Earl Pearson Jr was falsely upset with Kyle Bronson after Pearson was actually turned by Bobby Pierce – That same night, all sides were able to laugh about it
This is a story of race car drivers banging into each other, momentarily losing their temper then laughing it off and moving on to race another day
Earl Pearson Jr, Kyle Bronson and Bobby Pierce were in a fierce battle at Portsmouth Raceway Park for a top 5 position. On tiny dirt tracks, fenders will almost always get bent.
Bronson and Bloomquist tangled with a lap car on lap 10 of the event. As soon as the green dropped, Bronson was in trouble. He began fading through the field after dominating the first portion of the event.
On Lap 28, Pearson and Bronson banged doors off turn four will racing toward the top five. On lap 30, Earl Pearson Jr went spinning in turn two. It rained earlier that day and he gassed it up to keep it moving through the sludge near the infield.
Pearson then coasted down the back stretch as the caution flag dropped on the race. He stopped on the track just ahead of the pit entry. He was patiently waiting. As soon as Bronson passed, Pearson gassed it up.
He aggressively pulled up alongside of Bronson into turn three. They didn’t touch, but they came close.
However, Pearson had the wrong guy. Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series officials let him know that fact over the radio. Pearson then backed off and came to the pit area for new tires.
Did you have a conversation with the #40B today?
“No. We did all that last night,” Earl Pearson Jr explained to RacingNews.co the following night at the Hillbilly 100. “Hell, me and him are good friends from the state of Florida.”
“I just didn’t know. We was a little bit too loose there. Somebody got into me and spun me out.”
“Of course in the heat of the battle, you’re running 5th. You get upset. But, when I spun around that’s the only car I really seen that was directly behind me, I thought. That’s the reason I went after him.”
“Then, they’re telling me on the radio that it was the wrong guy. But, every racer does that. You got the helmet on and you’re doing all you can. Something like that happens, everybody gets upset.”
“As soon as we took the checkered flag and got in the pits. Bobby was one of the first guys there. He told me what took place there and apologized. Hell, that’s all you can ask for. You just keep on going.”
I’m pretty sure you and Kyle touched maybe two laps before that. So, I would guess that played a role into you thinking he spun you around?
“Yeah we did. Well, not necessarily. When you’re racing that hard and it’s up there in the top five. Things are going to happen.”
“Yeah, we did touch. But, we went on about our business. We touched the night before over in Junction City in the heat race.”
“But, when you race that tight on tracks like that, things are going to happen. You’re going to get together. You don’t deliberately knock somebody out. You just go on to the next race, the next day.”
What was going through your mind as Earl Pearson Jr was coming to retaliate on the wrong guy?
“Oh no. He was just showing up there throwing his hands up. He didn’t know. Bobby just got in there, got into him and turned him around.”
“I was there racing with him so he thought it was me at first. But, it ain’t no big deal. Everybody gets mad about stuff like that.”
“We never touched or nothing. He threw his hands up and I just told him it wasn’t me.”
“Earl came down to apologize to me after the race.”
So, he never actually got you, at all? It was hard to tell from where I was standing.
“No no. All my damage came from when I was leading the race. I got into a lap car there and I folded the bumper into the tire. I just couldn’t turn after that. That where my night went South there.”
Following several pit stops, Pearson returned to the track and picked up an 8th place finish. Kyle Bronson eventually retired from event after the damage from the lap car made the car push up the hill, lap after lap. Bobby Pierce went on to the next one with a 5th place finish at Portsmouth.
This story is polar opposite of the tends we’ve been seeing at the local track level. Here, nobody tore up a race car under the yellow flag. Drivers got mad but they all understood it and went home with minor damage.
It’s the best story of the week that nobody will see. It’s a shame I couldn’t come up with a better title.