Race Weekend Central

This Day in Dirt: Bobby Pierce Takes WoO Late Model Points Lead After Tanner English Goes Flat

Dirt Racing’s Winning Moment: Bobby Pierce grabbed a win and the World of Outlaws late model points lead with a Tuesday night victory at Mason City Motor Speedway in Iowa (June 27), winning uncontested after leader Tanner English cut down a tire on lap 27 while leading.

English’s misfortune, which appeared to come from early-race damage after contact with the lapped car of Bobby Hansen, allowed Pierce to capitalize on an underwhelming night for incoming points leader Chris Madden, who finished 13th and was never a factor in either his heat race or the feature.

2023 MASON CITY SHOWDOWN RACE RESULTS

Dirt Racing’s Dramatic Moment: See above. When English’s tire went down, Tuesday night’s feature all but ended.

What Dirt Racing Fans’ll Be Group Chatting About This Morning

It’s very possible that the WoO late model title was decided in the Iowa cornfields this Tuesday night. Yes, Pierce is on his home turf as the Outlaws make an extended summer swing through the Midwest and yes, Nick Hoffman is also proving to be a contender for more than rookie of the year in 2023. But Pierce has now fully acclimated to the Longhorn chassis that his team switched to during the offseason and has been all but untouchable over the past few weeks in DIRTcar-sanctioned events.

Madden has publicly acknowledged that he is in a deep slump and further told DirtonDirt that said slump was more complicated than simply running on the black dirt of the Midwest, far removed from the red clay tracks in the South he calls home.

I for one, am looking more to the fact that Madden’s banner 2022 season was largely dependent on racking up major-dollar wins at the Bristol Dirt Track, races that were essentially engine-dyno tests that last year’s dominant Longhorns were untouchable in. Take away all the trophies and dollars from the Bristol Dirt Nationals and Madden’s 2022 is a lot more human.

DirtVision’s Ruben Stoddard was effuse in praising the Mason City Motor Speedway facility during Tuesday’s broadcast, but as a member of the TV audience, it wasn’t anything to write home about. For one, it’s hard not to connect the dots between Stoddard’s own observation that electricians were still installing items in the track’s new media tower earlier in the afternoon, only for the track to then suffer an electrical failure in its lighting that led to an hour-long delay in the program.

The racing surface itself didn’t seem to hold up well either. Despite there being some decent exchanges between English and Pierce before English cut his right-rear tire down, the track did rubber in the closing laps according to third-place finisher Brandon Sheppard. What’s more, Pierce’s race-winning right-rear tire looked awful bald by feature’s end.

One final note on the DirtVision commentary … unless a track has a history of publishing attendance, please don’t make reference to “record attendance.” Record attendance is not a subjective measure.

The 24-car field that assembled at Mason City Tuesday was not lacking for talent and had the program running efficiently before the electrical difficulties. And though Hoffman made some good Twitter fodder out of a redraw that DirtVision viewers didn’t get to see, a pole dash between the top six really would have been a better use of time.

Lastly, stepping away from Iowa for a second, fingers crossed for a quick recovery for the Richmond Raceway in Kentucky, which endured extremely heavy weather damage earlier this week that saw the track’s grandstands all but demolished.

The track owner told DirtonDirt he’s not expecting the track to be able to run their scheduled date with the Ultimate Super Late Model Series in July but hopes to run their annual Butterball event in August.

Dirt Racing’s Hero of the Day

With as much as we’ve already talked about Pierce and his win, the shoutout here goes to Logan Martin, whose decision to drop off the WoO late model tour after proving overwhelmed on the circuit for much of his rookie season paid off Tuesday, as he scored his first career win on the Hell Tour at Springfield Raceway in Illinois.

The Hell Tour has proven a worthy rehab tour for drivers in recent years (ask Ashton Winger) and it was good to see the driver that’s been dominant on the Comp Cams tour in recent years find success in the Midwest.

Dirt Racing’s Victim of the Night

There was a barrel-roll incident in the WoO late model feature at Mason City Tuesday night (fortunately, Jason Strand walked away unharmed), but since DirtVision did not seem to have a replay of the incident in question, the shoutout here instead will go to Cody Apfelbeck, who went tumbling in a chain-reaction wreck in his modified at Beaver Dam Raceway in Wisconsin.

All drivers involved in this incident were also uninjured.

Numbers Game

8

The number of dirt tracks in the US that contested an oval-track program Tuesday night.

123

The nation’s largest car count Tuesday night, the Midwest Madness Tour at Park Jefferson International Speedway in South Dakota.

$10,000

The nation’s largest purse Tuesday night, paid to the winner of the Mason City Showdown (Pierce).

Up Next: Frontstretch will be back Thursday morning (June 29) with coverage of the WoO late model tour, this time from Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota. Coverage can be found on DirtVision.

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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