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Author Topic:   FRANCIS TAKES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT LANCASTER
jammin
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 5556
posted April 21, 2002 12:41 PM UIN: 16262997
FRANCIS TAKES FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT LANCASTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

LANCASTER, SC - Steve Francis of Ashland, KY took the lead on lap 20, and
then held on to take his first United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro
DirtCar Series win of the season Saturday night in the SpeedSportsbook.Com
50 at Lancaster Motor Speedway.

Francis finished second to 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville,
GA on Friday night at LMS, but on this night the roles were reversed with
Francis taking the $10,000 top prize in the Valvoline/Mopar Parts
Rocket/Stanton Intrepid and McDowell finishing second in the Larry Shaw
Race
Cars Rocket/Custom Grand Prix.

"We lost the race last night due to driver error, as Dale beat me with
a
moved I used on him last year," Francis said. "There were a lot of races
we
should have won this year, and I owed this one to my crew. We're a new
team
this season, and we're really starting to jell. I would like to dedicate
this win to my brother Chris because I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for
him."

McDowell tried to reel in Francis for the second straight night during
the
closing laps of the race and challenge for the win, but this time Francis
would not be denied.

Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI finished third in the Jimmy Mars Racing
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo, and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN
finished fourth in the Miller Brothers Coal Warrior/Custom Taurus after
starting 12th. The four-time UDTRA Champion took a share of the Advance
Auto Parts Hard Charger of the Race Award for the second straight night.

Defending UDTRA Champion Rick Eckert of York, PA led the first 19 laps
of
the race, but faded to fifth at the checkered flag in the Raye Vest
Rocket/Cornett Taurus. Eckert trails McDowell in the UDTRA points chase
by
23 points. Francis moved up to the third spot with his victory, and is
45
points out of first place. Mars dropped to the fourth spot in points, one
point behind Francis.

The 1997 UDTRA Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR finished sixth in
the
Petroff Towing/J&J Steel Rayburn/Dickens Taurus, and is fifth in points,
46
points behind Mars. Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH took the seventh spot
driving the QPI Tools Dirt Ripper Rayburn/Fisher Monte Carlo.

Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, SC finished eighth in the Hamricks of Gaffney
Mastersbilt/Cornett Taurus, and Booper Bare of Rockridge Baths, VA brought
the Styers Curbing Rocket/Rumley Monte Carlo home in the ninth spot. Ricky
Weeks of Rutherfordton, NC rounded out the top ten in the Starrette Trucking
GRT/Clements Grand Prix.

Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year point leader Shane Tankersley of Morganton,
GA
was the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race, and shared the Advance Auto Parts
Hard
Charger of the Race Award with Bloomquist. Tankersley started 24th and
finished 16th in the J.T. Kerr Racing Equipment/American Race Tires
Stinger/Race Tech Grand Prix.

Eckert set a new track record in qualifying with a lap around the 1/2-mile
clay oval in 19.300 seconds for an average speed of 93.264 miles per hour.
That broke the track record set by Randle Chupp of Mooresville, NC on Friday
night of 19.370 seconds. Eckert also picked up the $50 Scott Performance
Wire Bonus Award with a first 8-lap heat race win.

Francis won the second heat race, and McDowell pocketed the $100 JE Pistons
Bonus Award by winning the third heat race. The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy
Smith of Knoxville, TN won the Polaris ATVs 10-lap Consolation Race in the
Christenberry Trucking and Farms GRT/Custom Monte Carlo.

At the drop of the green flag, Eckert grabbed the point followed by
Francis, McDowell, Franklin, and Weeks. Mars bolted from the seventh
starting spot up to the fourth spot on lap three. Larry Blankenship of
Mooresville, NC brought out the first of four caution flags on lap eight
by
spinning the LB Drywall Rocket/Begle Taurus in turn two.

The top ten for the restart was Eckert, Francis, McDowell, Mars, Franklin,
Moran, Moyer, Weeks, Chupp in the Biscotti's Restaurant and Winery/Park
Ohio
Rocket/Draime Grand Prix, and Bloomquist. Moyer and Bloomquist were on
the
move when the field went back to green, with Moyer moving up to fifth spot,
and Bloomquist charging into the seventh spot.

On lap 19, Eckert began to close in on the cars on the tail of the lead
lap. Francis and McDowell closed in on the leader, as Eckert moved in
behind Tankersley to begin the lapping process. Francis and McDowell
stepped to the high side and trapped Eckert behind Tankersley coming off
the
second turn on lap 20 to take the top two spots, and dropping Eckert to
third.

Bloomquist and Moyer began a side-by-side duel for the fifth spot on lap
22, with Bloomquist making the pass on lap 23. Wendell Wallace of
Batesville, AR brought out the second flag on lap 27 when he spun the JFR
Graphics/Monday Motorsports GRT/Gaerte Grand Prix in turn four.

Francis led McDowell, Eckert, and Mars down for the restart, while
Bloomquist and Moyer swapped the fifth position back and forth twice on
lap
27. Mars closed in on Eckert to battle for the third spot, with Mars making
the pass on lap 36.

The caution flag came out for the third time on lap 37 when Dan Schlieper
of
Pewaukee, WI stalled his GRT/Pro Power Monte Carlo on the front straightway.
The restart had Francis on the point, followed by McDowell, Mars, Eckert,
Bloomquist, Moyer, Franklin, Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL, Moran,
and Weeks.

On the restart, Pearson suddenly slowed off the pace causing Moran to spin
down the front straightway to bring out the final caution flag of the race.
Pearson parked the Lucas Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford Rocket/Eatmon Taurus for the
night, while Moran restarted at the tail of the cars on the lead lap.

The restart saw Moyer once again trying to move under Bloomquist for the
fifth spot, but Bloomquist drove off the high-side cushion in turn four,
diving across the nose of Moyer and under Eckert into the fourth spot.
With
ten laps to go, Bloomquist began to close in on Mars in third, and Moyer
began to battle side-by-side with Eckert for fifth.

With five laps to go, McDowell was right with Francis, as he was the night
before. On this night, however, Francis stayed out front to post the
victory.

The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will be featured in the premier of UDTRA "Dirty
Thursday" this Thursday night at 11 p.m. ET on the SPEED Channel with the
UDTRA event from Glenmora, LA taped on March 16. Many long-time observers
of dirt late model racing have called this event one of the best races ever.

A pair of 50-lap $10,000-to-win events for the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series
will make up races three and four for the UDTRA Southeastern Swing. Lavonia
Speedway in Lavonia, GA will host America's Favorite Show On Dirt this
Friday night, and Thunder Valley Speedway in Lawndale, NC will close out
the
UDTRA Southeastern Swing on Saturday night.

For ticket and race day information call (864) 488-1717, or E-mail
udtraswing@aol.com. For the latest UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series news and
information, visit the series' web site at www.udtra.com.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 7 AT LANCASTER MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN LANCASTER, SC
ON
4/20/02:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 2 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge 50 $10,600
2. 3 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 50 $6,800
3. 7 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 50 $3,600
4. 12 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN Ford 50 $3,175
5. 1 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 50 $2,900
6. 10 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Ford 50 $2,400
7. 8 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Chev. 50 $2,200
8. 4 2 Dennis Franklin Gaffney, SC Ford 50 $1,400
9. 15 6 Booper Bare Rockridge Baths, VA Chev. 50 $1,200
10. 5 1w Ricky Weeks Rutherfordton, NC Pont. 50 $1,100
11. 6 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Pont. 50 $1,000
12. 13 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford 50 $950
13. 19 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. 50 $900
14. 16 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Chev. 50 $875
15. 20 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. 49 $850
16. 24 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morganton, GA Pont. 49 $900
17. 21 H2O Mark Kraus (R) Stratford, WI Chev. 48 $800
18. 9 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI Chev. 36 $1,350
19. 14 1p Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 36 $700
20. 22 166 Joe Izzo Chicago, IL Chev. 26 $850
21. 23 6m Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR Pont. 26 $700
22. 18 32 Larry Blankenship Mooresville, NC Ford 20 $700
23. 17 5 Mike Carter Blackshear, GA Chev. 19 $700
24. 11 70 Jeff Smith Dallas, NC Pont. 6 $700

ENTRIES: 27
PROVISIONALS: Wallace (2) and Tankersley (3)
LEAD CHANGES: 1
LAP LEADERS: Eckert, 1-19; Francis, 20-50
LAPS LED: Francis, 31; Eckert, 19
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HARD CHARGER: Bloomquist (started 12th and finished
4th), and Tankersley (started 24th and finished 16th)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Tankersley
CAUTIONS: 4
TIME OF THE RACE: 34 Minutes and 41.156 Seconds
UDTRA HARDEE'S SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Weeks, Blankenship, Carter, J. Smith,
Leland Prewitt, and Ray Tucker (Promoter's Choice)

QUALIFYING:

POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Taurus 19.470 19.300 19.300 93.264
2 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Intrepid 19.490 19.460 19.460 92.497
3 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 19.780 19.630 19.630
91.696
4 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 19.710 19.650 19.650
91.603
5 27 Ray Tucker Greensboro, NC Larry Shaw Grand Prix 19.820 19.660 19.660
91.556
6 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Rocket Grand Prix 19.710 19.660 19.660
91.556
7 2F Dennis Franklin Gaffney, SC Mastersbilt Taurus 19.670 19.750 19.670
91.510
8 1w Ricky Weeks Rutherfordton, NC GRT Grand Prix 20.190 19.700 19.700
91.371
9 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN Warrior Taurus 19.950 19.720 19.720
91.278
10 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 20.000 19.730 19.730
91.232
11 1P Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Taurus 20.190 19.730 19.730
91.232
12 6b Booper Bare Rockridge Baths, VA Rocket Monte Carlo 19.940 19.790
19.790 90.955
13 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Rayburn Taurus 19.840 19.810 19.810 90.863
14 6m Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR GRT Grand Prix 20.160 19.860 19.860
90.634
15 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI GRT Monte Carlo 19.890 20.230 19.890 90.498
16 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Mastersbilt Taurus 19.890 20.030 19.890 90.498
17 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Rayburn Monte Carlo 20.220 19.960 19.960
90.180
18 166 Joe Izzo Chicago, IL GRT Monte Carlo 20.050 19.990 19.990 90.045
19 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Grand Prix 20.040 20.050 20.040
89.820
20 70 Jeff Smith Dallas, NC GRT Grand Prix 20.210 20.050 20.050 89.776
21 32 Larry Blankenship Mooresville, NC Rocket Taurus 20.690 20.180 20.180
89.197
22 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 20.830 20.310 20.310
88.626
23 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morgonton, GA Stinger Grand Prix 20.660 20.390
20.390 88.279
24 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 20.560 20.420
20.420 88.149
25 H20 Mark Kraus (R) Stratford, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 20.760 20.470
20.470 87.934
26 5c Mike Carter Blackshear, GA Warrior Monte Carlo 21.050 20.710 20.710
86.915
27 11p Leland Prewitt Savannah, GA Barry Wright Monte Carlo 22.640 22.040
22.040 81.670


HEAT RACES (8 Laps - Top 6 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRES 1ST HEAT: 1. Eckert; 2. Franklin; 3. Mars; 4.
Moyer; 5. Cook; 6. Korte; 7. Ogle (R); 8. Kraus (R); 9. F. Smith.

2ND HEAT RACE: 1. Francis; 2. Weeks; 3. Moran; 4. J. Smith; 5. Pearson;
6.
Carter; 7. Tankersley (R); 8. Wallace; 9. Tucker.

JE PISTONS 3RD HEAT RACE: 1. McDowell; 2. Chupp; 3. Schlieper; 4.
Bloomquist; 5. Bare; 6. Blankenship; 7. Birkhofer; 8. Izzo; 9. Prewitt.

POLARIS ATVs 10-LAP CONSOLATION RACE (Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main
Event): 1. F. Smith; 2. Birkhofer; 3. Kraus; 4. Izzo; 5. Prewitt; 6.
Tankersley.

UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 4/20/02:

1. Dale McDowell - 1107
2. Rick Eckert - 1084
3. Steve Francis - 1062
4. Jimmy Mars - 1061
5. Billy Moyer - 1015
6. Scott Bloomquist - 986
7. Donnie Moran - 873
8. Dan Schlieper - 847
9. Wendell Wallace - 835
10. Ray Cook - 827
11. Freddy Smith - 825
12. Earl Pearson Jr. - 783
13. Randy Korte - 766
14. Brian Birkhofer - 754
15. Shane Tankersley (R) - 678
16. Steve Shaver - 627
17. Shannon Babb - 613
18. Mark Kraus (R) - 608
19. Billy Ogle Jr. (R) - 573
20. Randle Chupp - 532

R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate


Red Line
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 5
posted April 23, 2002 10:50 AM
This is likely the first of many this year....I was a bit surprised he didn't start out stronger.

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