pearson ends drought, banks $50,000

PORT ROYAL, Pa. — Earl Pearson Jr. raced to the top position on lap 10 and held on for his first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win since July of 2020.

Pearson held off Ricky Thornton Jr. to take the richest dirt late model race in the history of Port Royal Speedway, earning a $50,000 payday in the Rumble by the River main event.

Thornton took home $20,000 for second place, as the defending Dirt Track World Champion finished just .612 seconds behind the four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion.

Gregg Satterlee came from the 12th starting spot to finish third, with Jonathan Davenport and Daulton Wilson rounding out the top five drivers.

Thornton took the lead at the start of the race as Pearson, who started fourth, started making his move early and had climbed to second by lap five. Pearson then outdueled Thornton in the race for the lead to grab the top position on lap 10.

Pearson looked to be in control until Thornton started to close the gap with less than 10 laps to go. The green-flag stretch of racing reached 44 consecutive laps before a caution with six to go would set-up a shootout between the two Lucas Oil regulars.

When the race restarted, Thornton made every effort to get by Pearson, but the 50-year-old Florida native was able to hold off the defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year to take the victory.

“It’s awful emotional for me, I lost my dad last year and this is for him and my mom and everybody up in Heaven looking down on me today,” Pearson said. “There’s no doubt they have been a huge part of everything I have done. This is for all of my family and friends back home and everybody that’s pulling for us. What a heck of a show that was. Thornton ran me awful clean, he got into me a little bit down there in four, but hey that was a heck of a race and I done all I could.”

Thornton, who sits third in the championship points standings, had tracked down Pearson before the only caution of the race. “

I really didn’t want that yellow. I felt like I could move around pretty good before that. I tried a Hail-Mary kind of slider, and I knew I wasn’t going to clear him,” Thornton said. “I wasn’t going to run him over. Earl raced all of us clean, so I made sure I left him a lane. We just didn’t have enough. I felt good in one and two and I could move around. He was kind of committed to the bottom. Overall, I mean it was a brand-new car for this weekend and we had a couple of good runs; we are excited for the rest of the year.”

Satterlee, who captured the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Port Royal in April and came into the race with nine overall wins at eight different tracks, charged from the outside of row number six to round out the podium.

“We did nothing different there in the last part of the race. There were less cars in front of us and that allowed us to maneuver a little a bit more and we could race better. We had a good car tonight. We are happy to come up through there to get third. I was disappointed with myself in that heat race. I just needed to get a better starting spot.”

The finish:

Earl Pearson Jr., Ricky Thornton Jr., Gregg Satterlee, Jonathan Davenport, Daulton Wilson, Jimmy Owens, Mike Marlar, Chris Ferguson, Brandon Sheppard, Hudson O’Neal, Tim McCreadie, Garrett Alberson, Mason Zeigler, Dale Hollidge, Colton Flinner, Gary Stuhler, Tyler Erb, Rick Eckert, Spencer Hughes, Bryan Bernheisel, Ross Robinson, Michael Norris, Justin Weaver, Dillan Stake, Hayes Mattern.

Keyword: Pearson Ends Drought, Banks $50,000


Marlar Keeps Wisconsin Streak Alive

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — A well-timed change and a little luck kept Mike Marlar’s Wisconsin streak alive Thursday night at Cedar Lake Speedway. The Winfield, Tenn., driver was chasing Jonathan Davenport for the lead when he moved to the top in turns one and two. That’s when the 2018 World ...

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Gundaker Remains Hopeful For First WoO Win

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — Gordy Gundaker’s evolution on the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series tour has become more apparent every race. The Rookie-of-the-Year contender from St. Charles, Mo., started the year struggling to find his way into the top-15. But the second half of the ...

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Pierce, Hoffman Reflect on Fifth Hell Tour Crowns

CONCORD, N.C. – For the fifth time in their young, yet storied careers, Bobby Pierce and Nick Hoffman have conquered the Hell Tour. Pierce, the 25-year-old from Oakwood, Ill., won seven features on the DIRTcar Summer Nationals Late Model trail this year with 15 top-fives and only two finishes ...

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Yankowski, Von Dohren, Paunch Jr. Pocket Grandview Prizes

BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. – The NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series presented the Triple Roaring 20’s on Tuesday Night at Grandview Speedway where Craig Von Dohren, Billy Pauch Jr., and Alex Yankowski picked up Modified victories. Yankowski claimed the bulk of the spoils with a $3,000 bonus ...

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Turner Grabs Wild EMS SportMod Win

EAST MOLINE, Ill.  – The car pasted itself to the low groove and finally worked the way Erick Turner wanted. The Barstow, Ill. regular at East Moline Speedway had the hard work pay off with the 15-lap Legacy Corporation IMCA SportMod win Sunday evening during a wild race. “Everyone ...

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Upcoming Event At Iowa’s 34 Raceway Cancelled

AUSTIN, Texas — The Castrol® FloRacing Night in America event scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, at Iowa’s 34 Raceway has been canceled due to the ongoing tire supply shortage. “We were looking forward to making our debut at 34 Raceway on Tuesday, however, after talking with teams and area ...

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McKinney Outduels Hoffman At Prairie Dirt Classic

FAIRBURY, Ill. — From Summit Modified races, the FALS Super Nationals, to the FALS Cup points championship, Mike McKinney had won just about every marquee DIRTcar UMP Modified race on the Fairbury Speedway schedule, except one. The Prairie Dirt Classic had evaded his grasp throughout his career, but now, ...

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PDC Victory Nets $100,000 For Sheppard

FAIRBURY, Ill. — Brandon Sheppard knew less than 10 laps into Saturday’s Prairie Dirt Classic his ability to read Fairbury’s surface would pay off well. And pay off big. As the New Berlin, Ill., driver saw a cushion building on the track’s high banks, he felt right at home. The ...

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Four Winners, 16 Locked In At Fairbury

Four WoO LM Dirt Showdown Winners

Whittemore Eager For 50th Super DIRT Week

Sheppard Rules Orange Co. Mod Run

Tanner English Aims For Prairie Dirt Classic Win, Rookie Award

32nd Prairie Dirt Classic In Store For DIRTcar Modifieds

$100,000 On The Line At Fairbury Speedway

Godown Rules Bridgeport STSS Run

O’Neal Grabs $10,000 Davenport Prize

WoO Late Models At I-94 Cancelled

Davenport Is Boone Speeding Bullet

Davenport Banks 53,000 Silver Dollars


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