TRINITY, N.C. – official release — Michael Moats photo — Bobby Labonte Racing will cease operations at the end of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Since 2007, BLR and driver Earl Pearson Jr. have enjoyed championship success together. They won back-to-back Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series titles and some of dirt late model top events including the Indiana Icebreaker, Colossal 100 and the Dirt Track World Championship. The team was also the founder and house team of the Longhorn Chassis beginning in 2011.
BLR has continued to evolve over time as has Longhorn Chassis. Team owner Bobby Labonte opted to shut down his race operations and put all resources and efforts on the further development and growth of Longhorn Chassis.
“These decisions are never easy, however, we have seen a lot of growth in the Longhorn Chassis over the past year,” Labonte said. “We need to allocate all our resources in this direction and it would not be fair to Earl to continue the race team if we couldn’t put all our focus there. Again, it was not an easy decision, but one that we all agreed was best.”
“I have enjoyed working with Earl over the last eight years and I’m proud to call him a friend,” he added. “He is a great guy and a championship leader. He is one of the reasons why Longhorn Chassis has been so successful and he will always be a part of the family.”
Pearson Jr. drove the original Longhorn Chassis and has been instrumental in the evolution of the fastest growing brands in dirt late model racing. He is also the only driver that raced for BLR during its full duration in dirt late model racing.
“I would like to thank Bobby, the Labonte family and the entire BLR race team for all they have done for me and my family,” said Pearson Jr. “I feel fortunate to have worked with such a wonderful group of people that I now call friends. Over the last eight years we have won championships and many prestigious events. I would like to thank Lucas Oil and the many other sponsors that have partnered with us over the last eight years. As BLR and I part ways at the end of the season, my hope is for continued success for everyone involved with BLR and Longhorn Chassis.”
BLR and Pearson Jr. will complete the 2014 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season. The team is sixth in series standings.