- May 23 - 34 Raceway Part 2 by Sam Holbrooks

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Erb, Mars and O’Neal trying to stay within shouting distance of the leader.  The top stayed in the same order until Will Vaught flexed some muscle, as the 12th starting Missouri youngster was coming on strong, moving into the top five by lap 17.

Pearson began to encounter traffic by lap 20 as Mars made a move on Erb to take over third, and as the cars took the crossed flags, Mars was all over Cook in the race for second.

Chris Wall spun out right in front of Pearson on lap 26 as Pearson was barely able to miss the spinning #71. The restart saw Vaught jump from fifth to third as he was trying to get a good finish to break a streak of misfortune the last two series events.  Vaught then brought Dale McDowell with him as McDowell charged from his 17th starting spot to fourth by lap 29. 

With 20 laps to go, Pearson was in complete control as Cook and Vaught  battled for second, which was trimmed somewhat as he encountered lapped traffic, but Pearson outmaneuvered the duo through some heavy lapped traffic and went on to score the win, his second series win of the season, and his first since East Bay in February. He remains in the third place in the championship points standings behind Bloomquist and Owens.

Erb - O'Neal - 34 Raceway

Early leader Don O'Neal (#71) faded away and restarted at the rear after trying a new set of tires. He advanced back to tenth at the finish, behind #28 Dennis Erb, Jr.  (Mike Ruefer)

 In Sunoco Race Fuels Road to Wheatland Victory Lane for the 19th time in series competition the 38-year-old racer thanked his crew, family, sponsors, and Bobbly Labonte . “We made the right tire choice tonight, I believe there were three other guys on the same compounds as we had and the track took off just tremendously well,” said Pearson.  “The track was real good tonight, just like I remember it six years ago when we came here and won, it feels good to come back here and win again, this is a really nice facility and the track crew did a great job considering how much rain they had,” said Pearson speaking of the nearly ten inches of the rain that fell in the area during the week leading up to the race. 

“We are really running good here lately, we got second last night at La Salle... if we keep this up, I am sure Bobby (Labonte) is going to proud of the team, it’s always good to keep the boss happy,” said Pearson. 

“We had some close moments there in traffic, but everyone gave each other plenty of racing room out there, it was close when Wall spun in front me, it looked like he just got out the brown and lost it, it was just one of those things and I just missed him.” 

34 Raceway Finish - May 23


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