2024 Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models at Lucas Oil Speedway

Earl Pearson Jr. To Campaign With The MLRA Series This Season

Earl Pearson Jr. To Campaign With The MLRA Series This Season

Earl Pearson Jr. is chasing a Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association title this year.

Apr 5, 2024 by Kyle McFadden
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Earl Pearson Jr. announced Friday he and his Jason Rauen-owned team will tour this season with the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association, the 25-race series that campaigns at racetracks within the Farley, Iowa-based operation's home state as well as Illinois, Kansas and Missouri.

“After making a tough decision not to run the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Earl and Jason Rauen have made the decision to run the Lucas Oil-owned owned MLRA series,” a release to Pearson’s Facebook racing updates page read. “With Earl wanting to spend more time at home with his family, this makes perfect sense to run the Lucas Oil MLRA Series. The team being located in Farley Iowa the schedule is a much better fit for them as well.”

The 52-year-old Pearson officially dropped off the Lucas Oil Series on March 23 — ending a continuous stint on the tour lasting nearly 20 years — citing a “lack of crew help” and the location of their Iowa shop as touring hindrances. A four-time Lucas Oil Series champion, Pearson plans to chase pursue the regional MLRA title with his sponsors “100 percent behind us” and pick-and-choose other races during the 2024 season.

RELATED: How Earl Pearson Jr. Put Together A Team For One More Touring Run

The tour’s April 5-6 opening weekend at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois, has already been cancelled because of heavy rainfall that’s swept through the St. Louis, Mo., region, so Pearson will begin his quest for an MLRA title during April 12-13’s Diamond Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo.

Pearson has four career MLRA victories with his last coming April 26, 2019 at Thunderbird Speedway in Muskogee, Okla.

The series is virtually a perfect fit for Pearson — whose sponsorship with Lucas Oil Products dates back to 2004 — and his team, which doesn’t have to travel more than seven hours for a series event.

“I want to thank my great family friends sponsors and fans for all the great support and hope to see you guys at a race this year,” Pearson said via the release.

Chad Simpson of Mount Vernon, Iowa, captured his second straight MLRA title last year over brother Chris Simpson.