CORONA, CA (October 26, 2007) – For the third consecutive season Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL will reign as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion. The 35-year-old second generation racer won five times on the ultra-competitive tour as Pearson also claimed the first dirt racing title for Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series Champion who bought the team from Pearson’s longtime car owners Carlton and Kemp Lamm.
Even though Pearson’s margin of 230 points over runner-up, Scott James of Lawrenceburg, IN it was by no means an easy foray through the 32 race schedule. Both James and Steve Casebolt gave Pearson quite a battle for most of the season and at one point during the midway portion of the schedule had the three combatants trading the points lead seemingly after each event was contested.
With Pearson’s ’07 title with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series he has now won four straight national touring series championships. Starting with the now defunct Xtreme DirtCar Series in 2004 and with this year’s Lucas title no one in dirt late model racing has won four straight national touring series championships until now.
In a post season interview with Pearson he commented how much of an accomplishment it was for everyone involved with the team. “It is all about everyone you surround yourself with, starting with Carlton and Kemp Lamm, my crew Jason, Matt and Keith and now Bobby Labonte they are all really good guys to work with, they give me the best car possible each time out,” said Pearson who now has ten career Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series wins after the conclusion of the 2007 season.
Driving the first year for Labonte has been a great experience said Pearson. “It’s been really good, I have learned a lot from him, more than just being on the racetrack, but being around other people and sponsors and how to deal with them, he understands racing and he’s always saying for us to keep our heads up if we have a bad night, he never says anything negative and he’s always upbeat and positive.” said Pearson who earned his first two Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Championships driving for Dunn, NC’s Carlton and Kemp Lamm.
Pearson was also highly complimentary of his two main counterparts in the chase for the title this year Scott James and Steve Casebolt. “Those two gave it a great shot, they teamed up with the American Racer tires and it was quite a battle between us three for most of the year, we ran hard side by side many nights on the race track and were friends off the track and they really showed that they can win anywhere.” stated Pearson who really shined in the last eleven series events as he recorded two wins (Lucas Oil Speedway and Kankakee) and had eight top five finishes which sealed the title for him once again.
As far as 2008 is concerned Pearson and the entire Bobby Labonte Racing Team are preparing in what seems like an ever shrinking off-season. “We’ve already started for next year getting new cars and motors ready, Bobby is just really excited about next year already, he has fallen in love with dirt late model racing and we are also working on a new personal race car for him as well,” said Pearson who may have some asphalt racing in his future. “Bobby and I have talked about doing that, we may do some we just don’t know for sure yet, if we don’t we plan on being back with the Lucas Oil Series next year, the series is in good hands with Ritchie Lewis in charge and the television coverage on SPEED and VERSUS is good for our sponsors like LifeLong Locks and Lucas Oil and I look for some drivers from some of the other series to come and race with us next year,” predicted Pearson who also won two World of Outlaws Late Model Series events in 2007.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season for Pearson saw him make 32 starts with five wins, 16 top five finishes and 22 top ten finishes. In his career with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Pearson has an amazing track record with 95 starts in the books, he has ten wins, 58 top five finishes and an incredible 83 top ten finishes no wonder he has taken the championship three consecutive years with that kind of consistency,.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Annual Awards Banquet will take place on Thursday Night, December 6th during the PRI Show in Orlando, FL. Ticket reservations have already been sent out. For questions regarding the banquet you can get in contact with events coordinator Rick Schwallie at (951) 403-1609.
For more information on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series you can visit them online at www.lucasdirt.com or by calling the Series Office at (951) 532-2503
Filed Under: 2007 News