From Must See Racing
SALEM, Ind. (4/10/11) – Life might be filled with mysteries, but Aaron Pierce has definitely figured out the springtime opener at historic Salem Speedway.
For the second consecutive year, on Sunday afternoon Pierce captured the “Winged Sprint Spectacular” for the MustSeeRacing Xtreme Sprint Series. The prestigious event served as the 2011 season opener for the series.
Pierce survived a late-race charge by Canadian Ryan Litt, who chased Pierce in a thrilling duel amid lapped traffic in the waning laps. But the Daleville, Ind. driver held on, driving the Sam Pierce Chevrolet sprinter to victory by a scant margin.
Veteran Jeff Bloom took the lead at the outset from the outside of row one, trailed by Pierce who started right behind. Litt used a strong start to surge from the fourth row to challenge for third within two laps.
Pierce stalked Bloom throughout the early stages, finally slipping past on the backstretch on lap seven. One lap later Litt moved past Bloom, and began closing on Pierce.
The two leaders dipped and dodged dense traffic, and it appeared Litt was gaining momentum. Pierce was masterful as he navigated a late pack of cars to hold Litt at bay, but on the final lap Litt made a valiant charge that brought the spectators to their feet, only to see the BS&B Radiator entry fall just short.
Bloom held on for third, trailed by Jason Cox and series veteran Jimmy McCune. The second five consisted of defending series champion Troy DeCaire, Billy Wease, Dave Baumgartner, Kyle Flint, and Kyle Weigant.
Jacob Wilson thrilled the crowd with an impressive drive, roaring from the 16th starting spot to challenge for fifth in the late stages before dropping out with mechanical woes.
Jason Blonde, who recently captured the World Speed Trials at Bristol Speedway in his BioBased.US Xtreme Sprint Car, was uninjured after making heavy contact with the turn one wall during a practice session. Chris Neuenschwander was also unhurt after colliding with the turn two wall earlier in the day.
Jason Cox’s 14.408-clocking bested the 24-car field during time trials, while heats were won by Jacob Wilson, Dave Baumgartner, and Pierce.
The series travels next to Winchester (Indiana) Speedway for the “King of the Wings” on Sunday, May 15.
Based in Holly, Mich., the Xtreme Sprint Series features the ground-pounding winged sprint cars, considered the fastest short track cars in the world.
Fast qualifier: Jason Cox, 14.408-seconds
Heat winners: Jacob Wilson, Dave Baumgartner, Aaron Pierce
30-lap “Winged Sprint Spectacular” finish (starting position): 1. Aaron Pierce (3), 2. Ryan Litt (7), 3. Jeff Bloom (2), 4. Jason Cox (6), 5. Jimmy McCune (8), 6. Troy DeCaire (18), 7. Billy Wease (9), 8. Dave Baumgartner (10), 9. Kyle Flint (17), 10. Kyle Wiegant (11). 11. Donnie Adams Jr. (15), 12. Jacob Wilson (16), 13. Hank Lower (1), 14. Mike Larrison (14), 15. Tom Tolbert (12), 16. Travis Miniea (3), 17. Chad Livingston (13), 18. JoJo Helberg (5).