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PONTOON BEACH, IL (July 31, 2005)-After recording five second place finishes this season for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL finally broke through with his first win of '05 on Sunday Night, July 31 at the Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL as the 33 year old racer took the "Miller Lite-Wallace Brother Homecoming" 50 lap $10,000 to win main event to become the 15th different winner in 25 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events this season. 

Pearson who started fifth on the grid inherited the lead on the 23rd lap after race leader Don O'Neal went pitside.  Pearson was driving the Carlton and Kemp Lamm owned/Lucas Oil Products/Dunn-Benson Ford/K&N Engineering Inc./All Star Performance/Sunoco Race Fuels/Larry Wallace Racing Engines powered MasterSbilt Ford Taurus.  Finishing second and hounding Pearson until the finish was Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the PBM Performance Products/SMS Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Third was Matt Miller of Waterville, OH in the Dirt Shop, Inc/Lo Temp Brazing/Rocket Grand Prix with fourth place to Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA in the Daufeldt Transport/Pro Power Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo and completing the top five was  Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL in the Seubert Calf Ranches/Pro Power Engines/Rocket Ford Taurus. Shannon Babb and Don O'Neal would make up a stout front row starting line up and just as he had done in his heat race win Babb would show his strength early on grabbing the point from the start and immediately opening up a lead over O'Neal.  Babb would quickly start to pick up the tail end of the field as the cars were flying around the 1/2 mile dirt track.  O'Neal was trying to keep Babb with in eyesight as Babb started to lap cars by the 10th circuit.  Pearson, who started fifth was running third a this point with Moran and Darren Miller holding down fourth and fifth places.  As Babb and O'Neal were working their way through traffic O'Neal started to close down the lead on Babb closing to within two car lengths by lap 20.  Just when O'Neal looked like he had something for Babb a caution flew for a slowed Scott James on lap 21 for the only caution of the race.  During the caution Babb developed a flat tire and went pitside to change a tire giving up his lead to O'Neal.  When the race resumed O'Neal would sprint to the lead with Pearson in second followed by Moran, Matt Miller and Darren Miller. But O'Neal would last one lap in front until motor woes sidelined as he pulled his car to the infield and out of the race. Pearson would then pick up the point with Moran all over him.  Pearson would go to five car lengths out in front until Moran would chop that down to two car lengths at times.  By the 32nd lap traffic started to be in Pearson's future as Moran was right on him now.  As the duo would race through traffic Pearson would still hold the advantage.  Matt Miller and Brian Birkhofer were duking it out for third in a tight battle for that spot, but they were several car lengths behind the front two at this point.  With ten laps to go Moran was all over Pearson looking for a way to get past him with five laps to go Pearson would be four lengths ahead but Moran again would stage one last ditch effort in the closing laps and tried to drive his car harder into the turns to catch Pearson, but it was not to be as Pearson would handle the pressure of Moran and take his car to victory lane for the first time in 2005.  Moran was second with Matt Miller, Brian Birkhofer and Darren Miller completing the top five. "It feels good to finally get a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win" said Pearson on the victory podium where he was surrounded by his crew and Forrest Lucas, who was attending the event. "I'm glad we got one here in front of Forrest, this one is for him for sticking with me and believing in me even through the tough times earlier this year."  Just three weeks ago Pearson and the Dunn-Benson crew made the switch to a MasterSbilt Chassis. "This series has become the toughest to win on and this MasterSbilt car was great tonight I want to thank Keith and Tader Masters for their help along with some of the other guys running their equipment they have been helpful in giving me advice on the car." Rounding out the top ten were Shannon Babb, who re-entered the race after the flat tire, Freddy Smith, Brian Shirley, Steve Casebolt, Jr. and Brady Smith. The next Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event will be on Saturday Night, August 27 at the Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, KY paying $10,000 to win.Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Sunday Night, July 31, 2005 Tri-City Speedway-Pontoon Beach, IL Fast Qualifier:  Darren Miller  21.200 Heat #1:  Freddy Smith, Donnie Moran, Darren Miller, Randy Korte, Steve Sheppard, Jr., Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace, Mark Oller, Reid Mallard Heat #2:  Don O'Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Scott James, Brian Birkhofer, Tim Dohm, Jason Frankel, Jayme Zidar, Bert Cheatham, Mike Hammerle, Mike Wallace Heat #3:  Shannon Babb, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Matt Miller, Brian Shirley, Brady Smith, Whitney McQueary, Bryan Collins, Kyle Steffens, Ron McQuerry, Billy Laycock B-Main:  Kenny Wallace, Bryan Collins, Mark Oller, Kyle Steffens, Ron McQuerry, Bert Cheatham, Reid Mallard, Mike Wallace, Jayme Zidar, Billy Laycock, Mike Hammerle Miller-Lite Wallace Brothers Homecoming 50 Lap Main Event:  Earl Pearson, Jr., Donnie Moran, Matt Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Darren Miller, Shannon Babb, Freddy Smith, Brian Shirley, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Brady Smith, Randy Korte, Ken Schrader, Steve Sheppard, Jr., Whitney McQueary, Mike Wallace, Kyle Steffens, Bryan Collins, Kenny Wallace, Jason Frankel, Tim Dohm, Jayme Zidar, Don O'Neal, Scott James, Mark Oller, Mike HammerleRace Statistics: Entries:  30 Cautions: 1 Red Flags:  0 Lap Leaders:  Shannon Babb 1-21, Don O'Neal 22, Earl Pearson, Jr. 23-50 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Race:  Brady Smith Weld Wheels Hard Charger of the Race:  Brian Birkhofer (started 11th and finished 4th) advanced 7 positions Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Jayme Zidar and Mike Hammerle Track Provisional:  Mike Wallace

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