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BURLINGTON, IA (May 23, 2010) – Visiting 34 Raceway for the first time since he won there in 2004, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL came home with the $10,000 victory in the first ever Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series visit to the southeast Iowa track.  Pearson, who started fifth and made quick work of lap one leader, Don O’Neal as he took the lead two laps into the 50 lap main event.  Pearson then led the rest of the way to score his second series win of 2010.  Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC finished second followed by 12th starting Will Vaught of Crane, MO, 17th starting Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, GA and 11th starting Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, WI.  All 25 starters in the main event managed to finish the 50 Lap feature.

O’Neal and Cook made up the front row as O’Neal grabbed the point at the start. Pearson started on the inside of row number three and quickly charged to the lead, using his patented inside line around the track as he moved into the top spot just two laps into the race. O’Neal fell to second behind Pearson with Cook, Jimmy Owens, and Mark Burgtorf in the top five with five laps in the books.  Cook then passed O’Neal for second on lap seven to take over the runnerup position as Pearson was pulling away from the pack of cars behind him.

The first caution of the race would fly on lap six for Jason Utter, who had a flat tire.  On the restart Pearson held the point with Cook and O’Neal lined up double-file behind him.  The race went green for two laps until Mike Marlar developed a flat, bringing out the second caution of the race. The restart again had Pearson on the point with Cook and O’Neal on his rear deck lid.  Dennis Erb, Jr. began to make some noise as he moved up to third after the restart. Mars then started to challenge O’Neal for fourth as the two ran side-by-side for two circuits with Mars edging ahead on lap 14.

With 15 laps in the books Pearson was comfortably out in front with Cook, Erb, Mars and O’Neal trying to stay within shouting distance of the leader.  The top stayed in the same order until Will Vaught flexed some muscle, as the 12th starting Missouri youngster was coming on strong, moving into the top five by lap 17. Pearson began to encounter traffic by lap 20 as Mars made a move on Erb to take over the third position.  Mars then started to track down Cook, who was still running second and has the cars took the crossed flags Mars was all over Cook in the race for second.

Chris Wall spun out right in front of him on lap 26 as Pearson was barely able to miss the spinning Wall. The restart saw Vaught jump from fifth to third as he was trying to get a good finish to break a streak of misfortune the last two series events.  Vaught then brought fellow Warrior Race Car driver Dale McDowell with him as McDowell charged from his 17th starting spot to fourth by lap 29.

With 20 laps to go Pearson was in complete control of the race as Cook and Vaught battled for second place.  Pearson began to pick up traffic again, this time heavier than before and with ten laps remaining. Cook and Vaught began to chop into his lead, but Pearson outmaneuvered the duo through some heavy lapped traffic.

With five to go Pearson still had to work his way past cars as the top five settled in for the finish.  Pearson went on to score the win, his second Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season, and his first since East Bay in February, as he remains in the third place in the championship points standings behind Bloomquist and Owens.

In Sunoco Race Fuels Road to Wheatland Victory Lane for the 19th time in series competition the 38-year-old racer thanked his crew, family, sponsors, and Bobbly Labonte . “We made the right tire choice tonight, I believe there were three other guys on the same compounds as we had and the track took off just tremendously well,” said Pearson.  “The track was real good tonight, just like I remember it six years ago when we came here and won, it feels good to come back here and win again, this is a really nice facility and the track crew did a great job considering how much rain they had,” said Pearson speaking of the nearly ten inches of the rain that fell in the area during the week leading up to the race.

“We are really running good here lately, we got second last night at La Salle and were going to make this a good race for the points title here soon if we keep this up, I am sure Bobby (Labonte) is going to proud of the team, it’s always good to keep the boss happy and we look forward to going to Wheatland next weekend for the Show-Me 100 and we will try to get that one,” said Pearson.

“We had some close moments there in traffic, but everyone gave each other plenty of racing room out there, it was close when Wall spun in front me, it looked like he just got out the brown and lost it, it was just one of those things and I just missed him, the crew did a great job tonight and thanks to the fans who came out this weekend to see us all race.”

Pearson who drives for 2000 NASCAR Cup Champion, Bobby Labonte drives a MasterSbilt Dodge Charger powered by a Larry Wallace Racing Engine and sponsored by Lucas Oil Products/Red Buck Cigars/PRC/Sunoco Race Fuels/Hoosier Racing Tires and ASi Racewear.

Cook, who finished second moved into sixth in the championship point’s standings was in the D&R Racing/Hicks and Ingle Co. General Contracting/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo SS. with Vaught driving the Paul McKenna owned/Mark Martin Chevrolet/Warrior Corvette came home third followed by McDowell in the Clint Bowyer Racing/Cheerios/Warrior Impala SS and Mars in the Deppe Enterprises/Pro Power Racing Engines/MB Customs Malibu.

Completing the top ten were Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN who retook the points lead by ten over Owens, who finished eighth.  Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA finished in between the two top series point men.  Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, IL was ninth and pole sitter Don O’Neal of Martinsville, IN came home tenth after pitting for new tires on the last caution of the race.

For the latest breaking news on 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 SeriesRace SummarySunday Night, May 23rd, 201034 Raceway – West Burlington, IA

 

Red Buck Cigars Fast Time: Jason Feger / 16.260 seconds

Wiles Driveshaft’s First Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Don O’Neal, Earl Pearson Jr., Steve Casebolt, Jason Feger, Dale McDowell, Eric Wells, Denny Eckrich, Tyler Reddick, Rob Moss, Jason Frankel

AFCO Racing Products Second Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advances): Jimmy Owens, Mark Burgtorf, Jimmy Mars, Scott Bloomquist, Dan Schlieper, John Blankenship, Shannon Babb, Tim Isenberg, Brad Neat, Jason Hughes-DNS

Allstar Performance Third Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Ray Cook, Dennis Erb Jr., Brian Birkhofer, Bub McCool, Daniel McLaughlin, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jay Johnson, Mark Voigt, Michael Walker, Chris Simpson

SuperFlow Fourth Heat (10 Laps-Top 4 Advance): Mike Marlar, Chris Wall, Will Vaught, Jason McBride, Mike Collins, Jake Meier, Jason Utter, Mike Murphy, Matt Miller-DNS, Rickey Frankel-DNS

Hawk Brake First B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers): Dale McDowell, Eric Wells, Brad Neat, Dan Schlieper, Tim Isenberg, John Blankenship, Rob Moss, Tyler Reddick, Jason Frankel, Shannon Babb, Denny Eckrich, Jason Hughes-DNS

Performance Rod and Custom (PRC) Second B-Main (12 Laps- Top 3 Transfers):  Bub McCool, Daniel McLaughlin, Jason Utter, Jake Meier, Mike Collins, Michael Walker, Jay Johnson, Mark Voigt, Mike Murphy, Matt Miller-DNS, Chris Simpson-DNS, Rickey Frankel-DNSFeature Finish - 50 Laps

FINISH

START

CAR #

DRIVER NAME

HOMETOWN

1

5

44

Earl Pearson, Jr.

Jacksonville, FL

2

2

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

3

12

1

Will Vaught

Crane, MO

4

17

17m

Dale McDowell

Chickamauga, GA

5

11

28m

Jimmy Mars

Menomonie, WI

6

15

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

7

14

15b

Brian Birkhofer

Muscatine, IA

8

3

20

Jimmy Owens

Newport, TN

9

6

28e

Dennis Erb, Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

10

1

71

Don O'Neal

Martinsville, IN

11

9

c9

Steve Casebolt

Richmond, IN

12

23

s9

Dan Schlieper

Sullivan, WI

13

21

41n

Brad Neat

Dunnville, KY

14

19

18e

Eric Wells

Hazard, KY

15

18

57J

Bub McCool

Vicksburg, MS

16

7

7b

Mark Burgtorf

Quincy, IL

17

24

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

18

8

71w

Chris Wall

Holden, LA

19

4

157

Mike Marlar

Winfield, TN

20

22

31u

Jason Utter

Columbus Junction, IA

21

13

25f

Jason Feger

Bloomington, IL

22

10

99jr

Frank Heckenast, Jr.

Frankfort, IL

23

20

14x

Daniel McLaughlin

Mediapolis, IA

24

25

9t

Tim Isenberg

Marshfield, WI

25

16

77m

Jason McBride

Carbondale, IL

 

 

Race StatisticsEntrants: 40 Lap Leaders: Don O’Neal (Lap 1); Earl Pearson Jr. (Laps 2-50) Caution Flags: Lap 6 (Jason Utter); Lap 8 (Mike Marlar); Lap 26 (Chris Wall) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: Dan Schlieper, John Blankenship Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisional: Tim Isenberg PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger of the Race: Dale McDowell (Started 17th; Finished 4th; Advanced 13 positions) Ohlin’s Shocks Performer of the Race: Will Vaught K&N Filters Clean Pass of the Race: Earl Pearson Jr. Quarter Master Rookie of the Race: Will Vaught Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Larry Wallace Racing Engines Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award: Jason Feger DirtonDirt.com Crew Chief of the Race: Tommy Greco (Dale McDowell) E3 Spark Plugs TV Challenge All stars: n/a Time of Race: 25 minutes, 13 seconds

Lucas Oil Championship Point Standings:

 

POS

CAR #

DRIVER NAME

HOMETOWN

POINTS

1

0

Scott Bloomquist

Mooresburg, TN

1765

2

20

Jimmy Owens

Newport, TN

1755

3

44

Earl Pearson, Jr.

Jacksonville, FL

1655

4

71

Don O'Neal

Martinsville, IN

1490

5

17m

Dale McDowell

Chickamauga, GA

1430

6

53

Ray Cook

Brasstown, NC

1425

7

71w

Chris Wall

Holden, LA

1390

8

c9

Steve Casebolt

Richmond, IN

1365

9

s9

Dan Schlieper

Sullivan, WI

1290

10

28e

Dennis Erb, Jr.

Carpentersville, IL

1270

11

18e

Eric Wells

Hazard, KY

1215

12

23

John Blankenship

Williamson, WV

1185

13

157

Mike Marlar

Winfield, TN

1180

14

1

Will Vaught

Crane, MO

1160

15

25f

Jason Feger

Bloomington, IL

1150

16

57J

Bub McCool

Vicksburg, MS

1115

17

41n

Brad Neat

Dunnville, KY

1105

18

9t

Tim Isenberg

Marshfield, WI

1000

19

3c

Mike Collins

Council Bluffs, IA

915

20

11t

Tyler Reddick

Corning, CA

885

21

64

Michael Walker

Franklin, TN

815

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