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Pearson wraps up third Lucas Oil championship

October 4, 2007, 5:20 pm
From series, track and team reports
Earl Pearson Jr. (44) won his third title. (Dan Busch)
Earl Pearson Jr. (44) won his third title. (Dan Busch)

The cancellation of the final two races on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series means Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., wins his third championship on the tour. The Oct. 5-6 events at Rome and Dixie Speedways in Georgia were cancelled following the death of series consultant Mike Swims, whose family promotes the tracks.

"This is really incredible to win the championship again against this level of competition," Pearson said. "Every year the competition level has gotten stronger and more and more teams are stepping up their programs to compete at this level over a year-long point's battle. Scott James and Steve Casebolt were really tough this year and both deserve to win the title. We were just fortunate to come out on top."

Pearson and Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., the 2007 Lucas Oil rookie of the year, will be among those honored at the series banquet on Dec. 6 in Orlando, Fla. For information on the banquet, held during the PRI show, call series events coordinator Rick Schwallie at (951) 403-1609. — From series and team reports

WoO teams gearing up for Lowe's event

The Jani-King Southern Showdown on Oct. 10 at the Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway isn’t just another race for the stars of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. It’s a true red-circle date on drivers’ calendars, a chance for the tour’s best to run in front of friends from the NASCAR world and thousands of fans in town for Bank of America 500 Week.

Not to mention that the winner of the main event sponsored by Ferris Commerical Mowers can walk away with up to $28,000. If the winner pre-entered and is among 18 heat-race qualifiers, he'll receive the $10,000 first-place prize along with an amount equal to $1,000 multiplied by his starting position.

“Any time you can race for a lot of money at a facility that’s as nice as (Lowe's), it’s pretty exciting,” said WoO regular Rick Eckert of York, Pa. “It’s even cooler because the grandstand will be full with a bunch of the people in town for the NASCAR race. If you run good there, there’s a lot more people who will see you. The problem is,” he added with a smile, “if you run bad, there’s a lot more people who will see you, too!”

Two Nextel Cup stars are even planning to be in action. Title contender Clint Bowyer will drive his own Jack Daniel’s No. 07 Dirt Late Model in the event, and Ryan Newman will be behind the wheel of a Ranger Boats-Jasper Engines & Transmissions No. 39 fielded by WoO points leader Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.

“I’m probably gonna drive the 11 car (for Tim Logan Motorsports) so Newman can run his stuff out of my truck,” Francis. “I’m glad it’s not a (full) points race because I’ll be able to spend some more time working on Newman’s stuff, and we can do a little R&D work for the last weekend of the season." The series returns to Lowe's Nov. 1-3 for the World Finals. — Kevin Kovac

K-C improvements readied for DTWC

With a cooperative weather helping out, K-C Raceway owner Jim Nier and his crew have been hard at work preparing for the 27th annual Dirt Track World Championship at the track near Chillicothe, Ohio. The Oct. 18-20 event pays $50,000 to the winner.

Track workers are adding new clay to the racing surface and freshening up the facility with new paint. An all-new playground area has been constructed for children and the track also has also purchased more adjacent property to provide extra drainage in the camping area.

The track has instituted a new policy for four-wheelers at this year's DTWC. Only race teams will be allowed to use four-wheelers in the pits and only golf carts — no ATVs — will be permitted in the camping area. — Lehman Motorsports Services

Final Lucas Oil points

1. Earl Pearson Jr. (5,555)
2. Scott James (5,325)
3. Steve Casebolt (5,170)
4. Donnie Moran (4,760)
5. Terry English (4,715)
6. Justin Rattliff (4,505)
7. Billy Drake (4,465)
8. Dan Schlieper (4,330)
9. Damon Eller (3,850)
10. Freddy Smith (3,640)
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