WHEATLAND, Mo. — Earl Pearson Jr. took the lead from Jesse Stovall on lap 15 and then held off Scott Bloomquist in the final laps to win Thursday’s Cowboy Classic presented by Hot Rod Processing 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.
Pearson kicked off the 25th annual Show-Me 100 weekend with his second series 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 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.”
Pearson admitted that the late-race yellow was the last thing he wanted to have happen.
“I didn’t want to see that last caution. I saw on the scoreboard that Scott [Bloomquist] was behind us, but 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.”
Bloomquist who started on the pole, finished second in his Crop Production Services/Reece Monument Company/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,” Bloomquist admitted. “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, were giving up there late in the race. We will be ready for Saturday night!”
Owens was in the hunt late, before finishing in third place.
“This Ramirez Motorsports car was really good tonight,” Owens said. “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.”
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Cowboy Classic; Lucas Oil Speedway; May 25, 2017
Feature (45 laps): 1. Earl Pearson Jr., 2. Scott Bloomquist, 3. Jimmy Owens, 4. Tim McCreadie, 5. Mike Marlar, 6. Darrell Lanigan, 7. Bobby Pierce, 8. Gregg Satterlee, 9. Mason Zeigler, 10. Billy Moyer Jr., 11. Payton Looney, 12. Logan Martin, 13. Dave Eckrich, 14. Rodney Sanders, 15. Billy Moyer, 16. Steve Francis, 17. Chris Simpson, 18. Tony Jackson Jr., 19. Chase Junghans, 20. Don O’Neal, 21. Tim Manville, 22. Dennis Erb Jr., 23. Jesse Stovall, 24. Jason Rauen.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications