INDIANAPOLIS – Reigning DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Brian Shirley is prepping for a major shift in his racing plans for the upcoming season.
Shirley will return to the national stage by taking his Bob Cullen Motorsports team on the road, chasing the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship in 2020.
DirtOnDirt.com first reported the news.
The Chatham, Ill., driver will pilot his familiar No. 3s Rocket XR1 as he pursues his first national schedule since 2017, when he began the year with the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series before dropping off tour mid-season due to sponsor woes.
Shirley won 16 races this season, including seven victories en route to the Hell Tour crown, and also collected the DIRTcar Weekly Series national title along the way too.
Next year will mark the first time that Shirley, 38, will pursue the LOLMDS title. He previously ran full seasons with the World of Outlaws in 2007 and 2016, with a best finish in the standings of ninth both times.
“We’ve been fortunate that Bob and Lisa Cullen have stepped up their program,” Shirley told Dirt On Dirt. “We have the same cars, but we’re going to have better preparation and more help, so obviously we’re going to need to get in there and prove to our sponsors and the people that own the team that making this big investment is going to be worth it.
“We need to start winning right off the bat.”
Anthony Burroughs, who most recently served as a crew chief at Clint Bowyer Racing, will join Shirley at Bob Cullen Motorsports in the same capacity. Aaron Mitchell and Mikey Myers will provide additional crew support with the No. 3s operation.
The 2020 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series season kicks off Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, Ga.