Bobby Pierce has grown up around dirt late model and modified racing, his entire life, watching his dad, Bob Pierce, become one of the best drivers in the country and a living legend through his chassis business. Ever since 'The Smooth Operator' sat behind-the-wheel people knew he was going to be special, from his crate late model days, to getting a shot in a super late model, through major event wins, Pierce has established himself as one of the most talented and popular drivers in all of dirt track racing.
Bobby burst on the scene as a national name in 2013, his third full-time season driving a super late model, with eleven wins, including three $10,000-to-win UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals triumphs, which led him to be named the Champion Spark Plugs "Search for a Champion," $50,000 sponsorship contest winner. With a major sponsorship partnership in his back pocket and a number of wins under-his-belt, Pierce took another leap in 2014, nabbing the UMP DIRTcar Late Model National Championship, as well as an American Ethanol Late Model West Series title, to go along with a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory at Macon Speedway and multiple top-five crown jewel event finishes. There was no question after these two seasons, that the kid not even to his eighteenth birthday yet was on the fast-track to major national series success.
During the 2015 season, Bobby Pierce and Bob Pierce Chassis took yet another leap. The team defended their UMP DIRTcar Late Model National title with a second in-a-row, along with a Summer Nationals crown, eighteen total wins, Thaw Brawl victory, UMP Fall Nationals trophy runner-up result in both the World 100 and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway (series debut), topped off with a pole position in the event and the spotlight of the racing world now on the name, Bobby Pierce. 2016 proved more of the same for Pierce, with twenty-five total wins, including two crown jewel event victories (North/South 100), highlighted by a historic triumph in the 46th annual World 100 at Eldora Speedway and topped off with a third straight UMP DIRTcar Late Model National Championship and second consecutive Summer Nationals crown.
As the calendar moved to 2017, Bobby Pierce had won races on the biggest stages, taken a leap to asphalt riding the momentum from two impressive NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts at Eldora Speedway and became one, if not the most popular dirt track racing driver at the track and especially via social media, an area that the sport as a whole had been slow to tap into. During that 2017 season, Pierce added victories in the Show-Me 100, Gateway Dirt Nationals and Farmer City 74 to his already lengthy resume, on his way to fifteen total wins and a third-straight Summer Nationals championship. With now over half a decade of late model racing behind him, championships and nearly 100-victories to his credit, it was time for the family and Pierce to take on the best-of-the-best, weekly.
With the 2018 season looming, Bobby Pierce and Dunn-Benson Motorsports teamed up to take on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, full-time, for the first time in Pierce's career. Though the Illinois native had a number of LOLMDS feature wins to his credit, he had yet to commit to the series or have the funding to do so, which some pointed to as the next step in his career path to prove to the country, as a whole, that he was in fact one of the best. With the grueling tour ahead, Pierce became victorious pretty quickly, adding four total Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wins and a second-straight Gateway Dirt Nationals trophy, for good measure. Even with the success, notebook built and lessons learned, Pierce and Dunn-Benson parted ways following the end of the 2018 calendar, after a six-win season.
2019 saw a return to more of the same for Bobby Pierce, back in his family-owned house car and a mixed-nuts-like schedule. Pierce was able to notch nineteen victories last season, the second-most single-season victories in his career behind-the-wheel of a late model, highlighted by yet another crown jewel triumph, this time in the form of the $53,000-to-win Silver Dollar Nationals, to go along with two $10,000-to-win victories and ten $5,000-$7,500-to-win trophies. Bobby ended the decade with wins at the highest levels of dirt track racing, multiple championships and passed the century mark in career victories, raising the question of what may be ahead for the now 22-year-old "veteran."
The 2020s will no doubt breathe even more victories for Pierce, but it is safe to say that those wins will cross over the 200-mark and become dangerously close to 250 or even 300, highlighted by a Knoxville Nationals, Dirt Late Model Dream, Dirt Million and a second, third or fourth trophy in races he has already been able to drive on-to the stage in. During the next decade we will more-than-likely see Bobby take on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series once again, full-time or maybe a shot at the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, for a full-slate, hopefully, this time with a major sponsor backing the effort and driving a Bob Pierce Chassis House Car, which will be amazing to watch on so many levels for fan of the sport. We could see Bobby assert himself as one of the top three drivers in the sport, continue to grow his popularity and enter the 2030s with a chance of becoming the Greatest Late Model Driver of All-Time, at just over 30-years-old.
There is no question that during the next ten-years Bobby Pierce will continue to add to an already impressive resume, reach heights in popularity and career path that no one saw coming, on his way to possibly making the 2020s forever known as the decade of The Smooth Operator.
- Racing News Photo