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The One That Got Away

On a hot summer night in July, 14-year-old Bobby Pierce almost did the unthinkable, winning a Summer Nationals race, a big one at that, paying $10,000. In front of a great Fairbury crowd who cheered loudly as the Smooth Operator worked his way from his seventh starting spot to take the lead with nine laps remaining. It looked as if Bobby was going to make headlines as the youngest Summer Nationals winner but it wasn't meant to be. With two laps to go, a slower car hindered Bobby's progress on the bottom of the track. Looking for a way around him, Bobby moved toward the top of the track, a move that ultimately cost him the win. "A lapped car got in my way and I decided to go high which was a dumb move," Pierce said. "I should have just stayed down at the bottom and given him a 'little bumper,' but I just went up high which was the wrong way to go." When he went high it gave the second and third place cars just the opening they needed as they scooted past Bobby before he could make the pass and get back down into the lower groove where he had been running all race long. A disappointing end to an exciting race but another great learning experience as Bobby continues to impress in his second season in Super Late Model competition.


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