Pierce has new pieces coming together for 2020
At the end of the 2017 season, Bob Pierce could pay his son as a professional race car driver, for the first time ever.
In 2018, Bobby Pierce moved to Dunn-Benson Motorsports. The dirt late model operation is based in Dunn, North Carolina. Together, they toured with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
Pierce finished 7th in the LOLMDS standings in 2018. Lucas race earnings totaled $225,702.90 that year.
The 22-year-old is known to get every bit out of the equipment and the race track. Time and time again, I’ve seen him find grooves on the track that others haven’t tried. At lot of time, that means sacrificing the right rear to find it.
For 2019, he’s gone back to his family based operation. He’s back to picking and choosing where he goes to race. This time, he’s also a co-owner of the race team.
Bobby Pierce talks car ownership
I know at the beginning of the year, you or somebody from the team said that you were going to be the owner of the team. Is that still true?
“Yeah, this is my whole operation with my parents.”
How does that work? With the co-owner role?
“Basically, anything with sponsors and winnings kinda all goes back into it. If you have a good year then hopefully you make a decent paycheck by the end of the year.”
Now that you’re the owner, does it change the way you drive? Or do you think about that while driving?
“Not really. Whenever you’re driving anything, you don’t want to tear it up. You drive it as hard as you can. But, you don’t want to burn a motor up or something like that.”
“Viper Motorsports has partnered with me for some motors. Next year, they’re going to be sponsoring me with a few motors that they take care of. That helps a lot.”
“I don’t know. It’s kinda in the back of your mind a little bit. For the most part, you just get the most out of it anyways without tearing it up if you’re driving for somebody or if it’s your own stuff.”
You had an offer on the table with Dunn Benson for 2019. But, you chose to do your own deal. Are you happy with that decision?
“Yeah. They wanted me to move to North Carolina for 2019. I didn’t really want to move. I want to stay close to home.”
“With this deal, if you can make it work, doing it on your own, I feel like that’s a good route to go.”
“Last year, we could have had a really good year. We had some bad luck in a lot of really big races that we could have won.”
Pierce was leading in the 2018 Silver Dollar Nationals with 5 laps to go. However, smoke poured from the engine and he was forced to retire, missing the winning check for $53,000. He rebounded in 2019, picking up the Silver Dollar Nationals win, in his own car.
“I pretty happy with my decision. This year’s been alright. It’s kinda the same story that it was last year. We could have won a lot more races but had some bad luck.”
“We won I-80, that was really good. And some other races that paid really well.”
Rocket cars in repair
In the Knoxville Nationals, Pierce unloaded the Bob Pierce chassis. Prior to that, he’d been piloting Rocket Chassis. Most of the Rocket cars suffered damage while Pierce was the race leader…
I heard you say that you were out of Rocket cars. How many did you start with?
“I had two from last year. Then, we got a new in the middle of this season.”
“We bent the new one at Florence Speedway in the North/South when I lost brakes while leading. We actually just got that straightened out with the portapower.”
“The portapower can bend the frame back. As long as it’s got something to push off of.”
“The other two… Obviously, the right front tire that blew at Eldora. That bent the front clip on that car.”
“Then, the car that Tim Lance was driving, my team car, he really tore that thing up pretty good.”
Can you repair them at your own shop or do you have to send them off to Rocket?
“No, we have to send them off.”
Bobby Pierce will become a car owner in 2019
Pierce assesses 2018, the first year on the national tour
“I don’t want to hold him back.” -Bob Pierce
Bobby Pierce to Dunn-Benson Motorsports
Bobby Pierce | Bob Pierce Race Cars | Dunn Benson Motorsports | Rocket Chassis | LOLMDS