Earl Pearson Jr.
Driver, No. 44 Lucas Oil Dodge Charger
Born: January 29, 1972
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Residence: Jacksonville, Fla.
Children: Trey and Bradley
Earl Pearson Jr. isn’t called “The Hurricane” for nothing. The Jacksonville, Fla., native has driven to five national dirt late model touring titles and continues to assert himself as one of the best drivers in the sport. Entering the 2013 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season, Pearson aims to win his sixth title and bring Bobby Labonte Racing (BLR) its third dirt late model championship.
Pearson began racing in 1989. It didn’t take long for him to find success. Driving an open wheel modified, Pearson won the track championship at Jacksonville (Fla.) Raceway in 1990. He repeated as champion in 1991, a feat that would later become synonymous with Pearson.
Pearson began racing dirt late models in 1993. He won an amazing 11 out of 22 feature events in his first year of competition, racing in North Florida and South Georgia. In 1996, Pearson won the Hav-A-Tampa sanctioned-race in Waycross, Ga., his first national touring series victory. The following year, Pearson entered his first full season of competition on the Hav-A-Tampa national tour that eventually became the now Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. He won Rookie-of-the-Year honors and finished 10th in the final point standings.
Pearson had a breakout season in 2004. Competing in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Pearson racked up 11 wins and had an amazing 74 percent top-five finishing percentage. His accomplishments that season propelled him to his first national championship, but that was just the beginning.
In 2005, Pearson backed up his title with a second consecutive Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship.
In 2006, he scored the biggest win of his career, taking the checkers in the World 100 at the famous Eldora Speedway in New Weston, Ohio. He also was the winner of the prestigious Hillbilly 100 and cruised to his third national championship in a row.
The following season was the dawning of a new era of Pearson. Sprint Cup driver Bobby Labonte formed a dirt late model team in 2007 and hired Pearson to drive the famous family-numbered 44 entry. Success was imminent. Pearson won the East Bay Winternationals that season and drove to a World of Outlaws Series victory at Eldora Speedway. Once again, Pearson wrapped up the season as the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion, his fourth consecutive title.
Pearson won his fifth straight Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Championship in 2008. He captured another World of Outlaws Series win at Eldora Speedway en route to his historic fifth title.
Pearson tallied wins at the Indiana Icebreaker and World of Outlaws Colossal 100 events in 2009. He finished third in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship standings that season. In 2010, Pearson again finished third in the series championship, but did so having won four straight series events in the month of July. The team made its debut of its own Longhorn chassis that helped propel them to five wins total that year. Pearson capped his season by winning the Dirt Track World Championship in West Virginia.
The past two seasons, Pearson Jr. has remained a top finisher on the tour and continues to be a threat to win on the tour at each event. Entering the 2013 season, Pearson Jr. again teams with Lucas Oil to sponsor the No. 44 Lucas Oil Chevrolet.