In front of the largest crowd in the history of Magnolia Motor Speedway, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL won his third consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series main event. He earned $20,000 by winning the "Clash at the Mag" Presented by the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, on Saturday Night. Pearson took the lead on lap 30 and held off defending series champion, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN for the win.
"I want to first thank all these fans for coming out here tonight, it was hot and I'm sure they saw a good show," said the 38-year-old Pearson whose win was his 23rd in series history. The win tonight broke a tie atop the all-time win list; Pearson now leads Bloomquist by one victory. " I have to thank Lucas Oil Products, Red Buck Cigars, MasterSbilt Race Cars and Larry Wallace Racing Engines for all of their support. I also want to thank my car owner, Bobby Labonte, my crew Jason, Matt, and everybody back at the shop. The car was fast from the time we unloaded it on Friday."
Rookie, Eric Wells, bolted out to the early lead and looked strong early on as he led the first 19 laps of the race. Bloomquist took over the lead on lap 20. He held the lead until Pearson made a smooth move on the inside of Bloomquist coming off of turn four on lap 30 to get by the reigning champion.
Pearson built a healthy lead over what turned out to be torrid battle for second between Bloomquist, Ray Cook, and Billy Moyer. The trio brutally fought for the second spot for most of the main event. Moyer then managed to clear both Cook and Bloomquist to solidly claim the second spot on lap 71. Moyer then started to close on the almost insurmountable lead that Pearson had built.
After to getting within five car lengths of the leader, Moyer suddenly slowed on the frontstretch and pulled to the infield as he entered turn one on lap 79. After the final restart, Bloomquist consistently challenged Pearson for the lead until the final three laps. In the waning laps Pearson was able to maneuver through traffic to maintain his lead ahead of Bloomquist.
"I want to thank Johnny Stokes for the great race track he gave us tonight," exclaimed Pearson, "you could run anywhere on the track. Eric [Wells] ran well in the beginning of the race; when Scott got around us, I knew it was going to be a tough race for the lead."
Cook finished third in the D&R Racing, #53 MasterSbilt. Dale McDowell in the Clint Bowyer Racing, Dollar General, Warrior Race Car passed the Mike Reece owned number 20 of Jimmy Owens on the final lap to claim fourth.
Rounding out the top ten were Stacy Taylor, Don O'Neal, Dan Schlieper, Terry Phillips and Chris Wall.
The event was taped by SPEED and will air on Saturday July 31st, for more information on the broadcast go to the TV Schedule section of www.lucasdirt.com.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will be in action at Tri-City (IL) Speedway in Pontoon Beach, IL on Friday Night, July 16th for the "Budweiser 50." The stars of the LOLMDS will make their second appearance of the season at the "Diamond of the Dirt Tracks," Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO for the "CMH Diamond Nationals," on Saturday Night, July 17th. Both events will pay $10,000 to win.
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.