Trinity, N.C. (July 6, 2011) - Bobby Labonte Racing (BLR) drove home three top-10 finishes this past weekend in Ohio during the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) events. Earl Pearson Jr. in his Lucas Oil Dodge raced his way to two consecutive third-place finishes while Brad Neat in his Red Buck Cigars Chevrolet passed an astonishing 14 cars in route to a 10 place finish and the PBM/Erson Cams Hard Charger Award Saturday evening at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park.
In front of a record crowd at Portsmouth Raceway Park Earl Pearson Jr. put his Longhorn Chassis to the test with a strong second-place run in the fourth heat race pressuring the eventual heat race winner, Jimmy Owens.
Pearson Jr. started the feature event in the eighth position and quickly raced his way to the front of the pack where he began pressuring eventual winner, Scott Bloomquist. Pearson Jr. was already up to second by lap 10 as Bloomquist, Pearson Jr., and Owens separated themselves in a three car breakaway. With just a handful of laps to go, Owens was able to power past Pearson Jr. for the second position as Pearson Jr. crossed the finish line in third.
"Our Lucas Oil Dodge was pretty good tonight," said Pearson Jr. "It was a lot of fun battling with Bloomquist and Owens for the win. The third-place run tonight was just what our team needed to begin the second half of the Lucas Oil Tour."
Kentucky native Brad Neat was looking for much of the same success as his BLR teammate. He finished 10 in the first heat race and then in the first 12-lap B-main Neat finished out of a transfer position forcing him to take a LOLMDS point's provisional.
Starting in the 24 position, Neat had his work cut out for him. His team was up for the challenge as he began picking off car after car. Neat raced his way past an amazing 14 cars in route to a 10-place finish, the 10 top-10 finish for him this season.
"We struggled early on tonight in the heat race and the B-main," said Neat. "My Red Buck Cigars team worked hard after the B-main to put a new setup into the car and it worked great."
Riding on a sea of momentum from the night before after his first top-5 in nearly a month, Pearson Jr. set out to repeat his success from the night before. What turned out to be a mirror image of the night before, Pearson Jr. ran second to Owens yet again in the first heat race.
The runner-up finish placed Pearson Jr. in the fifth starting position for the feature event. From the drop of the green flag, Pearson Jr. was on a mission to repeat his performance from the prior evening. He quickly made his way to the top three and began to race Owens for the second straight night. Just like the night before, Pearson Jr. earned his third consecutive top-three finish.
Neat began the night with a sixth-place finish in the second heat race which placed him in the first B-main. With a stacked field of LOLMDS competitors alongside, Neat finished in the seventh position.
For the second straight night, Neat was forced to use a LOLMDS point's provisional. Starting in the 24 position, Neat advanced his way to the 18 position.
Next up for BLR is the "Clash at the Mag" held at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Mississippi on July 8 and 9. Last year in front of a record crowd Pearson Jr. led the last 70 laps in route to the $20,000 win after winning his heat race and setting fast time in Group A.
"Last year was a dominating performance for us at Magnolia," said Jason Fitzgerald, BLR team manager "We were fast from the time we unloaded and we will be looking for much of the same luck."
Neat also had a strong showing as he placed second in his heat race and had an 11-place finish in the 100-lap feature event.