GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS – Scott Bloomquist passed Earl Pearson Jr. with three laps-to-go to win the NAPA Know How 50 on Friday Night at Tri-City Speedway. The current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championship Points Leader went on for his ninth series win of the season and he extended his points lead.
Pearson was looking for his first LOLMDS win of the season, and appeared to be heading to victory lane, but a lapped car slowed his momentum and allowed Bloomquist to make the late-race pass. Don O’Neal finished in third, followed by 14th-starting Brandon Sheppard, and Dennis Erb Jr.
Bloomquist and fellow Hall-of-Famer, Billy Moyer staged a terrific race for second during the first half of the race. After the half-way mark, Bloomquist began to close-in on Pearson and with five laps to go was within striking distance of the leader. Pearson got trapped behind a lapped car and could not get around him when Bloomquist snuck under both of them to snag the lead.
In Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the 71st time in his career, the 52-year-old Bloomquist breathed a sigh of relief in taking the win. “Earl was pretty good tonight. He would hit a hole or two in the track like all the rest of us. We just kept digging and moving around a lot. We had to get it going late. The laps were winding down and it was time to go. That lapped car definitely gave us an advantage. We were catching him [Pearson] anyway.”
“With all the rain they had this week, they did the best they could with the track. The track crew worked hard tonight on it, but it was definitely choppy in the corners. I never lost the wheel during the race. It was hard on me because I have a torn rotator cuff and both shoulders are actually really bad. The Andy Durham engine ran great. Thank you to all of my sponsors: Crop Production Services, Reece Monument Company, Dyna-Gro Seed, Base Fuels, Lucas Oil, Sweet Mfg., Horton Coal, Hoosier Tires, Sorbera Chiropractic and Petroff Towing.”
Pearson was happy with his runner-up finish. It was his best of the year, but he knows that he let one slip away at the end. “I couldn’t get off the bottom. He [lapped car] was running right around the bottom as well. It was good finish for the Lucas Oil Racing TV car. I hope everyone back home and here at the track enjoyed the show.”
“I just couldn’t do anything with that lapped car. I married myself to the bottom and when I tried to move up I lost grip and Scott went by us. It was a tough way to lose one like that. To run second to Scott feels good, especially with the way he has been running lately. We were consistent all night from start to finish, so hopefully it’s something to build on for the rest of the season.”
O’Neal, like Pearson was seeking his first LOLMDS win of the year, and also came up short in the Clint Bowyer Racing, Peak Antifreeze Motor Oil, Club 29 Race Car. “We had a new race car tonight; it was really fun to drive. I tried to stay up top, away from the holes. I thought maybe a few times there we had a shot at those top-two guys. I almost lost third to Brandon [Sheppard], but got back around him. Thank you to my crew for giving me a good hot-rod tonight.”
Completing the top ten were Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie, Jared Landers, Billy Moyer, and Billy Drake.
In preliminary action, Billy Moyer set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group B) amongst the 32 entrants, with a lap of 14.557 seconds. Dennis Erb Jr. set the fastest time in Group A with a time of 14.636 seconds. Earl Pearson Jr., Tim Manville, Billy Moyer, and Scott Bloomquist won their respective heat races. Jeff Herzog and Michael Kloos won their respective B-Mains.
Feature Finish (50 Laps):
|FINISH||START||CAR #||DRIVER NAME||HOMETOWN||EARNINGS|
|1||4||0||Scott Bloomquist||Mooresburg, TN||$10,900|
|2||1||1||Earl Pearson, Jr.||Jacksonville, FL||$5,500|
|3||6||5||Don O’Neal||Martinsville, IN||$4,300|
|4||14||B5||Brandon Sheppard||New Berlin, IL||$3,450|
|5||5||28E||Dennis Erb, Jr.||Carpentersville, IL||$2,950|
|6||8||6||Jonathan Davenport||Mount Airy, NC||$2,800|
|7||7||39||Tim McCreadie||Watertown, NY||$2,200|
|8||23||777||Jared Landers||Batesville, AR||$2,000|
|9||2||21||Billy Moyer||Batesville, AR||$1,200|
|10||9||75B||Billy Drake||Bloomington, IL||$1,100|
|11||21||17s||Jim Shereck||St. Charles, MO||$1,075|
|12||22||0K||Dewayne Kiefer||Bloomsdale MO||$1,050|
|13||3||33T||Tim Manville||St. Jacob, IL||$1,025|
|14||13||J0||Jake O’Neil||Tucson, AZ||$1,000|
|15||19||82||Billy Laycock||Marine, IL||$950|
|16||12||15L||Darrell Lanigan||Union, KY||$1,625|
|17||16||15F||Steve Francis||Bowling Green, KY||$1,600|
|18||11||15V||Kolby Vandenbergh||Ashland, IL||$875|
|19||10||32X||Chris Simpson||Oxford, IA||$850|
|20||15||20||Jimmy Owens||Newport, TN||$1,625|
|21||17||11H||Jeff Herzog||Herculaneum, MO||$800|
|22||20||96T||RC Whitwell||Tucson, AZ||$800|
|23||25||96||Tanner English||Benton, KY||$800|
|24||18||6K||Michael Kloos||Trenton, IL||$800|
|25||24||75||Colton Flinner||Allison Park, PA||$900|
-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release. Photo credit: Heath Lawson