Looking to Finish Strong as Season Draws to an End
TRINITY, N.C. (October 4, 2011) – It’s about to get rowdy in Georgia. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) is traveling to the Peach State for two days of action-packed racing. The excitement begins in Woodstock, Ga. on Saturday, October 8 with the “Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout” at Dixie Speedway, followed by the “Rome Rumble” at Rome (Ga.) Speedway on October 9. With the LOLMDS season down to the final three races, Bobby Labonte Racing’s Earl Pearson Jr., driver of the No. 44 Lucas Oil Dodge, and Brad Neat, driver of the No. 41 Red Buck Cigars Chevrolet, are looking to put an exclamation point on the year.
Earl Pearson Jr. has proven to be one of the fastest competitors to grace Dixie Speedway. Pearson set a track record in 2008 for the fastest lap, circling the 3/8-mile oval in 14.893 seconds. He topped his achievement in 2009, setting the bar at 13.824 seconds. His best LOLMDS finish at Dixie Speedway is third, which he achieved in 2006. Since then, Pearson has finished 12th, ninth and 17th.
Pearson is a past champion of the “Rome Rumble,” which he won in 2008. Pearson has finished ninth and 20th since the victory. He plans to duke it out on Sunday in hopes of returning to victory lane for the first time in 2011 LOLMDS competition.
“I think we’re ready to get back to Georgia,” Pearson said. “We’ve got two fun races ahead, the ‘[Rome] Rumble’ and the ‘Lucas Oil Dixie Shootout.’ Both of these events are always competitive and the tracks are usually in good shape.”
Pearson remained fifth in the LOLMDS championship standings last week. He is 1,450 behind leader Scott Bloomquist.
“I’ve reached victory lane at Rome, so that gives me a lot of confidence about returning. It has our Lucas Oil team excited about the two-day trip. We all know that we can win and build up some momentum for the last few races of the season. We definitely want to end the year on a good note and both of these tracks are a good opportunity for us to do that.”
Brad Neat’s most recent performances at Dixie Speedway have yielded 12th place (2009) and 13th place (2009) finishes. In the “Rome Rumble,” Neat has driven to a sixth place finish (2009) and 15th place finish (2010). He is currently seventh in the LOLMDS championship standings, only 10 points out of sixth place. He looks to narrow the gap this weekend.
“It’s nice to get back to Georgia,” Neat said. “The racing is always good and the car counts are usually pretty high. We only have a few races left in the season and guys are going to be doing everything they can to finish out the year strong. You’re going to have everyone pushing the envelope more than ever. It’s reaching the ‘now or never’ point of the year. We are just a few points out of sixth place in the point standings, so we’re anxious to have a good run and improve our position. We don’t want to leave anything on the track. We’ll give it all we’ve got; that’s for sure.”