GRAND FORKS, ND (May 25) – It might only be late May, but it’s safe to say that race season is already in full force for Austin Pierce Racing. Last weekend the team competed in three events in three nights spanning from Grand Forks to Sioux Falls.
The team unloaded Friday night at their home track, River Cities Speedway, to kick off the weekend. Austin started third in the third and final NOSA Sprint Car heat race, but blasted to the lead on the opening lap. On lap three South Dakota hot shoe, Dusty Zomer, slid by Austin to take the lead. Pierce settled for second which lined him up in seventh for the 25-lap A-main.
Austin fell back to ninth as the green flew, but quickly found his groove and moved the Opp Construction/ Lithia Ford Lincoln of Grand Forks#2A into the sixth position. Pierce then shuffled positions with Casey Mack, Mitch Mack, and Ty Hanten for the remainder of the race. At the checkers, Austin crossed the line in the 10th position.
On Saturday the team made the four hour trek down to the brand new Badlands Motor Speedway in Brandon, SD for the first-ever event at the facility. Forty-seven of the best Sprint Car teams in the Midwest, as well as a few World of Outlaw teams, were there to compete for their share of the 669 10oz silver bars that would be given away to the racers.
Austin brought the AJ’s Sandblasting car home in third in his heat race, which locked him into the 35-lap feature. Starting 19th, Austin drove a nice smooth race on the fast, high-banked 3/8th mile oval and ended the night with a very respectable 17th place finish.
Come Sunday evening, the team had traveled nearly 600 miles and was low on sleep. Nonetheless they were signed in and ready to take on Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon, MN. Hopes were high coming into the night as Pierce won last year’s season finale at BRRP in September.
The All Pro Electric LLC sprinter started midpack in 11th. However, Austin got his elbows up and cruised through the field in the early going. On lap 12, he had cracked the top five and took fourth from Bob Martin the following lap. Pierce then went to work on Lou Kennedy Jr. and completed the pass for third on lap 14, but as the two drivers raced into turn one they made contact which ripped the nose wing off Austin’s car and spun him around.
The caution was displayed and the damage to the #2A was too significant to continue the race so Austin was credited with a disappointing 18th place finish.
The APR team will be back in action this Friday night at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks! Racing starts at 7pm.