Earl Pearson Jr (44), Skip...
Earl Pearson Jr (44), Skip Arp (31), Billy Moyer (21), and Bart Hartman (75) all race for position in the Florence North South 100 race
O'Neal was still the car they were all trying to catch and as the laps were winding down. The trio of Bloomquist, Pearson and Mars were closing ever so slightly on O'Neal. Mars then caught up to Pearson and made a move to the inside of Pearson as he passed him for third with nine laps to go in the race.
Mars then cleared Bloomquist for second on lap 93, but it looked like at this point O'Neal had a big enough lead and that Mars would need a caution to make it close at the end, but Mars quickly made up ground in a hurry and with two laps to Mars had cut the lead to two car lengths.
O'Neal was holding on for dear life as two took the white flag as Mars closed right up on O'Neal as the two entered the last lap. Coming off of turn two heading down the backstretch Mars was able to get low on O'Neal as the two race side-by-side into turn number three. Mars was able to have enough momentum as the two came off of turn four Mars passed O'Neal in an incredible ending. Mars took the $50,000 first place money denying O'Neal his first Crown Jewel win.
Jimmy Mars winner of the 27th...
Jimmy Mars winner of the 27th annual North South 100 at Florence Kentucky and the $50,000 prize
In the Lucas Oil Victory Lane for the second time this year, Mars savored a win which was his second straight $50,000 win in two weeks. "Man I can't believe it, "said the 37-year old racer as he did an interview for SPEED Channel who was on hand to tape the race. "I didn't think we had a shot at him (O'Neal), but the car kept getting better and better towards the end and I caught up to him quicker than I thought I could and without any cautions, but he drove a heck of race, I mean he was out of sight there for a long time, but this is just unbelievable to win back-to-back $50,000 races with this kind of competition here, it sure feels good and I hope this roll continues," said Mars who captured the USA Nationals in Wisconsin a week earlier.
The win for Mars marked the 8th win in the last eleven $20,000 to win or more dirt late model events for either himself or Brian Birkhofer; the only two drivers who pilot the M-B Customs Chassis. Mars' winning number 28 car has a Pro Power Racing Engine and is sponsored by Deppe Enterprises, Baileigh Industrial, BSB Manufacturing, ChevytownUSA.com, T.L. Sinz Plumbing, Hoosier Tires and VP Racing Fuels.
Scott Bloomquist (L) and Don...
Scott Bloomquist (L) and Don O'Neal (R) started thier day with the fans signing autographs at Florence Ky. At the end of the day they finished second and third in the North South 100 race.
O'Neal's disappointment in finishing second was evident on his face afterwards. "I thought we had that one in the bag, but it just shows you it's not over until the checkered flag comes out, Jimmy made a great move there on the last lap and I couldn't do anything about it," said the driver of the Racing United Marketing, /Jay Dickens Racing Engines/MasterSbilt Monte Carlo SS.
Bloomquist took third in his Miller Brothers Coal/Hawkeye Trucking/Bloomquist Race Cars Monte Carlo SS as he now holds a 185 point lead over Pearson, who finished fourth in the Bobby Labonte Racing/J4 Liquid Energy/MasterSbilt Race Car entry as Owens took fifth in the Mike Reece/Reece Monuments/Bloomquist Race Cars Ford Fusion.