posted July 31, 2002 07:21 AM
BIRKHOFER TAKES SECOND UDTRA HOMETOWN WIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
EAST MOLINE, IL - Brian Birkhofer of nearby Muscatine, IA gave his hometown
fans something to cheer about, as he posted his second United Dirt Track
Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series win of the season Tuesday night.
Birkhofer pocketed $10,900 in the IITI Taylor Insulation 50 before an
enthusiastic packed house at East Moline Speedway.
Birkhofer got down to business driving the Daufeldt Transport
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Grand Prix on a lap 23 restart and passed early race
leader Matt Miller of Waterville, OH for the lead. Birkhofer went the rest
of the way unchallenged to post the win.
"I saw Matt's tires glaze over during the caution period and he kept trying
to spin the wheels," Birkhofer said. "I knew my best chance to pass him
would be on the restart, and my car worked well on the bottom where I needed
to go. I then had to work lapped traffic pretty aggressively to keep my
lead on him."
Birkhofer pocketed $10,000 for first place, $700 in lap money for leading
28 laps of the race, and another $200 from Trackin' Dirt Souvenirs for
leading at the halfway point in the race.
Miller brought his McCullough Motorsports Rocket/Russell Baker Grand Prix
home in the second spot, and earned $6,000 in second place money, $550 in
lap money after leading the first 22 laps of the race, and $100 from JE
Pistons for winning the second 12-lap heat race for a total of $6,650.
Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL finished third in the Lucas
Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford Rocket/Eatmon Taurus and picked up $3,000 for third
spot, $600 in UDTRA Winners Circle money, and $250 from Die Cast Digest
Magazine for fast time for a total of $3,850. Pearson toured the 1/4-mile
high-banked dirt oval in 13.652 seconds for an average speed of 65.924 miles
The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA took the fourth
in the Larry Shaw Race Car Rocket by Shaw/Custom Grand Prix, and Jimmy Mars
of Elk Mound, WI rounded out the top five in the Jimmy Mars Racing
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo.
Steve Francis of Ashland, KY finished sixth in the Valvoline/Mopar Parts
Rocket/Stanton Intrepid, and Defending UDTRA Champion and current point
leader Rick Eckert of York, PA was seventh in the Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett
Taurus. Eckert's point lead over Francis is now trimmed down to 128 points
in the UDTRA points chase.
Shane Tankersley of Morganton, GA turned in his best finish of the season
with an eighth-place effort driving the Tankersley Motorsports Rocket/Custom
Grand Prix, and was the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race. The 1996 UDTRA
Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN finished ninth in the Christenberry
Trucking and Farms Warrior/Custom Monte Carlo.
Rick Aukland of Zanesville, OH took the tenth spot in the Ostrom Painting
and Sandblasting Rocket/Malcuit Grand Prix. East Moline Speedway late model
champion Rob Toland of Hillsdale, IL started 21st and finished 15th in the
Team Budda GRT/JR Motorsports Grand Prix to earn the Advance Auto Parts
Charger of the Race Award.
Miller grabbed the lead from his outside front row starting spot at the
start of the race, followed by Birkhofer, Pearson, McDowell, and Francis.
It only took the leaders 10 laps to close in on the tail end cars on the
lead lap. In the first 15 laps, Tankersley was on the move from his 12th
starting position, and had climbed into the eighth spot.
Mars moved up to battle Francis for the fifth spot on lap 16 with the Ice
Man trying to work the Kentucky Colonel on the inside. By lap 19,
Tankersley had closed on Eckert to challenge for the seventh position.
The only caution flag of the race came out on lap 23 when Jim Curry of
Norman, IN got off the track on the backstretch and hit a tire barrier on
the inside of the third turn at the end of the backstretch. Curry climbed
out O.K., but his C.J. Rayburn Race Cars Rayburn/HP Monte Carlo was done
Miller led Birkhofer, Pearson, McDowell, Francis, Mars, Eckert, Tankersley,
Gary Webb of Blue Grass, IA, and Aukland down for the restart. Birkhofer
dove for the inside groove of the track when the green flag was unfurled,
and immediate began to challenge Miller for the lead.
The lead duo raced side-by-side on lap 23, but Birkhofer slid up in front
of Miller to take the lead coming off the fourth turn. When the field
reached the halfway point, Smith was getting busy and was knocking on the
door of the top ten. The leaders were once again facing lapped traffic
Birkhofer used this opportunity to pull away from Miller, as he put two
lapped cars between himself and Miller. Birky pulled away by lap 35, and
Smith passed Aukland and Webb in the Freeport Recycling GRT/Clements Monte
Carlo to move up to the ninth spot. Birkhofer had opened up a 3/4
straightaway lead on Miller by lap 40.
On lap 43, Mars was able pass Francis for the fifth spot, and Tankersley
was again racing to the inside of Eckert in the battle for the seventh spot.
But there was no denying Birkhofer his second UDTRA win of the season, as
his first one came just a few miles across the Mississippi River in
Davenport, IA on June 18.
"These Quad Cities fans are just the greatest, as they've followed me since
the beginning of my career when my Dad put me in a Street Stock," Birkhofer
said. "I'm ready to go to West Liberty, IA next Tuesday night and make
three for three in UDTRA Quad Cities races this season."
Birkhofer earned the pole position for the IITI Taylor Insulation 50 by
winning the first 12-lap heat race, and McDowell won the Scott Performance
Wire $50 Bonus Award with a third heat race win. Curry won the Polaris
12-lap Consolation Race.
The next event for the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will be this Friday and
Saturday night at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, WI for the
$40,000-to-win 100-lap USA Nationals in front of the SPEED Channel cameras.
Eckert won at Cedar Lake last month in the Masters 75. Along with a win
last month at Crawford County Speedway in Denison, IA, Eckert can pick up
the $100,000 Great Northern Challenge Bonus if he can win the USA Nationals.
The next UDTRA Dirty Thursday will air Thursday night at 11 p.m. ET with
the 4th Annual Masters 75 from Cedar Lake Speedway. For the complete UDTRA
SPEED Channel schedule and a direct feedback link, visit the UDTRA web site
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 29 AT EAST MOLINE SPEEDWAY IN EAST MOLINE, IL
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR $ WON
1. 1 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. $10,900
2. 2 7 Matt Miller Waterville, OH Pont. $6,650
3. 4 1p Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford $3,850
4. 3 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. $3,250
5. 5 28 Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. $2,600
6. 6 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge $2,400
7. 8 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford $2,450
8. 12 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morganton, GA Pont. $1,400
9. 9 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. $1,800
10. 7 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Pont. $1,100
11. 16 50 Denny Eckrich Tiffin, IA Pont. $1,000
12. 11 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Pont. $1,550
13. 10 56 Gary Webb Blue Grass, IA Chev. $900
14. 14 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN Chev. $1,475
15. 21 39 Rob Toland Hillsdale, IL Pont. $1,000
16. 15 99d Darrel DeFrance Marshalltown, IA Pont. $825
17. 18 42 David Engelton Morrison, IL Chev. $800
18. 17 11 Ace Ihm Hazel Green, WI Pont. $750
19. 22 1m Rob Moss Iowa City, IA Pont. $700
20. 23 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford $1,300
21. 13 90x Ron Gustaf Moline, IL Pont. $700
22. 20 6 Robert Miller Silvis, IL Chev. $700
23. 19 7c Jim Curry Norman, IN Chev. $700
24. 24 5 Brenton Slocum Burlington, IA Pont. $700
PROVISIONAL: Cook (4)
FIRST ALTERNATE: Slocum
LEAD CHANGES: 1
LAP LEADERS: Miller, 1-22; Birkhofer, 23-50
LAPS LED: Birkhofer, 28; Miller, 22
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HARD CHARGER: Toland (started 21st and finished 15th)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Tankersley
TIME OF THE RACE: 20 Minutes and 42.340 Seconds
HARDEE'S SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Engelton, Moss, Gustaf, R. Miller, Curry, and
Slocum (Promoter's Choice)
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 1P Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Taurus 13.745 13.652 13.652
2 7m Matt Miller Waterville, OH Rocket Grand Prix 13.806 13.708 13.708
3 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Intrepid 13.903 14.452 13.903 64.734
4 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 13.940 14.183
5 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 14.065 13.960 13.960
6 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 14.017 13.979 13.979
7 90x Ron Gustaf Moline, IL GRT Grand Prix 14.269 14.129 14.129 63.699
8 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Taurus 31.374 14.140 14.140 63.649
9 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 14.691 14.151 14.151
10 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Mastersbilt Taurus 14.206 14.225 14.206 63.354
11 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Grand Prix 14.214 14.268 14.214
12 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morgonton, GA Rocket Grand Prix 14.270 14.764
13 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Rocket Grand Prix 14.287 14.509 14.287
14 11i Ace Ihm Hazel Green, WI Rocket Grand Prix 14.291 14.735 14.291 62.977
15 21h Brian Harris Davenport, IA Rocket Monte Carlo 14.315 14.467 14.315
16 56 Gary Webb Blue Grass, IA GRT Monte Carlo 14.387 14.418 14.387 62.556
17 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 14.441 14.526 14.441
18 99d Darrel DeFrance Marshalltown, IA Larry Shaw Grand Prix 14.645 14.897
19 50e Denny Eckrich Tiffin, IA Barry Wright Grand Prix 14.669 14.795 14.669
20 7c Jim Curry Norman, IN Rayburn Monte Carlo 14.670 14.715 14.670 61.350
21 42 David Engelton Morrison, IL GRT Monte Carlo 15.079 14.811 14.811
22 96 Jason Bahrs Colona, IL GRT Monte Carlo 14.813 14.903 14.813 60.757
23 1m Rob Moss Iowa City, IA Swartz Grand Prix 14.867 15.053 14.867 60.537
24 5 Brenton Slocum Burlington, IA Rayburn Grand Prix 14.898 15.370 14.898
25 6 Robert Miller Silvis, IL GRT Monte Carlo 15.296 15.003 15.003 59.988
26 51 Bryan Brinker Silvis, IL GRT Monte Carlo 15.952 15.508 15.508 58.035
27 05 Mike Wiersema Fulton, IL GRT Monte Carlo 25.398 15.566 15.566 57.818
28 24x Jim Lamb Galesburg, IL Swartz Monte Carlo 15.759 15.671 15.671 57.431
29 39t Rob Toland Hillsdale, IL GRT Grand Prix 14.222 14.194 DQ DQ
30 90 Michael Cothron Moline, IL Rayburn Grand Prix NT NT NT NT
HEAT RACES (12 Laps - Top 6 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):
1ST HEAT: 1. Birkhofer; 2. Pearson; 3. Aukland; 4. Webb; 5. Gustaf; 6.
Eckrich; 7. R. Miller; 8. Bahrs; 9. Lamb; 10. Cook.
JE PISTONS 2ND HEAT: 1. M. Miller; 2. Mars; 3. Eckert; 4. Korte; 5. Ogle
(R); 6. Ihm; 7. Moss; 8. Curry; 9. Brinker; 10. Toland.
SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRE 3RD HEAT: 1. McDowell; 2. Francis; 3. Smith; 4.
Tankersley (R); 5. DeFrance; 6. Engelton; 7. Cothron; 8. Slocum; 9.
Wiersema; 10. Harris.
POLARIS ATVs 12 LAP CONSOLATION RACE (Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main
Event): 1. Curry; 2. R. Miller; 3. Toland; 4. Moss; 5. Slocum; 6. Cothron;
7. Harris; 8. Wiersema; 9. Lamb; 10. Cook; 11. Bahrs.
UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 7/30/02:
1. Rick Eckert - 4561
2. Steve Francis - 4433
3. Jimmy Mars - 4411
4. Dale McDowell - 4391
5. Earl Pearson Jr. - 3901
6. Freddy Smith - 3728
7. Randy Korte - 3521
8. Ray Cook - 3173
9. Donnie Moran - 3125
10. Billy Ogle Jr. (R) - 2999
11. Brian Birkhofer - 2867
12. Shane Tankersley (R) - 2823
13. Mark Kraus (R) - 2337
14. Billy Moyer - 2166
15. Dan Schlieper - 2072
16. Scott Bloomquist - 1918
17. Rick Aukland - 1761
18. John Anderson (R) - 1709
19. Randle Chupp - 1608
20. Matt Miller - 1352
R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate