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CARS Late Model Stock Tour

Brandon Pierce outduels Josh Berry for first CARS Tour win at Southern National

This is his first victory in his first start for Lee Pulliam Performance …

CARSTour.TV

Brandon Pierce bet on himself during the off-season and won … at least through one race in the 2019 CARS Late Model Stock Tour season.

Peirce spent last season as part of a multicar effort at Nelson Motorsports and watched teammate Bobby McCarty own the summer en route to the 2018 series championship.

He and his family sponsorship took their resources from Nelson to Lee Pulliam Performance during the offseason and it immediately paid off with a last-lap pass and victory in the season-opener on Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina.

Pierce captured the pole in time trials but gave way to Josh Berry in the opening stages of the race. They ran that way in the closing laps and a caution with nine laps to go, for a stalled car driven by Ronald Hill, bunched the field back up.

Berry and Pierce ran nose-to-tail over the final nine laps. Pierce gave Berry a hard shove with two laps to go, one that nearly spun Berry out. But the 2017 CARS Tour champion held on and Pierce allowed him to gather it back up.

With one lap to go, Pierce gave Berry a more respectful shot, dove under the JR Motorsports No. 88 and drove away to his first tour victory of his career.

“I’m going to going to get emotional,” Pierce said in Victory Lane, holding back tears. “I’ve worked at this for a long time. I took the off-season pretty personal. I looked at myself pretty hard. These (LLP) guys have thrashed. I reset my focus and try to see what I was missing. There was no stopping me today.”

As for those final nine laps, this is not what Pierce wanted.

“I was pretty pissed to be honest with you,” Pierce said. “I burned up my stuff just trying to get to him before the yellow. We just kept catching lap traffic wrong. Some would go high and some would go low. But I still though that if we could get a good restart, and just get down behind him, that we would have enough to get by him. He was getting tight and I was getting free and I shoved him off the bottom a little bit and got the job done.”

The first victory had an extra bonus as it also included a $10,000 payday.

“We were getting a little bit free,” Berry said of the run before the caution. “We fired off okay, but were just way too free. I just knew I had to protect the bottom. I was pretty much asking him to hit me and he did.

“It’s racing for the win. I’ve done the same thing. This isn’t my best track and we came out here and dominated. There’s something to take away from. I just wish we could have closed out.”  

Pierce led the first six laps before giving way to Berry, who led up until the final lap. The race was only slowed four times for a handful of minor spins, but no major incidents.

The next race for the CARS Late Model Stock Tour will be on Saturday, March 23rd at Hickory Motor Speedway.

The complete results can be found below.

  1. Brandon Pierce
  2. Josh Berry
  3. Deac McCaskill
  4. Bobby McCarty
  5. Riley Herbst
  6. Layne Riggs
  7. Drew Dollar
  8. Stacy Puryear
  9. Myatt Snider
  10. Justin Carroll
  11. Tommy Lemons, Jr.
  12. Bradley McCaskill
  13. Taylor Gray
  14. Chad McCumbee
  15. Tyler Matthews
  16. Zack St. Onge
  17. Cameron Bowen
  18. Trevor Ward
  19. Mini Tyrrell
  20. Matt Cox
  21. Camden Gullie
  22. Terry Brooks, Jr.
  23. Ronald Hill
  24. Jonathan Findley
  25. Craig Moore
  26. Ryan Wilson
  27. Brody Pope
  28. Adam Lemke

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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