TRINITY, N.C. – Bobby Labonte Racing (BLR) announced today the team will cease operations at the end of the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season. Since 2007, BLR and driver Earl Pearson, Jr. have enjoyed championship success together. They won back-to-back Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championships and some of dirt late model top events including the Indiana Icebreaker, Colossal 100 and the Dirt Track World Championship among others. 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. It is through the success and growth of Longhorn Chassis that owner Bobby Labonte has elected 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,” said Bobby Labonte Racing Owner and Co-Founder of Longhorn Chassis. “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,” continued Labonte. “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, 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 currently sixth in championship standings.
About Longhorn Chassis
Longhorn Chassis was founded in 2010 by NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte, along with his brother and two-time NASCAR Champion, Terry Labonte. After numerous successful seasons as a Dirt Late Model team owner with driver Earl Pearson Jr., Labonte decided to take it one step further with his racing operations and the team started building their own race cars, in shop. The first two late model chassis built out of Longhorn Chassis went to Justin Labonte and the house car, driven by Earl Pearson Jr. Pearson would debut his Longhorn Chassis at the North/South 100 in Florence, Ky., where he finished a solid second, he’d later record Longhorn Chassis’ first Victory at the 2010 Dirt Track World Championships at West Virginia Motor Speedway. With just a couple of racing season under their belts, and numerous wins, Longhorn Chassis has already proven its strength and ability on the track.
– Bobby Labonte Racing press release. Photo credit: Speed51.com