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NEW RICHMOND, WI (June 17, 2006)- Defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL withstood challenges from several drivers to win the 8th Annual "Masters" on Saturday Night at the Cedar Lake Speedway.  The $10,000 to win event was co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the World Dirt Racing League.  Pearson, who won this event back in 2004, now joins Wendell Wallace as the only two-time winner of this annual race.  Pearson drove the Carlton and Kemp Lamm owned Lucas Oil Products/Dunn-Benson Ford/K&N Engineering/Sunoco Race Fuels/All-Star Performance/Larry Wallace Race Engines/MasterSbilt Ford Taurus entry to the winners circle after starting in fifth.  Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA was second in the J&J Steel/Pro Power Engines/Rocket Monte Carlo followed by 16th starting Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH in the Custom Cutters/SMS Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo.  Completing the top five were Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, WI in the Deppe Enterprises/T.L. Sinz Plumbing/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo and Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL in the Ideal Ready Mix/Pro Power Engines/Rocket Ford Taurus.  A total of 48 entries were on hand for the event that was delayed for a little over an hour by a rain shower.   The 50 lap event would get underway on a superbly manicured 3/8ths mile race track as Darren Miller would lead the 24 car starting lineup under the green flag rocketing to the point on the opening lap with fellow front row starter Matt Miller taking the second spot.  The first caution of the race came for a slowing Corey Conley on lap three as Conley took his ride to the pit area and was finished for the night.  On the lap four restart Darren Miller would vault to a six car length lead over the new second place car of Dan Schlieper.  With five laps scored it was Darren Miller showing the way followed by Schlieper, Matt Miller, Brian Birkhofer and Earl Pearson, Jr.  Birkhofer would slide by Matt Miller on lap seven to go to fourth and a circuit later Pearson would put Matt Miller another spot down passing him for fourth place.   With Darren Miller holding a somewhat comfortable margin over the field a torrid race for second place on back would continue to heat up as Pearson would pass Birkhofer for third on lap 12 and two circuits later he went around Schlieper for second.  Pearson however was not done as by lap 15 he had caught and passed leader, Darren Miller.  Pearson then started to encounter some lapped traffic by lap 17 as he was setting a blistering pace out front. With 20 laps scored Pearson was well out in front stretching his lead to a ten car length advantage over Darren Miller with Matt Miller now back in the thick of things racing his way back up to third after falling to sixth place.  The second caution of the race would halt Pearson's runaway as Brian Harris topped in turn number four.   On the restart the race would change its complexion as Pearson now with his ten car length erased on the restart would see Darren Miller stay with him as the duo raced side by side for four laps with Pearson just barely holding the lead at the scoring line.  Not only was the race for the lead thrilling for the large crowd on hand, Matt Miller, Don O'Neal and Jimmy Mars were racing three wide for third.  John Anderson would bring out the third caution as he slowed on lap 28.   With the field bunched up again for the restart Pearson would still be showing the way with Darren Miller and Matt Miller behind him doubled up on the restart.  Mars, who started eighth put his car on the bottom of the racy surface and was up to third by lap 30.  With 20 laps to go Pearson had built his lead over Darren Miller back up to ten full lengths and looked to be on his way to an impressive win.  Just before the fourth caution flag of the race for Scott James on lap 35, Darren Miller, Mars, Matt Miller and Birkhofer were putting on a show throwing sliders at each other seemingly every lap.   Not only was the action fast and furious well behind Pearson attention was now being turned to the white #99 entry of Donnie Moran.  Moran who started 16th on the grid was hammer down using the top side of the race track and got into the top five for the first time on lap 36.  Moran then passed Mars for third on lap 37 and two complete laps later he was up to second.  Pearson's huge lead now seemed alot less as Moran was cutting into his lead lap and after lap.  What looked like a smooth trip to victory circle for Pearson was starting to look a little less likely as Moran closed to within two car lengths of Pearson until a caution with five laps to go involving an altercation on the back-straight between Justin Fegers and Kyle Berck as both cars ended up into the wall and out of the race.   Moran's momentum was hurt after the caution because on the restart he had to deal with Birkhofer who now had joined  the race for second and would allow Pearson to open up just enough breathing room in the race for the lead as Moran and Birkhofer went at it door to door in the closing laps.  Birkhofer would slide job Moran with four to go to grab second but Pearson was just enough ahead that it would be Pearson ending up on the victory podium after several drivers had taken their bets shot at him during the race.  Birkhofer would come in second followed by Moran, Mars and Darren Miller.   "Everything went our way tonight," said Pearson after securing his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2006 extending his points leader over Don O'Neal.  "We had that little shower and the guys here plowed the track up and rolled it back in and it turned out to be a great race track," said the 34 year old racer in the SPEED Channel TV interview afterwards.  The event was taped by SPEED and will be shown at a date and time to be announced in the future.   Completing the top ten were Dan Schlieper, Don O'Neal, Chris Simpson, Matt Miller and Kerry Hansen.   In preliminary action Earl Pearson, Jr. was the Comp Cams Fast Time Award winner with a quick lap of 13.459 seconds.  The PBM Performance Products Heat Races were won by Matt Miller, Darren Miller, Dan Schlieper and Don O'Neal.  The Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main was taken by Brady Smith and the Penske Shocks Second B-Main went to Eric Pember.  The K&N Engineering "Clean Pass of the Race" went to Brian Birkhofer for his slide job pass on Donnie Moran with four laps to go to nab the second position at the finish.  The K&N Engineering "Clean Pass of the Race" is awarded at each Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event and can be during a heat, consy or feature event.   Coming up next for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be a visit to Bill Sawyer's Virginia Motor Speedway in Saluda, VA on Saturday Night, June 24 with a $10,000 to win payday on the line for the winner.  The cameras of SPEED will be on hand to tape the event which will be shown at a date and time to be announced.  Rick Eckert of York, PA won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event there last year in the series' first ever visit.  For more information you can visit www.vamotorspeedway.com and www.lucasdirt.com.  Race Summary Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series/World Dirt Racing League 8th Annual "Masters" Saturday Night, June 17, 2006 Cedar Lake Speedway-New Richmond, WI   Comp Cams Fast Time:  Earl Pearson, Jr.  13.459 seconds   PBM Performance Products First Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance):  Matt Miller, Earl Pearson, Jr., Kyle Berck, Chris Simpson, Brady Smith, Tommy Elston, Al Humphrey, Steve Isenberg, Trent Follmer, Dave Eckrich, Nick Anvelink, Freddy Smith   PBM Performance Products Second Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance):  Darren Miller, Brian Birkhofer, Justin Fegers, Corey Conley, Joey Jensen, Andrew McKay, Michael England, Steve Casebolt, Steve Laursen, Scott Cramer, Brent Laursen, Denny Eckrich   PBM Performance Products Third Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance):  Dan Schlieper, John Seitz, John Anderson, Scott James, Eric Pember, Rick Hanestad, Tim Dohm, Tom Nesbitt, Bill Koons, Brian Harris, Mike Nutzmann, Damon Eller   PBM Performance Products Fourth Heat:  (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance):  Don O'Neal, Jimmy Mars, Kerry Hansen, Donnie Moran, Darrin Meierotto, Steve Hucovski, Jeff Provinzino, Jason Utter, Pat Doar, Paul Hipsag, Terry Anvelink, Rob Moss   Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main:  (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance):  Brady Smith, Joey Jensen, Dave Eckrich, Tommy Elston, Nick Anvelink, Al Humphrey, Andrew McKay, Scott Cramer, Michael England, Brent Laursen, Denny Eckrich, Steve Laursen, Steve Isenberg, Trent Follmer, Steve Casebolt, Freddy Smith   Penske Shocks Second B-Main: (12 Laps-Top 2 Advance):  Eric Pember, Darrin Meierotto, Jeff Provinzino, Tim Dohm, Pat Doar, Terry Anvelink, Damon Eller, Mike Nutzmann, Bill Koons, Jason Utter, Rob Moss, Steve Hucovski, Rick Hanestad, Brian Harris, Tom Nesbitt, Paul Hipsag   8th Annual "Masters' A-Main (50 Laps):  Earl Pearson Jr., Brian Birkhofer, Donnie Moran, Jimmy Mars, Darren Miller, Dan Schlieper, Don O'Neal, Chris Simpson, Matt Miller, Kerry Hansen, Brady Smith, Scott James, Brian Harris, Steve Casebolt, Denny Eckrich, John Seitz, Tim Dohm, Eric Pember, John Anderson, Kyle Berck, Justin Fegers, Joey Jensen, Darrin Meierotto, Corey Conley  Race Statistics  Entries:  48 Caution Flags:  4 Red Flags:  0 Lap Leaders:  Darren Miller 1-14, Earl Pearson Jr 15-50 Allstar Performance Performer of the Race:  Donnie Moran (Started 16th and finished 3rd-advanced 13 positions) K&N Engineering Clean Pass of the Race:  Brian Birkhofer Hawk Brake Tough Break Award:  Corey Conley Quarter Master Move of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr to take the lead on lap 15 On the Edge Graphics Fastest Non Qualifier Award:  Damon Eller Weld Wheels Award:  Brady Smith Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals:  Steve Casebolt and Tim Dohm World Dirt Racing League Provisionals:  Denny Eckrich and Brian Harris    Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings (After June 17)   1.  Earl Pearson, Jr. (Jacksonville, FL)-2520 2.  Don O'Neal (Martinsville, IN)-2420 3.  Donnie Moran (Dresden, OH)-2300 4.  Matt Miller (Waterville, OH)-2090 5.  Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN)-2000 6.  Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-1835 7.  Tim Dohm (Cross Lanes, WV)-1810 8.  Brady Smith (Solon Springs, WI)-1645 9.  Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN)-1545 10. Corey Conley (Wellsburg, WV)-1450 11. Rick Eckert (York, PA)-1450 12. Darren Miller (Chadwick, IL)-1410 13. Michael England (Glasgow, KY)-1385 14. Steve Francis (Ashland, KY)-1355 15. Dennis Erb Jr (Carpentersville, IL)-1315    Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year Standings (After June 17)   1.  Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN)-1835 2.  Brady Smith (Solon Springs, WI)-1645 3.  Corey Conley (Wellsburg, WV)-1450 4.  Michael England (Glasgow, KY)-1385 5.  Damon Eller (Crumpler, NC)-1125

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