Pearson Blazes To Fast Time During Friday-Night Qualifying For Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Commercial Mowers At Eldora

Invert Puts World of Outlaws Late Model Series Regulars Lanigan & McCreadie On Pole Of Saturday Heat Races

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director/DIRTcar Racing P.R.

ROSSBURG, OH – June 8, 2012 – Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., kicked off the 18th Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Commercial Mowers in fine fashion on Friday night, topping the 98-car field with the fastest lap in time trials at Eldora Speedway.

The 40-year-old standout ripped off a lap of 15.476 seconds to start the second round of qualifying, vaulting him past first-round fast qualifier Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind. Pearson’s time held up for the remainder of the session, putting him in the spotlight on opening night of the prestigious $100,000-to-win DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned event.

“I was worried about O’Neal when he put that first lap down,” said Pearson, who timed second to O’Neal in the first round of qualifying. “I figured he’d come out that second lap and beat that, so we’re happy to end up with fast time.”

Pearson was also smiling after spinning a ‘3’ on the invert wheel, providing him the best possible starting position in his heat race on Saturday night. He will take the green flag from inside row two in the first of six 15-lap preliminaries, each of which transfers three drivers to the 100-lap Dream A-Main.

A former World 100 winner who drives a Longhorn Chassis for NASCAR veteran Bobby Labonte, Pearson will attempt to start the seventh Dream 100 of his career. He owns a top finish of fifth (2005) in the race that offers the dirt Late Model division’s richest first-place prize.

O’Neal, 47, was unable to better his first-round time of 15.592 seconds, but he still ended qualifying with his MasterSbilt No. 71 second overall. He will start third in Saturday’s second heat race as he bids to become the first driver in Dream history to win the event in consecutive years.

The ‘3’ invert was perfect for the drivers who timed 13-18 in qualifying, handing each a pole position start in a heat. Saturday’s polesitters will include former Dream winners Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., and Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.; Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., who hit the wall on his second qualifying lap but was fast enough with his first circuit to rank 14th; Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who made a hasty switch to his backup car for qualifying after hitting the turn-two wall during hot laps; Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill.; and Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky.

Friday’s top 60 qualifiers locked themselves into heat-race starting spots. Drivers timing below that threshold were for the first time split into three 20-lap Qualifying Features that paid $1,000 to win, offered full DIRTcar UMP points and provided racers an opportunity to better their starting positions in Saturday’s heat races.

Duane Chamberlain of Richmond, Ind., Jeff Babcock of Wayne, Ohio, and Sprint Car veteran Shane Cottle of Kokomo, Ind., emerged victorious in the Qualifying Features. Each will start 11th in a heat on Saturday evening.

The driver who gained the most from the new Qualifying Features format was 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and current Nationwide Series regular Austin Dillon of Welcome, N.C., who started last (11th) in the second race after failing to record a time because he jumped the turn-two berm and ripped off his car’s nosepiece during his first lap. He charged forward to finish third, moving him further up in the heat lineup.

Lanigan and McCreadie are among the group of eight WoO LMS regulars who competed in Friday’s qualifying action. Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., was the fastest of the Outlaws, timing 11th fastest.

Other World of Outlaws travelers at Eldora are rookie Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind. (24th fastest), Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa. (25th), rookie Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss. (48th), Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga. (50th) and John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y. (81st).

Two-time WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., made his first dirt Late Model appearance since vacating his father Mark’s Rocket Chassis house car in April to take a NASCAR Nationwide Series ride. The 24-year-old star steered the Ernie Davis-owned No. 25 to the fifth-fastest lap in Friday’s qualifying.

Teenager Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., meanwhile, timed 20th-fastest behind the wheel of the Rocket Chassis house car. He will start fourth in the second heat.

Saturday’s racing program, which begins at 7 p.m., includes six heat races, C- and B-features and the new ‘scramble’ races prior to the $100,000 Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Commercial Mowers.

Tickets for the Dirt Late Model Dream remain available on-line at www.EldoraSpeedway.com or by calling the speedway office at 937-338-3815.

For more information on DIRTcar UMP Racing, log on to www.DirtCar.com.

Qualifying Results for Dirt Late Model Dream by Ferris Commercial Motors (rank/driver/hometown/best lap):

1. 44-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 15.476
2. 71-Don O’Neal/Martinsville, IN 15.592
3. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 15.606
4. 22-Chris Ferguson/Mt. Holly, NC 15.670
5. 25-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 15.682
6. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 15.696
7. 5-Klint Byars/Calhoun City, MS 15.699
8. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 15.820
9. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.823
10. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 15.837
11. 25-Shane Clanton Fayetteville, GA 15.852
12. 3s-Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL 15.858
13. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 15.868
14. 15-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 15.883
15. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.884
16. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.904
17. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 15.924
18. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 15.930
19. 5-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 15.94
20. 1-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 15.964
21. 25-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 15.985
22. 28 Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL 16.002
23. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 16.019
24. 7R-Kent Robinson-Bloomington, IN 16.044
25. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 16.054
26. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 16.087
27. c9-Steve Casebolt/Richmond, IN 16.088
28. 53-Ray Cook-Brasstown, NC 16.089
29. 71c-R.J. Conley/Portsmouth, OH 16.091
30. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 16.112
31. 44-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 16.132
32. A1-Duke Whiseant/Texarkana, AR 16.142
33. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 16.147
34. 81-Scott James/Lawrenceburg, IN 16.148
35. 23-Ryan VanderVeen/Six Lakes, MI 16.264
36. 3-Matt Miller/Whitehouse, OH 16.277
37. 34-Ky Harper/Holland, OH 16.343
38. 9R-Curtis Roberts/Coleman, MI 16.369
39. 75-Terry Phillips/Springfield, MO 16.410
40. 11-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 16.410
41. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 16.45
42. 28-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 16.451
43. 5b-Mike Marlar/Winfield, TN 16.496
44. 71-Chris Wall/Holden, LA 16.505
45. 42-Terry Casey/New London, WI 16.521
46. 111-Curt Spalding/Hartford, MI 16.544
47. 15-Jon Henry/Ada, OH 16.547
48. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 16.553
49. 20J-Jerry Bowersock/Wapakoneta, OH 16.576
50. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 16.588
51. 24H-Greg Johnson/Bedford, IN 16.594
52. 555-Justin Coulter/Loomington, ONT 16.595
53. 20H-Jacob Hawkins/Fairmont, WV 16.659
54. b4-Jackie Boggs/Grayson, KY 16.670
55. 00-Jesse Stovall/Galena, MO 16.698
56. 79-Doug Drown/Wooster, OH 16.706
57. 6K-Michael Kloos/Trenton, IL 16.754
58. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 16.754
59. 88-Andrew Reaume/Blenheim, ONT 16.777
60. 37H-Jared Hawkins/Fairmont, WV 16.818
61. 20c-Duane Chamberlain/Richmond, IN 16.846
62. 48-Tim Lance/Brimfield, IL 16.885
63. 46-Tim Rivers/Salem, IN 16.936
64. 1N-Casey Noonan/Toledo, OH 16.939
65. 99M-Devin Moran/Dresden, OH 16.958
66. 31-Shane Cottle/Kokomo, IN 16.987
67. 31-Scott Creel/Franklinton, LA 17.003
68. 37-Dennis Franklin/Gaffney, SC 17.011
69. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 17.024
70. 19-Chad Smith/Miamisburg, OH 17.031
71. 1B-Jeff Babcock/Wayne, OH 17.037
72. 11B-James Rice/Verona, KY 17.163
73. 1WC-Wayne Chinn/Bradford, OH 17.164
74. 89-Mike Spatola/Manhattan, IL 17.182
75. 32-Mark Dodson/Caledonia, MS 17.206
76. 17-Shannon Thornsberry/Martin, KY 17.264
77. 26-Bill Lewis/Warren, IN 17.364
78. 10-Leon Henderson/Laurel, MS 17.461
79. F5-B.J. Robinson/Shreveport, LA 17.499
80. 25-Dustin Neat/Dunnville, KY 17.517
81. 28-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 17.576
82. 17-Ronnie DeHaven/Winchester, VA 17.627
83. 93-Jay Johnson/W. Burlington, IA 17.677
84. 33B-Scott Bowersock/Wapakoneta, OH 17.707
85. 44-Greg Kendall/Paoli, IN 17.787
86. 30-Mark Voigt/Marine, IL 17.87
87. 16-Tracy Pearson/Woodstock, GA 18.282
88. 36-Matt Irey/Mansfield, OH 18.359
89. 92-Cody Scott/Ontario, OH 18.629
90. 38-Kevin Colston/Frankfort, KY 18.686
91. 33-Don Gordon/Chatham, ONT 19.062
92. 99G-Jacob Grizzle/Blairsville, GA N/T
93. 1W-Dillon Wood/New Smyrna Beach, FL N/T
94. 1V-Will Vaught/Crane, MO N/T
95. 81Jr-Jason Riggs/Harrisburg, IL N/T
96. 00-Jay Sessoms/Stanley, NC N/T
97. 2-Justin Chance/Lexington, OH N/T
98. 3-Austin Dillon/Welcome, NC N/T

Qualifying Feature No. 1 Finish (20 laps): 1. Duane Chamberlain ($1,000), 2. Scott Creel, 3. Ronnie DeHaven, 4. Casey Noonan, 5. Chad Smith, 6. Justin Chance, 7. B.J. Robinson, 8. Wayne Chinn, 9. Greg Kendall, 10. Matt Irey, 11. Don Gordon (DNS) Will Vaught, Justin Chance

Qualifying Feature No. 2 Finish (20 laps): 1. Jeff Babcock ($1,000), 2. Devin Moran, 3. Austin Dillon, 4. Dennis Franklin, 5. Mike Spatola, 6. Tim Lance, 7. Bill Lewis, 8. Cody Scott, 9. Mark Voigt, 10. Jay Johnson, 11. Dustin Neat (DNS) Jacob Grizzle, Jason Riggs

Qualifying Feature No. 3 Finish (20 laps): 1. Shane Cottle ($1,000), 2. John Lobb, 3. Tony Knowles, 4. Tim Rivers, 5. Mark Dodson, 6. Leon Henderson, 7. Scott Bowersock, 8. Tracy Pearson Jr., 9. James Rice, 10. Kevin Colston (DNS) Dillon Wood, Jay Sessoms

Dream Heat Race Lineups (top three transfer from each):

Heat 1:
Row 1: Jimmy Owens/Klint Byars
Row 2: Earl Pearson Jr./Jared Landers
Row 3: Chub Frank/Chris Madden
Row 4: Ky Harper/Mike Marlar
Row 5: Clint Smith/Jesse Stovall
Row 6: Duane Chamberlain/Ronnie DeHaven
Row 7: Chad Smith/B.J. Robinson
Row 8: Greg Kendall/Don Gordon
Row 9: Will Vaught

Heat 2:
Row 1: Jonathan Davenport/Scott Bloomquist
Row 2: Don O’Neal/Brandon Sheppard
Row 3: Billy Moyer/Duke Whiseant
Row 4: Curtis Roberts/Terry Casey
Row 5: Greg Johnson/Doug Drown
Row 6: Jeff Babcock/Austin Dillon
Row 7: Mike Spatola/Bill Lewis
Row 8: Mark Voigt/Dustin Neat
Row 9: Jason Riggs

Heat 3:
Row 1: Tim McCreadie/Steve Shaver
Row 2: Eddie Carrier Jr./Jason Feger
Row 3: Steve Casebolt/John Blankenship
Row 4: Terry Phillips/Curt Spalding
Row 5: Justin Coulter/Michael Kloos
Row 6: Shane Cottle/Tony Knowles
Row 7: Mark Dodson/Scott Bowersock
Row 8: James Rice/Dillon Wood

Heat 4:
Row 1: Darrell Lanigan/Jeep VanWormer
Row 2: Chris Ferguson/Dennis Erb Jr.
Row 3: Ray Cook/Scott James
Row 4: Tyler Reddick/Jon Henry
Row 5: Chris Wall/Donnie Moran
Row 6: Scott Creel/Casey Noonan
Row 7: Justin Chance/Wayne Chinn
Row 8: Matt Irey/Shannon Thornsberry

Heat 5:
Row 1: Shannon Babb/Shane Clanton
Row 2: Josh Richards/Brian Birkhofer
Row 3: R.J. Conley/Ryan VenderVeen
Row 4: Steve Francis/Bub McCool
Row 5: Jacob Hawkins/Andrew Reaume
Row 6: Devin Moran/Dennis Franklin
Row 7: Tim Lance/Cody Scott
Row 8: Jay Johnson/Jacob Grizzle

Heat 6:
Row 1: Eric Wells/Brian Shirley
Row 2: Brad Neat/Kent Robinson
Row 3: Dale McDowell/Matt Miller
Row 4: Jimmy Mars/Jerry Bowersock
Row 5: Jackie Boggs/Jared Hawkins
Row 6: John Lobb/Tim Rivers
Row 7: Leon Henderson/Tracy Pearson
Row 8: Kevin Colston/Jay Sessoms