Bobby Labonte Racing
A Team with a History of Championships
In racing, the ultimate goal is winning a championship. That’s what defines Bobby Labonte Racing (BLR). Owner Bobby Labonte is the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. The race team, originating from his father, Bob Labonte, has won two NASCAR Nationwide Series championships and five Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championships. BLR is now solely operated by Bobby Labonte and is located in Trinity, N.C. The team currently operates a dirt late model program with driver Earl Pearson Jr. competing full-time in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.
To find the roots of BLR you must go back to 1982 when Bob Labonte fielded a Nationwide car for his youngest son Bobby at the Martinsville Speedway. The father-son combination qualified 15th before finishing 26th. It was a humble beginning to what was becoming a championship organization.
The organization made select starts with family drivers Bobby and Terry Labonte throughout the 80s with success. In 17 starts from 1985 to 1989, the Labonte family earned two top-five and four top-10 finishes, including the team’s first pole at Road Atlanta with Terry Labonte. That success led to the team running a full campaign in the Nationwide Series in 1990 with the younger Bobby Labonte.
The next three seasons, BLR enjoyed tremendous success with Bobby behind the wheel. The team earned five wins and collected the Nationwide championship trophy in 1991. The next year they were runner-up in the championship standings. The team was one of the best in the series and opened the door for Bobby to advance to the Sprint Cup series while opening the door for David Green to take the seat for BLR. Green didn’t disappoint, delivering the team another win and another championship in 1994. Bobby Labonte teamed with Green in a handful of races in 1994, earning a win and pushing the total to seven wins and two championships by the end of 1994.
The 1995 season was one of the last with Bob Labonte owning the team. David Green raced a full season for the team, finishing 12 th in the standings with one win. With Bobby Labonte moving to the Sprint Cup series and Green moving on, the team was kept running, but mostly to serve as a place for Labonte to race in the Nationwide series. Bobby took full ownership of the team as he and Tony Stewart competed in 36 races in 1996 and ’97. Labonte won twice as the owner before the team went on hiatus as Labonte focused totally on his Sprint Cup career.
Bobby Labonte resurrected the team in 2007, but this time as a dirt late model team with driver Earl Pearson Jr. Labonte acquired the team from a former owner and moved it to Archdale, N.C. and now to its current location in Trinity, N.C. The team wasted no time in continuing its championship heritage. In fact, Pearson Jr. helped Bobby Labonte Racing win two consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championships. The team has won numerous national events and some of the biggest in the class.
In 2010, BLR grew to a two-car dirt late model team with returning veteran Pearson Jr. and young driver Brad Neat. The team was once again a force and won eight times including Pearson Jr. taking the checkered flag at the prestigious Dirt Track World Championship. Neat found victory lane in Tennessee, giving him his first win under the BLR banner. The team narrowed its focus in 2011 and went back to a one-car team with Earl Pearson Jr. behind the wheel. Also, in 2011 Bobby Labonte and his brother Terry teamed up to start a dirt late model chassis business.
Pearson Jr. started driving the Longhorn Chassis in 2011. As we gear up for the 2013 season look for some exciting new additions to the team as we strive for another championship. With the addition of Kevin Rumley and Steve Shaver, we have redesigned the Longhorn Chassis and already Pearson Jr. has seen Victory Lane at East Bay.