingertips.
In his Truck debut in 2015, Pierce set fast time in qualifying, won his heat race, started on the pole in the 150-lap main event and waged a back-and-forth duel with then-relative unknown Christopher Bell through the closing stage of the race.
But though Pierce tried, banging his truck off the cushion again and again in the final laps trying to run Bell down, it was Bell who hung on to score his first series win and not Pierce.
And last year, though Pierce again won his heat race to start on the pole and led 102 of the 150 laps, his race was cut short 24 rounds from the end after a transmission failure sent him into the inside wall and ultimately out of the event.
This year, Pierce hopes the third time is the charm as he shoots to become the fifth different winner in five Eldora Truck races.
“We’ll see if it all comes together this time,” Pierce said following final practice Tuesday night. “The first two times, obviously, we were really close. That’s an inevitable part of racing, though. It’s always would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. There’s a whole bunch of other drivers out there and we’re all trying to do the same thing, and that’s win a race. We’ve always had a lot of odds against us, but we’ve never shied away from that … and I’ve been proud of the runs we’ve had here.”
“Hopefully the third time is the charm. We’ve got two super fast trucks. Chris Windom is a great teammate. I’m hoping we can learn off each other and keep getting the trucks better. We’ve been struggling with the same issues so far, being tight in … but we’re thinking of some things to make it work and I’m ready to go for broke. If we can resolve that, I know we’ll have a shot to win this race.”
Pierce added that having a teammate like Windom, who is well-versed in dirt track racing in his own right, has been a major benefit to him this year after flying solo in his first two Eldora Truck races for MB Motorsports.
“It definitely helps to have him around,” Pierce said of Windom. “He’s another dirt guy that really knows Eldora, and even though it’s his first time doing it (in a Truck) … we can take notes and compare, especially because our trucks are behaving so similarly. The new tire is throwing us off a little bit, but he knows what he’s doing and he’s been a good resource for me to have this week.”
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