Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Lapped traffic gave Bobby Pierce the pick he needed to pass Nick Hoffman with 13 laps to go, driving off to score the World of Outlaws late model victory at Farmer City Raceway in Illinois Thursday night (June 1).
Hoffman, who led the opening 27 laps after starting on the front row, told DirtVision post-race that he felt his car was equal to Pierce but acknowledged that he made a mistake in lapped traffic. Pierce’s victory was significant in that series points leader Chris Madden faded from a pole start to finish seventh, allowing Pierce to significantly eat into the standings as the Outlaws head to Tri-City Speedway Friday.
Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: See above. The racing surface at Farmer City Thursday was heavily watered and the two-division program was not able to run sufficient laps to widen the racing surface, leading to limited opportunities for passing and side-by-side racing all night long. Pierce had run a mere car length from Hoffman for numerous laps unable to make a pass before the lapped car of Dustin Walker ultimately decided the race.
What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning
There’s few jobs in America harder than preparing a dirt track in the summer months. Fail to put enough water on a track and it’ll get dusty in no time, burning up and taking rubber that reduces races to a parade. Put too much water on a track and the result is the same, with high speeds and a narrow groove producing a different type of parade, albeit a parade.
Sadly, Farmer City trended towards the latter over Thursday evening, with Ryan Gustin lamenting the water-level of the track as early as the heat races for the Outlaw cars. While Thursday’s feature did end up having a compelling finish, that was the product of a long green-flag run that saw the leaders forced to navigate lapped traffic, not a racing surface that widened and allowed for the lip-riding side-by-side action Farmer City has been known for.
The silver lining, however, was just that. That green-flag racing cures all ails. A long run graced Thursday’s Farmer City feature, not only allowing Pierce to stalk Hoffman long enough to find and use a lapped car as a pick to make a pass, but also creating a near-miss situation where Hoffman got back to Pierce as he endured his own challenges with lapped cars. Let a race go and it’ll usually take care of itself.
It took longer than I’d have liked, but the Southern All-Stars finally took care of business Thursday, suspending Josh Putnam for two months from competition after he and his crew took the racing surface during incident clean-up to assault Scott Cook while strapped into his racecar at Thunderhill Raceway Park over the weekend.
I doubt it’ll happen, but I’d like to see some more regional tours also adopt this suspension. There is no behavior in dirt racing that needs to get stomped out faster than drivers taking advantage of their adversaries being strapped in stopped racecars to get at them. It’s thug conduct.
Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day
This shoutout is headed to Tri-City Speedway in Illinois, where Chase McDermand won hard charger honors in the Xtreme Midget Outlaw Series, going from 16th to fourth in the 30-lap feature. McDermand likely would have challenged for the win …
Dirt Racing’s Victim of the Night
Had he not found trouble early in the first heat race, going for a tumble after contact with Taylor Reimer.
Number of dirt tracks in the U.S. that contested a dirt oval-track racing program Thursday night.
The nation’s largest car count Thursday night, for Thursday Night Thunder at Grand Rapids Speedway in Minnesota.
The nation’s largest purse Thursday night, awarded to the the Outlaws winner at Farmer City (Pierce).
Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Monday morning (June 5) with coverage of the weekend in dirt, highlighted by the Historic 100 for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at West Virginia Motor Speedway. Coverage can be found on Flo Racing.
About the author
Richmond, Virginia native. Wake Forest University class of 2008. Affiliated with Frontstretch since 2008, as of today the site's first dirt racing commentator. Emphasis on commentary. Big race fan, bigger First Amendment advocate.
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