WINCHESTER, VA (August 1, 2008) – Taking the lead on the fourth lap, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL picked up his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event of 2008 running away with the $7,000 to win event at Winchester Speedway on Friday Night. Pearson’s third LOLMDS win of the season extended his points lead as well. Jimmy Owens of Newport, TN came from the 18th starting spot to finish second, followed by 12th starting Steve Francis of Ashland, KY, the previous night’s winner at Bedford finished third, with Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH coming home fourth, and Steve Casebolt of Richmond, IN took the fifth finishing position at the finish.
The initial start of the 40 lap event saw a multi-car pileup in turn four, which involved at least five race cars. Once the green flag came back out, Moran would bolt to the lead with Pearson, who re-started fourth after initially starting sixth, but moved to the outside of row number two after Terry Casey was unable to continue after the first lap wreck.
Moran would then see Pearson use the middle groove on the track to pull even with Moran on lap three as the two drivers came across the start-finish line dead even with Pearson. Pearson then immediately took over the top spot from Moran, stretching it to six car lengths by the ninth lap.
Booper Bare spun in turn two, bringing out a caution with ten laps complete, saving the tail of the field from being reeled in by the leaders. On the restart, Pearson had the advantage of a clear track in front of him. Again, Pearson would show his strength pulling out to a four-car length lead over Moran and third place Justin Rattliff. The third caution for slow for the top-ten running Darryl Hills with 16 laps in the books would once again allow Moran and Rattliff a shot at Pearson.
On the restart, Pearson really picked up the pace, holding his largest margin of the race, a ten-car length lead with 20 laps in the books. Moran was still running in second followed by Rattliff, Casebolt, and Francis, who worked his way up to fifth after starting 12th.
Another car on the move was Jimmy Owens, coming from all the way back in his 20th starting position. Experiencing problems, Rattliff slowed on the backstretch and pulled out of the race on lap 32, ending a strong run for the youngster.
Francis and Owens then continued their march to the front. Pearson remained out front with more than a straightaway lead over Moran. The duo of Francis and Owens had split Rattliff as the he slowed as that would move Owens into third with Francis now running in fourth.
In the final five laps, Owens caught up to Moran, and managed to get by him on lap 38. Francis quickly followed suit on the final lap to take third away from Moran. Pearson managed to keep an insurmountable lead to finish with the win in his first ever appearance at Winchester Speedway.
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane, Pearson thanked a multitude of people including his crew and car owner Bobby Labonte. “I didn’t know what was going to happen in the feature after the heat races, everybody was running around on the bottom and I guess we were bound and determined to make the middle to top groove work and it did fortunately for us. I want to say hello to my mom back home, she was not feeling well today and I hope this makes her feel better.”
Pearson drove the Bobby Labonte Racing/Larry Wallace Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Dodge Charger sponsored by LifeLong Locks/Lucas Oil Products and Sunoco Race Fuels, followed by Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Donnie Moran, and Steve Casebolt.
Completing the top ten were Jamie Lathroum, Billy Drake, Andy Anderson, Wayne Chinn and D.J.Myers.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be back in action on Saturday Night, August 2nd at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, MD for a $10,000 to win event. The event will be broadcasted live on www.RaceTalkLive.com with your host, Dustin “DJ” Jarrett at 8 PM Eastern Time.
To find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, log on to www.lucasdirt.com or call the series office at (951) 532-2503.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, August 1, 2008
Winchester Speedway – Winchester, VA
PRC Fast Time: Ricky Elliott/ 16.189 seconds
Hawk Brake First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Jamie Lathroum, Billy Drake, Andy Anderson, Ricky Elliott, Booper Bare, Dan Schlieper, Tony Crim, Steve Shaver, Kristopher Eaton, Jonathon DeHaven, Brian Tavenner, Scott Merryman – DNS
Hawk Brake Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Terry Casey, Earl Pearson Jr., Darryl Hills, Gary Stuhler, David Williams, Dan Stone, Devin Friese, Frank Plessinger, Ronnie DeHaven Jr., Freddy Smith, Chris Cromer, Leon Lloyd – DNS
AFCO Racing Products Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Justin Rattliff, Bart Hartman, DJ Myers, Jason Covert, Jimmy Owens, Walter Crouch, Gerald Davis, John Mason, Wayne Chinn, Brad Omps, James Richards, Jeremy Miller
Tiger Rear Ends Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Steve Francis, Scott James, Josh Richards, Michael Hardy, Mark Pettyjohn, Roland Mann, Matt Hardy, Matt Quade, Lewis Hudson
Mason Racin’ Rebel Shock Dyno First B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Booper Bare, Dan Schlieper, David Williams, Dan Stone, Frank Plessinger, Tony Crim, Devin Friese, Jonathan DeHaven, Kristopher Eaton, Ronnie DeHaven Jr., Brian Tavenner, Chris Cromer, Freddy Smith, Steve Shaver, Scott Merryman – DNS, Leon Lloyd – DNS
Quarter Master Second B-Main (12 Laps-Top 3 Advance): Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Walter Crouch, Mark Pettyjohn, Michael Handy, Wayne Chinn, Gerald Davis, John Mason, Brad Omps, Roland Mann, Matt Hardy, Lewis Hudson, James Richards, Jeremy Miller, Matt Quade
“Shootout Finale” Feature Finish (40 Laps): Earl Pearson Jr., Jimmy Owens, Steve Francis, Donnie Moran, Steve Casebolt, Jamie Lathroum, Billy Drake, Andy Anderson, Wayne Chinn, DJ Myers, Bart Hartman, Jason Covert, Gary Stuhler, Josh Richards, Booper Bare, Scott James, Ricky Elliott, Freddy Smith, David Williams, Justin Rattliff, Darryl Hills, Dan Schlieper, Terry Casey, Walter Crouch, Gerald Davis
Caution Flags: 3
Lap Leaders: Donnie Moran 1-3, Earl Pearson Jr. 4-40
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Freddy Smith, Wayne Chinn
Winchester Speedway Track Provisional: Gerald Davis
PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Started 18th and finished 2nd —advanced 16 positions)
Allstar Performance Performer of the Race: Wayne Chinn
K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Jimmy Owens
Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Wayne Chinn
ASI Racewear Lucky 7 Award: Billy Drake
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Jason Baltazar (Wayne Chinn)
Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Larry Wallace Racing Engines
Time of the Race: 23 minutes
Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Standings
1) Earl Pearson Jr. (Jacksonville, FL) 5240
2) Steve Casebolt (Richmond, IN) 4740
3) Bart Hartman (Zanesville, OH) 4685
4) Billy Drake (Bloomington, IL) 4425
5) Justin Rattliff (Campbellsville, KY) 4240
6) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4175
7) Dan Schlieper (Sullivan, WI) 4160
8) Scott James (Lawrenceburg, IN) 4070
9) Freddy Smith (Seymour, TN) 3755
10) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3490
Quarter Master Rookie of the Year Points Standings
1) Terry Casey (New London, WI) 4175
2) Wayne Chinn (Bradford, OH) 3490
3) John Blankenship (Williamson, WV) 745
4) Tony Knowles (Tyrone, GA) 425
5) Eric Jacobsen (Seacliffe Beach, CA) 245