Aaron Pierce Enters A Busy Race Week Leading The Namars Championship Midget Series Points Battle; Tied For Second Place In The Namars Regional Series (June 21, 2001 - Middletown, IN) - After several races of being plagued by mechanical woes and...
Aaron Pierce Enters A Busy Race Week Leading The Namars Championship Midget Series Points Battle; Tied For Second Place In The Namars Regional Series
(June 21, 2001 - Middletown, IN) - After several races of being plagued by mechanical woes and on-track contact by other competitors, Aaron Pierce is happy to end the month of June on a high note with a trifecta of races scheduled this weekend at the Speedrome, Toledo (OH) Speedway and the dirt high banks of Mercer Raceway Park in western Pennsylvania.
Although Aaron still leads the NAMARS National Championship and is tied for second place in the NAMARS Regional Midget Series point standings, the climb to the top of those point charts has not been easy - nor will it be any easier to stay on top with the strenuous schedule laid out before him in the next month.
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend, especially racing at a couple of tracks I've never visited before," Aaron said of the upcoming three days of races. "Mercer will be fun. It's our first dirt show of the year, and I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be interesting competing against some of the ARDC guys as we've never raced against each other before." Prior to the much anticipated visit to western Pennsylvania, Aaron will compete at the Speedrome once again, a place that hasn't been too nice to him this year. "For various reasons, our team has had a really hard time there - we have either won (on 5/3/01) or finished poorly due to either mechanical problems or getting crashed out like we did last week. Mac McClellan was nice enough to let us use his car for this event because our normal Speedrome car needs some repair after last week. The car should be awesome -Tony Elliott qualified it on the front row for the upcoming NAMARS 500 race, so I'm looking forward to a strong run this week. I'd really like to thank Mac for the help with this event. I'm hoping to bring home a win for him on Thursday!"
Aaron is also looking forward to visiting Northwest Ohio for his first trip to the Toledo (OH) Speedway, a super-fast, high-banked half-mile facility. The race holds extra importance for the competitors there this weekend as it is a rare televised Midget car show (Speedvision, taped delayed - date has not been announced). Explaining further, Aaron said, "I think I'll like Toledo a lot. Although some of the ARCA boys have been there before and I haven't, I've got an ace up my sleeve as I received some setup advice from one of my closest competitors, A.J. Davis, who's pretty awesome on the pavement. And, of course, I'm excited about the race being on Speedvision. That would be a perfect way for me to extend my points lead in NAMARS - on television!"
Visit www.aaronpierce.com for more news and information about Aaron Pierce and the Sam Pierce Chevrolet Racing Team.
The Sam Pierce Chevrolet Racing Team would like to thank their sponsors for the 2001 season: Sam Pierce Chevrolet, Snyder Enterprise, Long's Excavating and Cooper Tire and friend Gale Tschuor. Without their support, the team could not race.
Driver Quotes - Aaron Pierce
You are still leading the NAMARS National point standings. How do you feel about that and how will that position at this point in the year affect your race strategy or planning?
"I really didn't expect it (leading the point standings in two different divisions), to tell you the truth. But I'm not going to pay any attention to the points. If you do, you get too involved with it and go backwards. I'll try to make each race and finish them all, and the points will take care of themselves. Sure, I'd like to win both championships, but there's a long way to go in the season."
Will you now focus on the NAMARS series instead of chasing USAC points?
"My original plan was to try to run for the USAC "Rookie Of The Year" points, and then fit in as many other races around that schedule as possible. So far this season, until this weekend (USAC Midgets race at Eldora Speedway) I haven't had to choose - there have been no NAMARS races that have conflicted with the USAC shows, so I've tried to make them all. I'd still like to run for USAC points, but we'll just have to wait and see how the next month goes before I make a decision."
Your next race will be at the Speedrome - you have been racing there a lot this year. Most people think of that track as a place to begin their careers. Tell me about the tough competition you've faced this year and a little bit about the challenges you face there each week.
"I like that place a lot and have raced there a bunch. There is a lot of competition there, and they've got a good track record established. I've never run as fast as I know I can all year this year - I know the car can go a lot faster, but we just haven't hit the setup yet. The Speedrome is a good place to polish your racing skills, not just learn. A lot of guys don't want to race for $500 a night, but I like the place and I'm just going to go and have fun."
You have built a new Beast dirt midget and will be starting the dirt racing portion of your schedule soon (although this weekend Aaron will be utilizing an older Stealth chassis - team is waiting on one important part to complete the new dirt Beast). Are you comfortable on the dirt? How will you change your approach to the dirt races as opposed to your preparation for a pavement show?
"I'm really excited about running on the dirt again. I was just getting the hang of it at the end of last year. I was pretty fast at Terre Haute at the end of last year, and that's a pretty good test. Really the preparation is not much different than with a pavement car - you still have to maintain the car, mount tires, and all of that. The biggest thing on dirt is getting the car to handle and learn how the car and the track are supposed to feel. Once I got a handle on how dirt is supposed to feel, it was easier to race. This car will be a brand new car from last year's car, and I'm not sure how it will react. It'll probably be different, but who knows. Dirt's more fun than pavement, but the two surfaces have two completely different styles of racing you have to learn in order to be fast."
Regarding winning the inaugural running of the NAMARS "Thursday Night Lightning" Series race at the Indianapolis Speedrome on Thursday, May 3rd, 2001:
"The car was perfect all night long - we didn't really change anything at all from the time we unloaded it off of the trailer. It's great to get a win so early in the year. I knew we were the team to beat after practicing at the Speedrome the night before the race. The track was pretty greasy during the test because it was so hot, and it was the same way on race night, so I had a pretty good handle on things when we got to the track. The Snyder engine I had in my Sam Pierce Chevrolet car was awesome - it ran flawlessly all night long and gave me the power I needed to stay out in front. I really want to thank my dad, Sam Pierce, for all of his support, as well as Tony Hay, who was the mechanic on the car. I'm hoping that was a warmup for this weekend's two big shows at Winchester Speedway."