OAKLEY, Calif. (Nov. 30, 2023) – Andrew Pearce graduated to a Friesen Performance IMCA Modified in January, months before picking up his diploma from Independence High School.
He’d pass all his tests in the new division, winning five features and rookie of the year honors in IMCA’s Shaw Race Cars Western Region.
Pearce would travel to 17 different tracks, making 50 of his 52 starts at 15 different speed plants in his home region while earned Merced Speedway and California state crowns.
“We didn’t have any goals when we started the season at Cocopah’s IMCA.TV Winter Nationals. We just wanted to learn and be competitive. We had some sponsors step up so we were able to do that,” said Pearce, 18 years old and from Oakley, Calif. “We just felt it was time to move up from a Northern SportMod and it was quite a confidence booster to be able to be consistent and start racing for wins.”
Modified career win number one came on May 12 at Ocean Speedway. Pearce collected four checkers at Antioch Speedway, where he finished second in the points race, and wrapped up the title at Merced with third- and second-place finishes in his final two outings there.
He was fifth in final regional point standings and 27th nationally.
“Once we saw I’d be able to make a run at regional rookie, we decided to do it. We raced at quite a few tracks in the region,” he said. “It was cool to be able to win track and state championships, especially the state as a rookie.”
Pearce works at Paul Guglielmoni’s Vaca Valley Excavating with father and crew chief Brian, a former IMCA driver and Andrew’s regular travel partner as well.
“He raced both a Modified and SportMod so he understands where I’m coming from with a lot of my questions.” Pearce said. “The biggest difference between the two divisions for me was the pace. The competition in the Modifieds is at a different level, so to be able to race with those guys I had to be on the same level.”
“I made rookie mistakes and gave away races I shouldn’t have, but once I was able to do that, I was able to be successful.”
Pearce will return to Cocopah for the 2024 IMCA.TV Winter Nationals and hopes to make the Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour and a racing vacation to Iowa next summer.
Top Five Finishes 20
HIS CREW: Father Brian, Gary Mohr, Tyler Twitchell and Isaiah Lee.
HIS SPONSORS: Asphalt Surfacing Inc. of Milpitas; FND Motorsports and Gonella Racing, both of Merced; Operations Resource Group, Pro Motorsports, Kellen Chadwick Motorsports and All Pro Contracting Inc., all of Oakley; Monumental Insurance Services of Concord; Coynda Lozano and McCauley Agricultural & Pest Services, both of Brentwood; Pacific Coast General Engineering and All Spec Sheet Metal Inc., both of Pittsburg; West Coast Motorsports of Knightsen;
Steitz Towing and Double D Towing, both of Los Banos; Andrews Paving & Excavating of Grass Valley; Vaca Valley Excavating & Trucking of Vacaville; 1Hr HVAC Heating & Air Specialist of San Jose; Mama Bear Day Care of Rio Vista; Delta Veterans Group of Antioch; HRT Suspensions of Prunedale; Winning Edge Carburetion of Garden Grove; Elite Signs of Bakersfield; Superior Fuel Cells of Creswell, Ore.; Sir Lawrence O’Connor of Port Hardy, B.C.; FYE Motorsports of Las Cruces, N.M.; Rage Chassis of West Union, Iowa; Performance Bodies of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Fast Shafts of Des Moines, Iowa; Wehrs Machine and Racing Products of Bangor, Wis.; and Jerovetz Motorsports Shock Services of Suamico, Wis.