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WHEATLAND, MO (May 25, 2017) - Earl Pearson Jr. gained the lead on lap 15 from Jesse Stovall and then held off Scott Bloomquist in the final laps to win the Cowboy Classic - presented by Hot Rod Processing on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. The event was co-sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and Lucas Oil Midwest Late Model Racing Association (MLRA).
Pearson kicked off the 25th Annual Show-Me 100 weekend with his second LOLMDS win of the season over Bloomquist, Jimmy Owens, Tim McCreadie, and Mike Marlar.
It was a very competitive race from start to finish as Pearson withstood a lap 39 restart challenge from Bloomquist, who had pulled even with Pearson several times in the final six laps but could never clear him.
"That was a heck of a race," said Pearson in Lucas Oil Victory Lane. "Stovall was good early on the top. We were trying to find a spot on the track to be consistent at. The car kept moving around. The traffic was tough, but everybody gave each other plenty of room to pass. I didn't want to see that last caution. I saw on the scoreboard that Scott [Bloomquist] was behind us. I knew he wouldn't try a slide job and take both of us out. He drove us clean. He got beside me there several times, but my car was better into three and four than his."
"I knew Jimmy [Owens] was back there as well. They went out before the race and tilled the top and that made for some good racing. I don't know if it would have held up for 100 laps, but it was good enough for 45 tonight. I want to thank my crew and all my sponsors. Thanks to Carlton and Kemp Lamm and the whole Dunn-Benson Ford Team - it's always good to win here at Lucas Oil Speedway."
The four-time LOLMDS National Champion's Longhorn Ford is powered by a Wallace Racing Engine and sponsored by Dunn-Benson Ford, Lucas Oil Racing TV, MAVTV, Penske Racing Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels and Freeport Recycling.
Bloomquist who started on the pole, finished second in his Crop Production Services, Reece Monument Company, and Mark Martin Automotive-sponsored Sweet-Bloomquist entry. "I knew I was a sitting duck when they went out and worked the top of the track. I waited a few laps too late to get going. I lost two positions there at the start. I could finally go to the middle and top and gained back those spots that I lost. It was a good race there among the four of us. A lot of front tires I think we're giving up there late in the race. We will be ready for Saturday Night!"
Owens was in the hunt coming on to finish in third place. "This Ramirez Motorsports car was really good tonight. It took us a while to get going. We caught those guys up front after [Tim] McCreadie and I had a good race going on there. We just have the right set-up for this track that is why we have been so successful here in the past. We will come back tomorrow night and get better and then get ready for 100 laps on Saturday Night."
Completing the top ten were Darrell Lanigan, Bobby Pierce, Gregg Satterlee, Mason Zeigler, and Billy Moyer Jr.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Lap Leaders: Jesse Stovall (Laps 1 - 14); Earl Pearson Jr. (Laps 15 - 45)
Cautions: Jesse Stovall (Lap 39)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: n/a
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
Wrisco Feature Winner: Earl Pearson Jr.
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Rodney Sanders (Started: 22nd; Finished: 14th; Advanced 8 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Scott Bloomquist
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Race: Billy Moyer Jr.
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Earl Pearson Jr.
Hot Rod Processing Rookie of the Race: Gregg Satterlee
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Race: Wallace Racing Engines
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Taylon Center (Earl Pearson Jr.)
Fastest Lap of the Race: Jimmy Owens (Lap #6 - 16.3828 seconds)
Safecraft Most Laps Led: Earl Pearson Jr. (31)
PFC Brakes Pole Award: Scott Bloomquist
Time of Race: 16 minutes 54 seconds