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

Eldora SpeedwayROSSBURG, 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.

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

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