posted August 07, 2002 05:42 PM
BIRKHOFER SWEEPS QUAD CITIES UDTRA EVENTS WITH WEST LIBERTY WIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEST LIBERTY, IA - Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA loves racing in the
Quad Cities. On Tuesday night, Birkhofer drove his Daufeldt Transport
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Grand Prix to his third United Dirt Track Racing
Association Pro DirtCar Series win of the season in the IITI Taylor
Insulation 50 at West Liberty Raceway.
All three of Birkhofer's UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series wins this season have
come in the Quad Cities area. He also won in Davenport, IA on June 18,
at East Moline, IL on July 30. Tuesday night's win was worth $10,000 to
Birkhofer also swept the program on Tuesday night. In time trials,
Birkhofer set a new track record with a lap around the 1/2-mile clay oval
19.356 seconds for an average speed of 92.994 miles per hour. The old track
record of 20.023 seconds set last year by Steve Boley of West Liberty, IA
was beaten by 19 of the 45 entrants.
Birkhofer also won the JE Pistons first 10-lap heat race. That earned
Birkhofer the pole position for the main event, and he beat outside front
row starter Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI off the second turn, and led all
laps unchallenged for the victory.
"This is where I grew up racing, and I feel really comfortable racing
here," Birkhofer said. "I knew Jimmy would be tough from the outside of
front row, but I got a good run off the inside of the second turn and got
out in front."
Mars took the second spot in the Jimmy Mars Racing Mastersbilt/Pro Power
Monte Carlo, and gave the credit for his success to the driver he chased
"Brian has helped us out here, and put us up in the front," Mars said.
"Every time we've come here in the past, it seemed like we were always in
the consy. We're better here now, but Brian has more experience here than
most of us, and I learned a lot more about this place just following him
An exciting contest for the third spot went on all race long, and Steve
Francis of Ashland, KY rallied the Valvoline/Mopar Parts Rocket/Stanton
Intrepid from the 17th starting spot to finish third. Defending UDTRA
Champion Rick Eckert of York, PA took the fourth spot in the Raye Vest
Rocket/Cornett Taurus. Eckert now leads Francis by 133 points in the UDTRA
The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA finished fifth in
the Larry Shaw Race Cars Rocket/Custom Grand Prix after starting 13th.
1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN started 23rd with a
provisional, and drove his Christenberry Trucking and Farms Warrior/Custom
Monte Carlo to a sixth-place finish to earn the Advance Auto Parts Hard
Charger of the Race Award.
Matt Miller ran as high as third spot in the race, but faded to a
seventh-place finish in the McCullough Motorsports Rocket/Russell Baker
Grand Prix. Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL was eighth in the Lucas
Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford Rocket/Eatmon Taurus.
Darren Miller of Chadwick, IL also ran as high as third in the race, but
ended up ninth in the NAPA Auto Parts Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo.
Rick Aukland of Zanesville, OH rounded out the top ten in the Ostrom
Painting and Sandblasting Rocket/Malcuit Grand Prix.
Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, TN started 24th as a provisional and finished
17th in the Calhoun's Restaurant GRT/Clements Monte Carlo and was the Lucas
Oil Rookie of the Race.
Mars won the second heat race, with Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls, IA winning
the third heat in the Automotive Engine and Machine GRT/AEM Monte Carlo.
Jeff Bair of Solon, IA won the Scott Performance Wire fourth heat race in
the CRE Rocket/AEM Grand Prix.
Francis won the first 10-lap Polaris ATVs Consolation Race, and Ray Guss
of Milan, IL won the second Polaris ATVs Consolation Race in the Roemer
Machine Rocket/JR Motorsports Monte Carlo.
Guss was unable to start the main event due to a mechanical problem. Shane
Tankersley of Morganton, GA was added to the field as a third provisional
the Tankersley Motorsports Rocket/Custom Grand Prix.
Birkhofer took the lead from Mars coming off the second turn at the start
the race followed by Bair, Aikey, and Eckert. On the third lap, Eckert
passed Aikey on the inside of turn two for the fourth spot, and on the next
lap, Eckert passed Bair for third in turn one. By the seventh lap, Eckert
had closed in on Mars to battle for the second spot.
The first of four caution flags came out on lap 14 when Randy Korte of
Highland, IL stalled his Mid-Continental Fuel Rocket by Shaw/Pro Power Grand
Prix in turn three. On the restart, Eckert looked to the inside of Mars
the second spot, but Mars was able to hold the position. Darren Miller
to the high side after restarting in the fifth spot, and was on the move.
Darren Miller made quick work to move by Bair for the fourth spot, then
closed in to race side-by-side with Eckert for the third spot. Darren
Miller tried both inside and outside to pass Eckert for four laps, before
racing into the third spot by passing Eckert on the outside down the
backstretch on lap 19.
Matt Miller and McDowell had climbed from the eighth and ninth spots
respectively on the lap 14 restart to fifth and sixth by lap 20. The 1997
UDTRA Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR stalled his Petroff Towing/J&J
Steel Taurus in turn two on lap 20 to bring out the second caution flag.
Matt Miller charged under Eckert to take the fourth spot on the restart.
Lap 22 was the Miller Show, as the two unrelated drivers battled for the
third spot side-by-side with Darren on the outside and Matt working the
bottom groove. At the halfway point in the race, it was Birkhofer leading
Mars by a half straightaway followed by Darren Miller, Matt Miller, Eckert,
McDowell, Francis, Aikey, Pearson, and Gary Webb of Blue Grass, IA in the
Freeport Recycling GRT/Clements Monte Carlo.
Debris on the backstretch unfurled the third yellow flag of the race on
28. Matt Miller dove under Darren Miller in turn one on the restart to
over the third position, and Francis worked around Eckert to move up to
fifth spot. Smith had come from the back of the pack at the start and into
the ninth spot by lap 32.
The Miller boys were at it again for the third spot on lap 34 with Darren
going around the outside of Matt to reclaim the position. Smith was also
using the cushion to his advantage, moving into the eighth spot on lap 36.
Denny Eckrich of Tiffin, IA stalled the Precision Performance Barry
Wright/Grove Grand Prix in turn three on lap 39 to bring out the fourth
final caution flag. Eckrich had started 25th as a Promoter's Choice, and
was running in the 11th spot. On the restart, it was Matt Miller driving
under Darren Miller in turn one to take over the third spot.
Francis was on the move from the fifth position on the restart, and went
both Millers on lap 41 to take over the third spot. With five laps to go,
it was Birkhofer, Mars, Francis, Eckert, McDowell, Matt Miller, Smith,
Darren Miller, Pearson and Aukland. Smith just nipped Matt Miller at the
checkered flag to take the sixth spot.
The next event for the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will be this Friday and
Saturday night at 311 Motor Speedway in Madison, NC for a 100-lap
$20,000-to-win main event.
The next UDTRA Dirty Thursday will air August 29 at 11 p.m. ET with action
from Crawford County Speedway in Denison, IA. For the complete UDTRA SPEED
Channel schedule and a direct feedback link, visit the UDTRA web site at www.udtra.com.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 31 AT WEST LIBERTY RACEWAY IN WEST LIBERTY, IA
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 1 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. 50 $10,000
2. 2 28 Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 50 $6,600
3. 17 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge 50 $3,600
4. 6 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 50 $3.350
5. 13 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 50 $2,700
6. 23 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. 50 $2,400
7. 8 7 Matt Miller Waterville, OH Pont. 50 $1,600
8. 12 1p Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 50 $2,000
9. 11 32d Darren Miller Chadwick, IL Chev. 50 $1,200
10. 10 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Pont. 50 $1,100
11. 9 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Chev. 50 $1,600
12. 16 88 Kevin Kile West Liberty, IA Chev. 50 $950
13. 18 51 Matt Furman Iowa City, IA Pont. 50 $900
14. 20 5 Jay Johnson West Burlington, IA Pont. 50 $875
15. 5 56 Gary Webb Blue Grass, IA Chev. 50 $850
16. 4 28b Jeff Bair Solon, IA Pont. 50 $825
17. 22 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN Chev. 48 $1,400
18. 25 50 Denny Eckrich Tiffin, IA Pont. 38 $750
19. 19 28e Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL Chev. 37 $700
20. 3 77 Jeff Aikey Cedar Falls, IA Chev. 34 $700
21. 14 18 Shannon Babb Decatur, IL Chev. 27 $700
22. 15 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Ford 26 $700
23. 26 8 Sonny Findling Kirksville, MO Pont. 21 $700
24. 21 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE Pont. 15 $700
25. 7 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Pont. 13 $1,300
26. 24 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morganton, GA Pont. 5 $700
PROVISIONALS: Smith (5), Ogle (8), and Tankersley (11)
LEAD CHANGES: None
LAP LEADERS: Birkhofer, 1-50
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HARD CHARGER: Smith (started 23rd and finished 6th)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Ogle
TIME OF THE RACE: 35 Minutes and 12.320 Seconds
HARDEE'S SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Ke. Kile, Furman, Bair, Aikey, Findling, and
Tom Cannon (Promoter's Choice)
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 19.835 19.356
2 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Taurus 19.470 19.846 19.470 92.450
3 32m Darren Miller Chadwick, IL Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 19.525 19.500
4 28b Jeff Bair Solon, IA Rocket Grand Prix 19.546 19.763 19.546 92.090
5 50e Denny Eckrich Tiffin, IA Barry Wright Grand Prix 19.794 19.640 19.640
6 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 19.750 20.061 19.750
7 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Grand Prix 19.999 19.756 19.756 91.112
8 7m Matt Miller Waterville, OH Rocket Grand Prix 19.813 19.942 19.813
9 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 19.878 19.899 19.878
10 18 Shannon Babb Decatur, IL Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 19.928 19.928 19.928
11 77a Jeff Aikey Cedar Falls, IA GRT Monte Carlo 20.039 19.935 19.935
12 51 Matt Furman Iowa City, IA Rocket Grand Prix 20.056 19.940 19.940
13 56 Gary Webb Blue Grass, IA GRT Monte Carlo 20.115 19.971 19.971 90.131
14 77k Kurt Kile Nichols, IA GRT Monte Carlo 19.977 NT 19.977 90.104
15 12g Ray Guss Jr. Milan, IL Rocket Monte Carlo 19.980 20.484 19.980 90.090
16 88k Kevin Kile West Liberty, IA GRT Monte Carlo 19.986 20.175 19.986
17 58 Dave Eckrich Oxford, IA Barry Wright Grand Prix 20.068 19.994 19.994
18 3x Skip Fry Ely, IA Warrior Grand Prix 20.250 19.998 19.998 90.009
19 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 20.331 19.998 19.998
20 1P Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Taurus 20.280 20.023 20.023
21 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Rayburn Monte Carlo 20.256 20.052 20.052
22 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Rocket Grand Prix 20.139 20.173 20.139
23 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Rayburn Taurus 20.312 20.157 20.157 89.299
24 26b Steve Boley West Liberty, IA Rocket Taurus 20.442 20.162 20.162
25 8 Sonny Findling Kirksville, MO GRT Grand Prix 20.210 20.541 20.210
26 232 Monte Ohrt Iowa City, IA Warrior Monte Carlo 20.645 20.268 20.268
27 43s Kurt Stewart Ainsworth, IA Warrior Monte Carlo 20.849 20.278 20.278
28 21h Brian Harris Davenport, IA Rocket Monte Carlo 20.282 21.858 20.282
29 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Intrepid 20.293 20.346 20.293 88.701
30 99j Johnny Johnson West Burlington, IA Rayburn Taurus 20.543 20.308
31 11 Ace Ihm Hazel Green, WI Rocket Grand Prix 20.650 20.338 20.338 88.504
32 5j Jay Johnson West Burlington, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 20.518 20.379
33 28 Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL Rayburn Monte Carlo 20.445 20.472
34 33m Nick Marolf Moscow, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 20.661 20.523 20.523
35 32h Chad Holladay Wilton, IA Warrior Monte Carlo 21.405 20.564 20.564
36 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 20.609 20.706 20.609
37 18z Rusty Zook Riverside, IA Warrior Grand Prix 20.814 20.643 20.643
38 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE GRT Grand Prix 20.964 20.648 20.648 87.176
39 39t Rob Toland Hillsdale, IL GRT Grand Prix 20.747 20.649 20.649 87.171
40 13k Denny Petersen Tipton, IA Rocket Mustang 20.766 20.671 20.671 87.079
41 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morgonton, GA Rocket Grand Prix 20.726 20.689
42 32t Tom Cannon Iowa City, IA Warrior Monte Carlo 20.933 20.732 20.732
43 99d Darrel DeFrance Marshalltown, IA Larry Shaw Grand Prix 20.989 20.837
44 23d Dana Wells Wilton, IA Mastersbilt Camaro 20.920 21.186 20.920 86.042
45 1rm Rob Moss Iowa City, IA Swartz Grand Prix NT NT NT NT
HEAT RACES (10 Laps - Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):
JE PISTONS 1ST HEAT: 1. Birkhofer; 2. Webb; 3. Moran; 4. McDowell; 5.
Francis; 6. Erb; 7. Da. Eckrich; 8. Zook; 9. Findling; 10. Tankersley (R);
11. De. Eckrich.
2ND HEAT: 1. Mars; 2. Eckert; 3. Aukland; 4. Babb; 5. Frey; 6. Jo.
Johnson; 7. Ohrt; 8. Anderson (R); 9. Marolf; 10. Cannon.
3RD HEAT: 1. Aikey; 2. Korte; 3. D. Miller; 4. Moyer; 5. Guss; 6. Toland;
7. Smith; 8. Ihm; 9. Stewart; 10. DeFrance; 11. Holladay.
SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRE 4TH HEAT: 1. Bair; 2. M. Miller; 3. Pearson; 4.
Kile; 5. Furman; 6. Ja. Johnson; 7. Harris; 8. Boley; 9. Ogle (R); 10.
Petersen; 11. Wells.
POLARIS ATVs 12 LAP CONSOLATION RACES (Top 3 Finishers Transfer To Main
1ST CONSY: 1. Francis; 2. Erb; 3. Anderson (R); 4. Findling; 5. Jo.
Johnson; 6. De. Eckrich; 7. Cannon; 8. Da. Eckrich; 9. Tankersley (R); 10.
Ohrt; 11. Marolf; 12. Zook; 13. Frey.
2ND CONSY: 1. Guss; 2. Furman; 3. Ja. Johnson; 4. Smith; 5. Ogle (R);
Harris; 7. Stewart; 8. DeFrance; 9. Ihm; 10. Holladay; 11. Wells; 12.
UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 8/6/02:
1. Rick Eckert - 4896
2. Steve Francis - 4763
3. Dale McDowell - 4721
4. Jimmy Mars - 4686
5. Earl Pearson Jr. - 4177
6. Freddy Smith - 4024
7. Randy Korte - 3729
8. Donnie Moran - 3335
9. Ray Cook - 3253
10. Billy Ogle Jr. (R) - 3215
11. Brian Birkhofer - 3209
12. Shane Tankersley (R) - 3046
13. Mark Kraus (R) - 2417
14. Billy Moyer - 2380
15. Dan Schlieper - 2229
16. Scott Bloomquist - 2036
17. Rick Aukland - 2033
18. John Anderson (R) - 1962
19. Randle Chupp - 1709
20. Matt Miller - 1597
R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate