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Daily Dirt 02/05/2023 20:35:57

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April 26
Thunderbird Speedway,
Muskogee, OK
Sanction: Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association - $3,000
Information provided by: Series and track reports (last updated April 27, 6:11 am)
Pearson dominates for Thunderbird victory
  1. Earl Pearson Jr.
  2. Will Vaught
  3. Payton Looney
  4. Mitch McGrath
  5. Logan Martin
  6. Billy Moyer Jr.
  7. Joe Gorby
  8. Jake Neal
  9. Blair Nothdurft
  10. Jeremy Grady
  11. Jesse Stovall
  12. Richard Shepler
presented by
Lloyd Collins/fasttrackphotos.net
Earl Pearson Jr. talks about his MLRA victory at Thunderbird.
What won the race: After beating polesitter Will Vaught back to the line to lead the opening lap, third-starting Earl Pearson Jr., of Jacksonville, Fla., led the entire 25-lap distance to win Saturday’s Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association main event at Thunderbird Speedway. Pearson earned $3,000 for winning ahead of Vaught and Payton Looney, who started fifth.
Quotable: “That was going to be the race, there ain't no doubt about it,” said Pearson of the initial start. “(Vaught) slipped up there and the track took a little bit of rubber right around the bottom, so once we got out in front I just had to stay on the bottom and run my own race."
Key notes: Earl Pearson Jr., finished 3.025 seconds ahead of Will Vaught. … Pearson’s visit to Muskogee’s half-mile oval came after the national touring star’s original plans were scrapped. He’d planned to compete in the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series race at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., but when that race rained out, he and the Black Diamond house car team headed to Oklahoma instead. … Pearson’s biggest obstacle at Thunderbird was negotiating lapped traffic as the race progressed. … Pearson earned his fourth career MLRA victory, but it was his first MLRA win that wasn’t co-sanctioned with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. All three of his previous MLRA wins (’07, ’09, ’17) came at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo. … The MLRA tour made just its third visit to Thunderbird since 1997.
On the move: Logan Martin of West Plains, Mo., started 10th and finished fifth.
Winner's sponsors: Pearson’s Black Diamond Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Lucas Oil, Etchberger Trucking, P&W Sales, Tegeler Wrecker & Crane, driveEtch.com, DP Motorsports, Performance Bodies & Parts, Papich Construction, Midwest Sheet Metal, Peterson Fluid Systems, J&C Properties, Lone Star Super Gas Sunoco, Five Star Shop Service, Moring Motorsports and MSR Mafia Marketing Services.
Points chase: Before Thunderbird, Chad Simpson (198 points) of Mount Vernon, Iowa, led Bobby Pierce (196), with three drivers — Chase Junghans, Chris Simpson and Jordan Yaggy — tied for third with 184.
Current weather: Clear, 64°F
Car count: 12
Polesitter: Will Vaught
Heat race winners: Mitch McGrath, Will Vaught
Next series race: April 27, Caney Valley Speedway (Caney, KS) $3,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Vaught, McGrath
Row 2: Pearson, Neal
Row 3: Looney, Moyer Jr.
Row 4: Stovall, Grady
Row 5: Northdurft, Martin
Row 6: Gorby, Shepler

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