WHAT TO WATCH FOR: English Chases Pierce for Points Lead, Hoffman Gets Competition in Week Four

Tanner English qualifying at Fayette County Speedway (Josh James Artwork)

Six tracks, six days begins with debut at Knox County Fair on Tuesday

All five races scheduled for last week were completed, and now the DIRTcar Summer Nationals and Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals get set for Week #4 of competition with six races in six days.

Week #4 Schedule
Tuesday, July 6 | Knox County Fair Raceway | Knoxville, IL
Wednesday, July 7 | Spoon River Speedway | Lewiston, IL
Thursday, July 8 | Macon Speedway | Macon, IL
Friday, July 9 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, IL
Saturday, July 10 | Highland Speedway | Highland, IL
Sunday, July 11 | Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN

Here are the drivers to watch and the storylines to follow this week…

SIZING UP – Both tours will be given a test in versatility this week, with four different track sizes.

The six-day begins on Tuesday with a debut appearance at Knox County Fair Raceway – a big, flat, half-mile that hosted horse racing on Monday. On Wednesday, it’s off to the high-banked, three-eighths mile of Spoon River Speedway, a Hell Tour staple nearly every year since 1995, for the rainout makeup from June 24.

Thursday Features the smallest track size on the schedule – the high-banked, fifth-mile bullring of Macon Speedway for the 41st running of the Herald & Review 100. Finally, three different quarter-mile venues will round out the week – Farmer City, Highland and Tri-State.

Bobby Pierce has five wins through the first 12 races (Josh James Artwork)

HOT RODBobby Pierce has been on a tear as of late, winning three-straight races last week. The only thing that stopped him was his own prior commitments – sister Ciara’s wedding celebration on Saturday meant a day away from the track. Had he competed that night at Fayette County Speedway, he likely would have been a shoo-in for the Week #3 points title.

In his four starts over the week, Pierce, of Oakwood, IL, finished no worse than second with his runner-up on Sunday night at Lincoln Speedway, leaving him with a runner-up finish in the weekly points chase to Brandon Sheppard.

This week, the three-time Hell Tour champion takes on six different tracks, four of which he’s won Summer Nationals races at before – Spoon River, Macon, Highland and Tri-State.

TITLE HUNTER – After a solid third week on the tour, Tanner English has cut into Pierce’s Summer Nationals points lead and taken control of the DIRTcar Late Model national points lead.

Tanner English, son of 2002 DIRTcar Late Model national points champion Terry English, is chasing his first Summer Nationals title this year (Josh James Artwork)

English, of Benton, KY, set out on the trail of the Hell Tour this year to supplement his run for the DIRTcar national points title. Thus far, he’s collected six victories since January and remains in a four-way tie for the most wins with Pierce, Rusty Schlenk and Brandon Thirlby. English will almost certainly go head-to-head with Schlenk and Thirlby later on, when the Summer Nationals visits Michigan and Ohio.

But for now, English remains focused on cutting even further into Pierce’s points lead. He’s maintained a 55-point advantage over third-place Brian Shirley coming into this week and now rides only 35 behind Pierce with 21 races remaining.

CHASING THE CHAMP – Nick Hoffman has won every single Summit Modified race he’s entered so far. This week, he’ll have the biggest host of competition he’s had thus far gunning to try and stop him.

Tyler Nicely, Kenny Wallace, Mike Harrison, Tommy Sheppard Jr, Will Krup, Treb Jacoby, Kyle Hammer, Ray Bollinger, Dave Wietholder and Drake Troutman are just a handful of names on the list who are expected to make at least one appearance with the tour this week and could possibly contend for a win at any track.

Hoffman remains a perfect 220-for-220 in Feature laps led so far. He does not have Macon listed on his schedule for this week, which leaves the door open for another new winner Thursday night.

Nick Hoffman (2) will meet Tyler Nicely (25) on tour this week (Josh James Artwork)

HELLO, HAUBSTADT – The Summer Nationals’ highly anticipated return to Tri-State Speedway has Indiana’s most passionate Late Model and Modified fans abuzz for Sunday’s first time back since 2018.

Four-time champion Shannon Babb won his very first Summer Nationals Feature at The Class Track back in 1999 and leads all drivers in Feature wins with the tour at six. Although he is the most recent Hell Tour Feature winner at the quarter-mile, Babb does not have Tri-State listed on his schedule as of Tuesday.

This leaves the door wide open for a new face in Victory Lane. It’s one of the raciest tracks on the schedule and will provide all the excitement the fans have come to expect from the DIRTcar Late Models and UMP Modifieds.