2024 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Brownstown Speedway

Earl Pearson Jr. Ends Longtime Lucas Oil Series Run, Future Plans TBA

Earl Pearson Jr. Ends Longtime Lucas Oil Series Run, Future Plans TBA

Earl Pearson Jr.'s remarkable near 20-year run on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series has reached the end.

Mar 23, 2024 by Kyle McFadden
EPJ Details Last-Minute Plans For 2024 Season

Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., and Farley, Iowa-based car owner Jason Rauen announced late Friday night that the newly-formed team is no longer campaigning on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and is dropping off the tour before it resumes action Saturday at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway.

The 52-year-old Pearson “may still be racing,” the news release posted to Face Book read, and if so it’d be “on a schedule that allows him to be home more.”

Pearson, who’s 16th in points through 13 series races, has toured with the Lucas Oil Series since its national inception in 2005, compiling four titles (tied for most all-time) and 40 victories (fifth most) over 19 full seasons. This year would’ve been Pearson’s 20th completed season on the tour.

“After several conversations amongst the team, Jason and Earl made the decision not to run the 2024 Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series,” the release read. “With lack of crew help and location of the shop we have decided to (drop off the) series and will be making plans for the team in the near future. Earl wants to thank every sponsor and all the great fans over the last 20-plus years that’s kept him going up and down the road each and every year.”

In a Jan. 25 story published to FloRacing, Pearson said “it was just a blessing to make this work” with Rauen, the deal that came frantically together days before Georgia-Florida Speedweeks so that the longtime series campaigner can have a shot at finishing out his touring career on his terms.

Pearson’s previous deal with Jason Papich Racing ended over the winter when the Californian shuttered the team and sold his race equipment. Pearson added in the Jan. 25 story to FloRacing that living roughly an hour from Golden Isles had “75 percent to do” with he and Rauen’s mad dash to assemble a team on such short notice.

If anything, Pearson had the chance to race Georgia-Florida Speedweeks one more time in front of friends and family.

“It has been a blast and (Earl) will definitely miss racing with some of the best drivers and crews along with the great Lucas Oil staff each and every week,” the release continued. “He’s met a lot of great people along the way and some amazing people that he calls true friends. One good thing Earl stated was this will allow him to spend more time with his amazing family and support them as they have supported him over his long career."

Pearson has a best finish of 10th on Jan. 30 at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway in 11 series starts with an average finish of 17.1 in those races.

“Jason and Earl will be talking further to see what schedules will best suit them and the team in the future,” the release read. “Future plans will be out soon.”