The 2016–’17 BK Pro Dirt Series is set to get a shake up in the wake of American Late Model Series racer Bobby Pierce being announced as a guest competitor for three rounds this season.
The 19-year-old from Oakwood, Illinois, is the son of successful racer turned chassis builder Bob Piece, and will take over the seat of the number 24A car (of Ben Harding), which is re-livered in Pierce’s own colours and number — 32 (in the USA).
“I am super excited about the upcoming visit to New Zealand,” said Pierce, “I have been watching some videos on the Super Saloons and the team I will be racing for. It looks extremely different than my Super Late Model I’m accustomed to, but looks like a lot of fun.”
He said that he is hoping to get in some seat time driving the Harding car before contesting his first round at Auckland’s Waikakara Park on November 26 (round three of the series). That will be followed by Meeanee Speedway on December 2 (round four), and his final round at Robertson Holden International Speedway in Palmerston North on December 3 (round five of the series).
Series Promoter Grant Flynn said that having one of America's best Late Model drivers compete in the series will boost what are already hugely entertaining events.
‘‘It’s going to lift the intensity of everything we are doing. We have a professional driver, that’s what he does as a job, who wants to win. Every time he puts his helmet on, he’s there trying to earn a dollar.
“I had a list of drivers who were keen, and I thought I’d start at the top. To me he’s the best driver out there. The fact that he’s won the World 100, which is pretty much the biggest meeting over there, speaks for itself.’’
Pierce became the youngest-ever winner of Eldora Speedway’s World 100 in September 2016 — coming back from 22nd to take the top podium spot — and that win was only one of the 24 feature wins on his 2016 season win list.
“I kind of dreamed of this day, and [thought] when I cross the finish line, am I going to have tears coming out of my eyes or what? But I didn’t … I didn’t, because I think it’s going to take a while to sink in. To win it for my family is awesome,” said Pierce.
The win added to his $50,000 Lucas Oil Late Model Series North/South 100 win at Florence Speedway, Kentucky.
We look forward to seeing how our home-grown drivers stack up against this already-seasoned pro — it’s clear that he ain’t coming here for a holiday!