Pearson partners with Papich for a new journey
Earl Pearson Jr. will drive for Jason Papich for the remainder of the season.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Earl Pearson Jr. will debut in a new vehicle owned by Jason Papich during the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals this weekend at Knoxville Raceway.
Papich, a racer himself, runs a racing store in Camdenton, Missouri, where he will line up cars for Pearson for the remaining 2021 season with the ambition to field a full-time race for Pearson in 2022 with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Papich drives his own car with teammate Tony Toste on the Lucas Oil MLRA and has a win this year and ranks third in the series points standings.
Owner and manager of his Californian companies Papich Construction and Sierra Pacific Materials, Papich and Pearson have become friends in recent years, with Papich sponsoring Pearson and the Black Diamond Chassis in-house car.
“I cannot thank Jason enough for the opportunity to drive for his team. He and I have become great friends and we are very excited to team up. Knoxville Raceway will be a great track for our debut because I love racing there, ”said Pearson. “I have to thank Ronnie and Terri Stuckey and everyone at Black Diamond Chassis for the opportunity to drive their cars over the past four years. I consider Ronnie and Terri to be good friends and we will always be friends. We have great memories and great victories together, especially winning the Dirt Million at Mansfield Raceway in 2018 which paid over $ 200,000 to win. Great people and great friends always.
With his new team and new ride on a Longhorn chassis powered by a Clements Chevy engine, Pearson will have a new number, which is his original number when he started racing as a young child in a kart, the No. 46. 46 has significant meaning for Pearson as it was his late father’s car number when he raced during his racing career. Earl Pearson Sr. died on May 16 at the age of 81.
“My dad is the reason I got into racing at a young age, go-karts with modified open wheels and finally super late models,” said Pearson. “Going back to number 46 is a way to honor my dad after losing him this year. This number has been in our family for decades with my dad running this number, then me in my early late model years and now even Trey my son ran number 46. It was also the idea of Jason to come back to number 46 and I am very grateful to him for insisting on that number and the opportunity to drive for him.
At 49, Pearson’s resume includes five National Touring Championships, four of which feature the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt series. He has won victories in major events like the World 100, Hillbilly Hundred, Jackson 100, Colossal 100, Dirt Track World Championship and Dirt Million 2018.