NCWTS: Pierce’s Pole; Talented Teenager Banks First-Ever Top Qualifying Effort for MB Motorsports in Series Debut

Jacob Seelman Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Midwest, NASCAR 0 Comments

ROSSBURG, Ohio — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images photo —

What a day it’s starting to be for both 18-year-old Bobby Pierce and veteran NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team MB Motorsports.

Pierce, from Oakwood, Ill., lived up to his nickname as the “Smooth Operator,” setting the fastest lap in Keystone Light Pole Qualifying at Eldora Speedway and earning his first career 21 Means 21 Pole Award in his series debut.

Pierce’s lap of 20.716 seconds (86.889 mph) was well off of Ken Schrader’s sub-20 second track record from 2013, but more than a half second quicker than any other driver during the session and puts him on the pole for qualifying race No. 1 (7 p.m., FOX Sports 2).

“We still have the same expectations as we had coming into the day,” Pierce said when asked if qualifying fastest put any extra pressure on him. “I’m just hoping everything goes smoothly from here. I got really lucky with the draw and there was still a little moisture on the track when I went out, so that really helped our lap a lot.”

Pierce becomes the fifth driver in NCWTS history to earn the pole in his series debut, joining former series champions Ron Hornaday Jr. (Phoenix, 1995) and Bobby Hamilton (Martinsville, 1996) as well as Kerry Earnhardt (Daytona, 2005) and Alex Tagliani (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 2014).

The talented teenager has a myriad of dirt experience to call on in his quest for a maiden Truck victory. Pierce recently wrapped up the 2015 DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals “Hell Tour” championship, and is also the defending DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Champion. Pierce swept both the Spring and Fall Nationals for UMP Late Models at Eldora a season ago en route to the crown.

The pole is also the first in Truck Series competition for the long-standing team owned by Mike Mittler, MB Motorsports.

“To get Mike Mittler’s first pole is awesome,” Pierce added. “He’s just got a big grin on his face and I know it means a lot to him. He’s helped guys like Carl Edwards and Justin Allgaier move on from here in the trucks to do great things.”

“Maybe after this I can get some [more] asphalt starts under my belt, but as for right now, we’re just going to race and see what happens.”

Starting on the pole of the second qualifying race will be ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter, who timed in second-fastest overall of the 34 trucks on hand for the third annual 1-800 CAR-CASH MudSummer Classic. Sauter laid down a circuit of 21.222 seconds (84.818 mph).

Third-quick was the SS Green Light Racing/ScubaLife.com No. 07 Chevrolet of Ray Black Jr. (21.285/84.567), placing the rookie on point for the qualifying race No. 3. He was followed by Sauter’s teammate and fellow rookie challenger Cameron Hayley (21.332/84.380), who will represent Canada as he leads the fourth qualifying race to green.

John Wes Townley (21.350/84.309) rounded out the fast five and will start on pole for the fifth and final qualifying race.

Tyler Young, two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton, Travis Kvapil, dirt sprint car and midget standout Christopher Bell and championship contender Tyler Reddick rounded out the top ten in time trials.

While Bell was up inside the top 10, his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates struggled mightily. Erik Jones, who sits third in Truck points entering the night, qualified 24th; Matt Tifft spun the No. 51 Toyota Tundra during his run and slotted in 27th overall.

Other notables outside the top ten included short track ace Daniel Hemric (12th), inaugural Eldora winner Austin Dillon (15th), John Hunter Nemechek (17th), inaugural pole winner and dirt track veteran Ken Schrader (18th), Ty Dillon (20th) and 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (21st). Keselowski is making his dirt track debut in tonight’s Eldora event.

The only major incident of the session happened early, when Madeline Crane hit the wall in Turn 1 after sustaining damage in practice. Her truck dropped oil on the track and she was left with a 33rd-place qualifying run.

Cole Custer pounded the wall with his Haas Automation No. 00 truck, and did not record a time.

The Camping World Truck Series is back on track for the first qualiyfing race at 7 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 2).

 

RESULTS: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series; Keystone Light Pole Qualifying; Eldora Speedway; July 22, 2015

  1. Bobby Pierce
  2. Johnny Sauter
  3. Ray Black Jr.
  4. Cameron Hayley
  5. John Wes Townley
  6. Tyler Young
  7. Matt Crafton
  8. Travis Kvapil
  9. Christopher Bell
  10. Tyler Reddick
  11. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  12. Daniel Hemric
  13. Timothy Peters
  14. Cody Erickson
  15. Austin Dillon
  16. Korbin Forrister
  17. John Hunter Nemechek
  18. Ken Schrader
  19. Chad Boat
  20. Ty Dillon
  21. Brad Keselowski
  22. Ben Kennedy
  23. Norm Benning
  24. Erik Jones
  25. Jody Knowles
  26. Chris Fontaine
  27. Matt Tifft
  28. Spencer Gallagher
  29. Jake Griffin
  30. Sean Corr
  31. Stewart Hayward
  32. Wendell Chavous
  33. Madeline Crane
  34. Cole Custer

 

About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: speed77radio@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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