Pearson Perfect On Opening Night Of Inaugural Commonwealth 100 Weekend At Virginia Motor Speedway
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
JAMAICA, VA – April 16, 2010 – Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., was perfect on Friday night at Virginia Motor Speedway, setting fast time and winning a heat race to open the inaugural ‘Commonwealth 100’ weekend.
A banner field of 56 cars assembled for the blockbuster World of Outlaws Late Model Series event, which is highlighted by Saturday night’s 100-lap A-Main that carries a $25,000 top prize from a total purse approaching $125,000.
Pearson, 38, flexed his muscle on Bill Sawyer’s pristine half-mile oval, putting himself in position to sweep the weekend if he can capture the Commonwealth 100. His lap of 17.197 seconds (104.669 mph) in Ohlins Shocks/Massey Energy Time Trials was nearly three-tenths of a second faster than runner-up Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and he led the first of six 15-lap heat races from start-to-finish.
Driving the Bobby Labonte Motorsports MasterSbilt car, Pearson fended off several challenges from Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., to cop the preliminary. He will go for his third career win at VMS on Saturday night, but first in WoO LMS competition.
Also winning heat races were Lanigan, WoO LMS points leader Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., Chris Madden of Gaffney, S.C., Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., and Rick Eckert of York, Pa. They will join Pearson on Saturday night in a redraw for the top six starting positions in the Commonwealth 100.
Madden, who won last year’s 50-lap WoO LMS A-Main at VMS, scored the most hard-fought victory of the evening. He dueled for the lead with defending WoO LMS champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., for nearly half the distance before finally muscling in front on lap 10.
Covert, meanwhile, was the night’s most fortunate racer, escaping an opening-lap tangle that damaged his car’s right-rear corner to win the fifth heat over two-time World 100 champion Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn. Covert has never won a WoO LMS A-Main but has finished as high as fourth in a tour event at VMS.
The evening’s most significant incident occurred on the second lap of the fourth heat after 2008 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., got sideways off turn two, collecting Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., 2009 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, and Roland Mann of Chaptico, Md. Mann’s car executed a slow rollover after hitting King, but Mann – and all other drivers involved – escaped the crash uninjured.
Two B-Mains, the 30-lap ‘Rumble on the River’ Non-Qualifiers (paying $3,000 to win) and the Commonwealth 100 will comprise Saturday night’s racing program.
Competitor gates will open at 3 p.m. and spectator gates will be unlocked at 4 p.m. There will be a BB&T ‘Meet and Greet’ autograph session with the WoO LMS drivers from 5-6 p.m., and on-track activities will begin at about 6:30 p.m. with hot laps.
A raindate of Sun., April 18, has been established for the event, which will include pre- and post-race ceremonies featuring Civil War reenactors.
Saturday-only general admission is $40 (adults) and $15 (children 7-12).
Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a half-mile dirt oval located on U.S. Route 17 in Jamaica, Va., eight miles north of Saluda and 25 miles south of Tappahannock. The speedway, which boasts spacious 8,000-seat aluminum grandstand, beautiful sponsor suites, Mucso lighting, a pit area treated with a tar-and-gravel mixture and over 20 acres of parking, is just a short drive from the Richmond, Fredericksburg, southern Maryland and Hampton Roads areas.
For more information about the Commonwealth 100, visit www.vamotorspeedway.com or call the speedway office at 804-758-1VMS.
Additional info on the WoO LMS is available by logging on to www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Ohlins Shocks/Massey Energy Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 44p-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 17.197
2. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.433
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 17.448
4. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 17.457
5. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 17.498
6.24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.532
7. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 17.576
8. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 17.577
9. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 17.601
10. 9-Dan Schlieper/Sullivan, WI 17.616
11. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 17.645
12. 15b-Brian Birkhofer/Muscatine, IA 17.654
13. 6L-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 17.674
14. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 17.676
15. 7H-Darryl Hills/Great Mills, MD 17.701
16. 44M-Chris Madden/Gaffney, SC 17.736
17. 20-Jimmy Owens/Newport, TN 17.738
18. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.752
19. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 17.786
20. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 17.801
21. 41-Brad Neat/Dunnville, KY 17.808
22. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 17.811
23. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 17.840
24. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 17.844
25. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 17.858
26. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.861
27. 00H-Chuck Harper/Beverly, WV 17.932
28. 22s-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 17.966
29. 19d-Ronnie DeHaven Jr./Winchester, VA 17.979
30. 1m-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 18.010
31. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 18.021
32. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 18.025
33. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 18.035
34. 55-Roland Mann/Chaptico, MD 18.066
35. 99z-David Zona/Montrose, PA 18.109
36. 8M-Mark Pettyjohn/Milton, DE 18.116
37. 87-Walker Arthur/Odenton, MD 18.135
38. 24W-David Williams/Charlotte Hall, MD 18.168
39. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 18.191
40. 14x-Dean Bowen/Whiteville, NC 18.234
41. 45-Mark Byram/Georgetown, DE 18.251
42. 0-Dale Hollidge/Mechanicsville, MD 18.259
43. 14-David Taylor/Fayetteville, NC 18.307
44. 119-Jimmy Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 18.312
45. 92-Stephen Evans/Tyner, NC 18.419
46. 22G-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 18.528
47. 22F-Chris Ferguson/Mt. Holly, NC 18.620
48. 25z-Mason Zeigler/Chalk Hill, PA 18.658
49. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 18.743
50. 8P-Jeff Pilkerton/Loveville, MD 18.787
51. 7R-Ross Robinson/Georgetown, DE 18.861
52. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 18.882
53. 8H-Mason Price/Roanoke Rapids, NC 20.285
54. D8-Dustin Mitchell/Princeton, NC N/T
55. 88-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE N/T
56. 7s-Gary Stuhler/Greencastle, PA DQ (light)
Drivers who pre-entered but did not attend event: Matt Lux, Keith Jackson, Rick Hulson
Heat No. 1 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Pearson, Davenport, McDowell, Lathroum, Hubbard, Fuller, Arthur, B. Bernheisel, Taylor (DNS) Elliott
Heat No. 2 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Lanigan, Shaver, Francis, C. Smith, Mars, J. Bernheisel, Stone, Stuhler, Williams, Pilkerton
Heat No. 3 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): McCreadie, McCool, Neat, Hills, Myers, Harper, Evans, R. Robinson, Blankenship
Heat No. 4 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Madden, Richards, Schlieper, Coffey, Bowen, George, Satterlee, King, Mann
Heat No. 5 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Covert, Owens, B. Robinson, Clanton, Zona, Byram, Price, Ferguson (DNS) DeHaven
Heat No. 6 (15 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Eckert, Birkhofer, B. Smith, Frank, Miller, Hollidge, Mitchell, Zeigler (DNS) M. Pettyjohn
FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.
To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark & Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis and Wrisco Aluminum.