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For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2007

 

Earl Pearson, Jr. Breaks Through With First Ever East Bay Winternationals Win


TAMPA, FL (February 6, 2007)- Two-time and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Earl Pearson, Jr. of Jacksonville, FL scored his first ever win at East Bay Raceway Park on Tuesday Night during the 31st Annual Winternationals for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Pearson痴 win was his sixth career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series victory and his first driving for car owner, Bobby Labonte.

Pearson took the lead at the beginning of the 30 lap $5,000 to win main event and led every lap. The 35 year old racer drove the LifeLong Locks, MOPAR, Lucas Oil Products, Sunoco Race Fuels, Allstar Performance, Dunn-Benson Motorsports, Larry Wallace Racing Engines, MasterSbilt Dodge Charger to victory lane over Steve Francis of Ashland, KY who finished second in his Valvoline/Custom Race Engines/Rocket GTO.

Finishing third was Moss, TN痴 Ricky Arms in the Tom Herron/Perfect Wall, Inc/MastersBilt GTO with Don O誰eal of Martinsville, IN in the Jerry Jones/Jones Core/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, IL in the Bill Moyer/Car City/C.J. Rayburn Monte Carlo completing the top five drivers. A total of 92 entries were on hand for the second night of Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series action at East Bay. Pearson drew the pole among the eight heat race winners as Terry Casey would line up beside him on the start. The caution came out with one lap scored for Damon Eller and then on the restart several cars were involved in a wreck in turn four. Two straight cautions came on lap three and four as the anxious drivers would see four cautions in the first four laps of the race.

The race then settled for a run of 11 green flag laps with Pearson on the point followed by Francis, Casey, Arms and Don O誰eal. There was no movement in the top five until Dan Schlieper went around O誰eal on lap 11 for fifth. Pearson then started to work lapped traffic by lap 14 and then caution number five came out on lap 15 which would clear Pearson痴 path in front of him.

O誰eal got back into the top five on lap 16 passing Schlieper for that spot. The sixth and final caution came out on lap 20 for Casey who gave up a strong run as he slid to a stop in turn three after he had run several laps in that position with left front suspension damage. That moved Arms into third with O誰eal and Shannon Babb up to fourth and fifth with ten laps remaining in the race.

On the restart Pearson would again pull away from Francis and set sail to the checkered flag as he would finally breakthrough at East Bay for his first ever win at the track in his home state. Francis finished a solid second followed by another impressive run for Arms who bettered his sixth place finish on opening night with a third place. O誰eal and Babb would round out the top five.

Pearson in victory lane thanked all of sponsors and crew for their outstanding work with his new race team. 的 want to thank my crew chief, Jason Fitzgerald, Matt and Regan and everybody else with Bobby Labonte Racing for this opportunity. 的 just wanted to get out in front and with the way the track was I knew it was important to get off to a good start, but then again we got off good last night, but we didn稚 win.

Completing the top ten were Dan Schlieper, Matt Miller, Josh Richards, Anthony White and Donnie Moran.

In preliminary action Billy Drake was the LifeLong Locks Fast Time Award Winner with a qualifying lap of 14.894 seconds. The Hawk Brake and Quarter Master Sponsored Heat Race Winners were Shannon Babb, Terry Casey, Matt Miller, Earl Pearson, Jr., Dan Schlieper, Steve Francis, Don O誰eal and Ricky Arms. The Mason Racin Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks B-Main Sponsored Winners were Josh Richards, Terry English, Steve Shaver and Patrick Sheltra.

The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series returns to action at East Bay on Wednesday Night, February 7th with a complete show of LifeLong Locks Time Trials, Hawk Brake and Quarter Master sponsored Heat races, Mason Racin Rebel Shock Dyno and Penske Shocks sponsored B-Mains Performance Rod and Custom Strawberry Dash and the $5,000 to win A- Main.

Catch all of the action of the 31st Annual East Bay Winternationals live on the internet all week long at www.RaceTalkLive.com.

 

 

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       
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