Trinity, N.C. (February 2, 2012) – Bobby Labonte Racing (BLR) confirmed today its schedule for the 2012 late model dirt season. The team will compete in all Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (LOLMDS) points races, along with select events in the World of Outlaws and UMP Series. Earl Pearson Jr. returns to the helm of the No. 44 Lucas Oil machine as he vies to bring BLR its fourth national championship in dirt late model racing. The organization has also won two Nationwide Series championships in the early 1990s with owner Bobby Labonte and driver David Green.
The 2012 BLR schedule is highlighted by at least 52 events with five more World of Outlaw events currently tentative on the schedule. The team will start its season in Brunswick, Ga., at the annual Super Bowl of Racing before heading to Florida for the Winternationals and Speedweeks, highlighted by nine events at both East Bay Raceway Park and Volusia Speedway Park. The team then quickly gets back into its LOLMDS season in late March travelling to Indiana, Mississippi and Texas. The summer months show the team racing throughout the South, Midwest and Northeast, including stops in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and more. September features the annual and prestigious Knoxville Nationals for the dirt late models while the LOLMDS concludes in October with final events in Georgia and Ohio.
Pearson Jr. and the Lucas Oil team will be focusing on 14 events paying at least $20,000 to win this season, including the season’s biggest prize, the $100,000 to win “The Dream” at Eldora Speedway in June. Guiding Pearson Jr. will be Matt Langston. Langston has been with BLR since its formation in 2007. He was promoted to crew chief in the off-season.
“We’ve got everything in place to have a great year,” Pearson Jr. said. “Matt (Langston) and the guys at the shop are steering us in the right direction and I’m travelling to the shop next week to make final preparation and load up for Georgia and Florida. We built a new Longhorn chassis at the end of the season and we’re pretty happy with that. We also have a new car that we’re finishing up now to bring to Florida as well. The improvements we made in the off-season are shaping up nicely.”
Team owner Bobby Labonte is also looking forward to the season.
“Now that our schedule is solidified for 2012, the guys are ready to get back on the road,” said Labonte. “It’s an intense schedule at times, but it offers tremendous value to our team partners. Earl and the guys are used to this type of traveling and have proved to continue to perform on a winning level. I have a lot of confidence in the team this season and we’re all anxious to get it started.”
The LOLMDS Series partners with CBS Sports, SPEED Channel, NBS Sports (formerly VERSUS) and MavTV to televise events nationally on a tape-delayed basis throughout the year.
Lucas Oil will return as primary sponsor of Pearson Jr.’s car; however, partnership opportunities are still available for both Labonte and Pearson Jr. The team’s first race will be at Golden Isle Speedway in Brunswick, Ga., on February 12. For the team’s full schedule, please visit www.bobbylabonteracing.com.