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Author Topic:   ECKERT WINS XTREME DIRT CAR SERIES EAST BAY SEASON OPENER
jammin
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 5556
posted February 05, 2003 10:15 AM UIN: 16262997
ECKERT WINS XTREME DIRT CAR SERIES EAST BAY SEASON OPENER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TAMPA, FL - The defending and two-time Xtreme DirtCar Series Champion Rick
Eckert of York, PA made a statement that he would like to make history
Tuesday night by driving the Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett Taurus to victory in
the 30-lap XDCS inaugural event at East Bay Raceway Park. Eckert is looking
to become the first driver in series history to win three straight titles.

Eckert took the lead coming off the second turn on the opening lap from
his
outside front row starting spot, and never looked back.

"It's only the first race of the season, so we're not really counting
points yet, but to win a championship, you have to win races," Eckert said.
"The track was in great shape tonight, and it was really racy, which
surprised me because they were afraid to put too much water on it with the
rain in the area this afternoon."

Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL finished second in the Lucas
Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford Rocket/Eatmon Taurus. Pearson got off to a slow start
last season, but rallied late to finish fifth in the points.

"We're to just trying to build on the momentum we gained in the second half
of last season, and my crew has got the car working well," Pearson said.
"I
had a little trouble seeing late in the race because all of the moisture
in
the air kept fogging up my visor."

The moisture Pearson spoke of came in the form of a heavy fog that rolled
in over the track off Tampa Bay, which is just a mile west of the 1/3-mile
clay oval.

Rob Blair of Titusville, PA brought the Bossard-Crawford Rocket/Draime
Monte Carlo home in the third spot, and Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI was
fourth in the Jimmy Mars Racing Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo.

Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA finished fifth in the Seubert Calf Ranches
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Grand Prix. Birkhofer took the Ringers Gloves Fast
Qualifier Award among the 86 entrants, turning the track in 14.618 seconds
for an average speed of 82.091 miles per hour.

R.J. Conley of Wheelersburg, OH took the sixth spot in the Conley Trucking
Rocket/Draime Grand Prix, with seventh going to Donnie Moran of Dresden,
OH
in the QPI Tools Dirt Ripper Mastersbilt/Malcuit Monte Carlo.

Davey Johnson of Greensburg, PA started 19th and finished 8th in the
Reliable Painting Mastersbilt/Malcuit Grand Prix to earn the $150 Advance
Auto Parts Hard Charger of the Race Award.

Tim Dohm of Charleston, WV was ninth in the Dohm Cycles Rocket/Draime Monte
Carlo, and Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN rounded out the top ten in the
Petroff Towing Rayburn/Pro Power Monte Carlo.

Eckert grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag over polesitter
Pearson, but a caution flag at the end of the first lap for a wreck on the
front straightaway involving Delmas Conley of Wheelersburg, OH, Dan
Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI in the Miller Brothers Coal Rayburn/Pro Power
Monte Carlo, and Johnson brought out the caution flag and a complete
restart.

Schlieper and Johnson were able to continue, but Delmas Conley had to park
his Conley Trucking Rocket/Draime Monte Carlo for the night. On the
restart, Eckert got the bite he needed coming off the second turn to take
the lead over Pearson, R.J. Conley, Blair, and Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg,
PA in the Paige Oil Rocket/Hatfield Grand Prix.

Pearson looked to the inside of Eckert coming off the fourth turn on lap
four, but Eckert was able to hold off the challenge. Behind the lead pair,
R.J. Conley and Blair battled side-by-side for third. Steve Francis of
Ashland, KY brought out the final caution flag of the night when he spun
the
Valvoline/Mopar Parts Rocket/Stanton Intrepid to the inside of turn two on
lap six.

Eckert led Pearson, Blair, R.J. Conley, Birkhofer, Mars, O'Neal, Moran,
Miller, and Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC in the Goodson Farms
Mastersbilt/Cornett Taurus down for the restart. On lap seven, Birkhofer
and Mars got around R.J. Conley for fourth and fifth respectively, while
Blair moved up the challenge Pearson of second.

With all of the side-by-side action going on behind him, Eckert began to
pull away. At the halfway point it was Eckert with a comfortable lead over
Blair, Pearson, Mars, Birkhofer, Moran, R.J. Conley, O'Neal, Schlieper and
Johnson. Eckert was able to work traffic to his advantage during the second
half of the race, as Pearson worked his way back around Blair, but couldn't
catch Eckert.

Matt Miller of Waterville, OH finished 24th in the McCullough Motorsports/Lo
Temp Rocket/Russell Baker Grand Prix and was the Lucas Oil Rookie of the
Race. O'Neal, R.J. Conley, Eckert, Pearson, Jeremy Miller and Blair won
the
six 12-lap heat races. Blair won the J.E. Pistons $100 Bonus Award.

The six heat race winners lined up inverted for the first-ever Action
Performance 6-lap Dash. Pearson took the win to earn the pole position for
the main event, followed by Eckert, Blair, R.J. Conley, O'Neal and Jeremy
Miller.

The three 15-lap consolation races were won by Johnson, Randle Chupp of
Mooresville, NC in the Biscotti's Restaurant and Winery/Park Ohio
Rocket/Draime Grand Prix, and Steve Lucas of Charleston, WV in the Don White
Rocket/Draime Grand Prix.

The Xtreme DirtCar Series returns to East Bay Raceway Park on Thursday night
for a 40-lap, $7,000-to-win main event in front of the SPEED Channel
cameras. For race day and ticket information, visit the East Bay Raceway
Park web site at www.eastbayracewaypark.com, or call (813) 677-7223.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 1 AT EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK IN TAMPA, FL ON 2/4/03:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 2 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 30 $5,100
2. 1 1 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 30 $3,100
3. 3 w11 Rob Blair Titusville, PA Chev. 30 $2,200
4. 8 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 30 $1,750
5. 7 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. 30 $1,500
6. 4 71c R.J. Conley Wheelersburg, OH Pont. 30 $1,350
7. 10 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Chev. 30 $1,000
8. 19 19 Davey Johnson Greensburg, PA Pont. 30 $1,050
9. 11 6T Tim Dohm Charleston, WV Chev. 30 $800
10. 5 71o Don O'Neal Martinsville, IN Chev. 30 $800
11. 17 E1 Mike Balzano Parkersburg, WV Chev. 30 $600
12. 15 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI Chev. 30 $575
13. 14 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford 30 $550
14. 16 1* Chub Frank Sugar Grove, PA Chev. 30 $525
15. 20 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Pont. 30 $500
16. 23 02 Keith Nosbisch Valrico, FL Pont. 30 $475
17. 12 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Dodge 30 $450
18. 9 m15 Steve Francis Ashland, OH Dodge 30 $425
19. 6 24m Jeremy Miller Gettysburg, PA Pont. 29 $400
20. 25 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 29 $400
21. 27 99s Ken Schrader Fenton, MO Chev. 29 $400
22. 21 2 Steve Lucas Charleston, WV Pont. 29 $400
23. 26 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Pont. 29 $400
24. 22 7 Matt Miller (R) Waterville, OH Pont. 29 $400
25. 18 11o Jimmy Owens Newport, TN Chev. 25 $400
26. 24 96 Terry English Benton, KY Chev. 23 $400
27. 13 71 Delmas Conley Wheelersburg, OH Chev. 0 $400

ENTRIES: 86
PROVISIONALS: McDowell and Korte
PROMOTER'S OPTION: Schrader
LEAD CHANGES: None
LAP LEADERS: Eckert, 1-30
RINGERS GLOVES FAST QUALIFIER: Birkhofer, 14.618 seconds, 82.091 MPH
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HARD CHARGER: Johnson (started 19th and finished 8th)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: M. Miller
CAUTIONS: 3
XTREME SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Eckert, Pearson, Blair, Mars, Birkhofer, and
Nosbisch (Promoter's Choice)

QUALIFYING:

POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS ENGINE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Mastersbilt Pro Power 14.880 14.618
14.618 82.091
2 70 Jeff Choquette West Palm Beach, FL Rocket Progressive 14.619 14.682
14.619 82.085
3 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Cornett 14.706 14.644 14.644 81.945
4 1 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Eatmon 14.774 14.676 14.676
81.766
5 24m Jeremy Miller Gettysburg, PA Rocket Hatfield 14.767 14.692 14.692
81.677
6 w11 Rob Blair Titusville, PA Rocket Draime 14.728 14.901 14.728 81.477
7 71o Don O'Neal Martinsville, IN Rayburn Pro Power 14.821 14.736 14.736
81.433
8 71c R.J. Conley Wheelersburg, OH Rocket Draime 14.853 14.740 14.740 81.411
9 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI Rayburn Pro Power 14.756 14.857 14.756
81.323
10 99 Donnie Moran Dresden, OH Mastersbilt Malcuit 14.865 14.951 14.865
80.727
11 96 Terry English Benton, KY Rayburn Runyon 14.937 14.876 14.876 80.667
12 75 Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH Rocket Russell Baker 15.023 14.885 14.885
80.618
13 71 Delmas Conley Wheelersburg, OH Rocket Draime 14.887 15.180 14.887
80.607
14 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Pro Power 14.890 15.041 14.890
80.591
15 M15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Stanton 14.914 14.896 14.896 80.559
16 1* Chub Frank Sugar Grove, PA Rocket Draime 14.939 15.018 14.939 80.327
17 11 Bobby Wolter Jr. (R) Lexington, KY Rayburn Bullock 15.067 14.962
14.962 80.203
18 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Rocket Malcuit 14.968 15.113 14.968 80.171
19 4b Jackie Boggs Grayson, KY Swartz T&H 14.968 15.403 14.968 80.171
20 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY Rocket CC Performance 15.255 14.977 14.977
80.123
21 02 Keith Nosbisch Valrico, FL Rocket ZRE 15.126 14.977 14.977 80.123
22 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Rocket Draime 15.283 15.013 15.013
79.931
23 72 John Mason Millersburg, OH Rocket Malcuit 15.013 15.295 15.013 79.931
24 11o Jimmy Owens Newport, TN Rayburn Rayburn 15.204 15.035 15.035 79.814
25 0s Steve Shaver Parkersburg, WV Rocket Malcuit 15.332 15.042 15.042
79.777
26 7 Matt Miller (R) Waterville, OH Rocket Russell Baker 15.066 15.052
15.052 79.724
27 07 Kelly Boen Denver, CO Larry Shaw Dickens 15.227 15.059 15.059 79.687
28 83 Scott James Lawrenceburg, IN Lazer Dargie 15.090 15.059 15.059 79.687
29 6T Tim Dohm Charleston, WV Rocket Draime 15.063 15.084 15.063 79.665
30 21m Jason Montgomery Jackson, OH Rocket Cropper 15.555 15.064 15.064
79.660
31 19 Davey Johnson Greensburg, PA Mastersbilt Malcuit 15.073 15.073 15.073
79.613
32 88 Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR GRT Craft 15.078 15.102 15.078 79.586
33 28w Thomas Ware Cynthiana, KY Rocket Cornett 15.080 NT 15.080 79.576
34 05 Roy Deece Jr. Laurel, MD Rocket Leggett 15.293 15.086 15.086 79.544
35 99s Ken Schrader Fenton, MO Rayburn Dickens 15.150 15.113 15.113 79.402
36 2 Steve Lucas Charleston, WV Rocket Draime 15.237 15.122 15.122 79.355
37 201 Billy Ogle Jr. Knoxville, TN GRT Gaerte 15.124 15.294 15.124 79.344
38 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Mastersbilt Cornett 15.286 15.138 15.138 79.271
39 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Custom 15.158 15.191 15.158 79.166
40 1cj C.J. Rayburn Whiteland, IN Rayburn Rayburn 15.307 15.158 15.158
79.166
41 E1 Mike Balzano Parkersburg, WV Rocket Russell Baker 15.229 15.187 15.187
79.015
42 28 Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL Rayburn Hedrick 15.434 15.188
15.188 79.010
43 70r Anthony Rushing Kosciusko, MS Rocket Dickens 15.433 15.189 15.189
79.005
44 10p Pete Parker Kaukauna, WI Fegers Godwin 15.221 15.311 15.221 78.838
45 18 Shannon Babb Decatur, IL Rayburn Dickens 15.328 15.234 15.234 78.771
46 12s Jason Setser Columbus, IN Rayburn Pro Power 15.285 15.246 15.246
78.709
47 32r Roger Crouse Plant City, FL Rocket Sullivan 15.440 15.247 15.247
78.704
48 99b Justin Blackwell Heltonville, IN Rayburn Clements 15.320 15.360
15.320 78.329
49 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Rayburn Dickens 15.429 15.326 15.326 78.298
50 83m Joe Morris Galatia, IL Rocket Runyon 15.497 15.331 15.331 78.273
51 80 Troy Kuyoth (R) Stratford, WI Rocket Pro Power 15.366 15.558 15.366
78.094
52 3 Steve Smith Powell, TN Rayburn Draime 15.584 15.371 15.371 78.069
53 P1 Tim Prince Heltonville, IN Rayburn Cummings 15.414 15.447 15.414
77.851
54 71r Rod Conley Wheelersburg, OH Rocket Draime 15.425 17.645 15.425 77.796
55 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN Warrior Custom 15.428 15.506 15.428
77.781
56 55 Jeep Van Wormer Picconning, MI Warrior Chevy 15.447 15.466 15.447
77.685
57 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Pro Power 15.749 15.447 15.447 77.685
58 T31 Shane Tankersley Morgonton, GA Rocket Race Tech 15.543 15.486 15.486
77.489
59 32c Vic Coffey Leicester, NY Rocket CC Performance 15.516 15.588 15.516
77.340
60 79 Vince Muzzin Jensen Beach, FL GRT Race Tech 15.548 15.581 15.548
77.180
61 59 Bill Cunningham Jefferson, OH GRT Draime 15.565 15.679 15.565 77.096
62 42 Marshall Austin Dover, FL Rayburn Nelson Bros. 15.568 15.646 15.568
77.081
63 J0 J.O. Nobles Nahunta, GA Warrior Custom 15.790 15.581 15.581 77.017
64 9z Jayme Zidar Greenfield, WI GRT Pro Power 15.947 15.590 15.590 76.972
65 24p David McCoy Franklin, NC GRT Clements 15.590 15.684 15.590 76.972
66 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Gaerte 16.013 15.596 15.596 76.943
67 35 Cody Hupp Decatur, IL Rayburn Hixon 15.624 15.604 15.604 76.903
68 56m Rohn Moon Greenwood, IN Rayburn Clements 15.733 15.629 15.629 76.780
69 21d Dan Stone Thompson, PA Burnheizel Rhodes 15.759 15.743 15.743 76.224
70 11p Kenny Pettyjohn Millsboro, DE Rocket SMS 15.755 15.780 15.755 76.166
71 1s Audie Swartz Memford, OH Swartz Cropper NT 15.789 15.789 76.002
72 19h Mike Hawley Paint Lick, KY Rayburn Pro Power 15.988 15.819 15.819
75.858
73 56 Gary Webb Blue Grass, IA GRT Dickens 16.082 15.895 15.895 75.495
74 F1 Mike Duvall Gaffney, SC GRT Clements 15.950 16.025 15.950 75.235
75 64 Ryan Dauber Tonica, IL GRT Sabbota 39.500 15.987 15.987 75.061
76 26 Dan Sturgeon Bedford, IN Parker Sturgeon 16.073 16.220 16.073 74.659
77 83f Jerry Fifield Cross Junction, VA Warrior Hershey 17.141 16.119 16.119
74.446
78 108 Chuck Southard Franklin, NC Stinger Clements 16.265 16.130 16.130
74.396
79 1u Matt Urban Northeast, PA Rocket Custom 16.738 16.226 16.226 73.955
80 1a Dan Autullo Chicago, IL Warrior Markham Auto 16.557 17.132 16.557
72.477
81 3c Mike Collins Council Bluffs, IA GRT Charlie's 16.695 16.623 16.623
72.189
82 32d Scott Douglas Waco, KY Swartz Mears 17.228 16.632 16.632 72.150
83 00H Chuck Harper Beverly, WV Rayburn Clements 16.702 17.102 16.702 71.848
84 53t Lee Thomason Marion, IL Rayburn Cummins NT NT NT NT
85 00j Greg Johnson Bedford, IN Rayburn AMS NT NT NT NT
86 32s Ronnie Smith Waco, KY Swartz Mears NT NT NT NT

HEAT RACES (12 Laps - Top Three Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

1ST HEAT: 1. O'Neal; 2. Birkhofer; 3. D. Conley; 4. Boggs; 5. Shaver; 6.
D. Johnson; 7. Ogle; 8. Moyer; 9. Rushing; 10. Cunningham; 11. Webb; 12.
Urban; 13. Hupp.

2ND HEAT: 1. R.J. Conley; 2. Choquette; 3. Mars; 4. Cook; 5. M. Miller
(R); 6. Wallace; 7. McCreadie; 8. Duvall; 9. Bloomquist; 10. Austin; 11.
Moon; 12. Korte; 13. Morris; 14. Parker. (Choquette blew engine after heat,
withdrew from the event, and Cook transferred to main event.)

3RD HEAT: 1. Eckert; 2. Francis; 3. Schlieper; 4. Ware; 5. McDowell; 6.
Nosbisch; 7. Boen; 8. Babb; 9. Nobles; 10. Van Wormer; 11. Stone; 12.
Collins; 13. Dauber.

4TH HEAT: 1. Pearson; 2. Moran; 3. Frank; 4. James; 5. Chupp; 6. Deece;
7.
Setser; 8. Rayburn; 9. Pettyjohn; 10. Tankersley; 11. S. Smith; 12. Zidar;
13. Douglas; 14. Sturgeon.

5TH HEAT: 1. J. Miller; 2. Dohm; 3. Balzano; 4. English; 5. Mason; 6.
Schrader; 7. Crouse; 8. Harper; 9. Wolter (R); 10. Prince; 11. Coffey; 12.
Swartz; 13. McCoy; 14. Fifield.

JE PISTONS 6TH HEAT: 1. Blair; 2. Aukland; 3. Owens; 4. Lucas; 5. Erb;
6.
Hartman; 7. Montgomery; 8. F. Smith; 9. Hawley; 10. Rod Conley; 11.
Blackwell; 12. Muzzin; 13. Southard; 14. G. Johnson.

CONSOLATION RACES (15 Laps - Top Two Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

1ST CONSY: 1. D. Johnson; 2. M. Miller; 3. Shaver; 4. Wallace; 5. Boggs;
6. Moyer; 7. Ogle; 8. McCreadie; 9. Cunningham; 10. Urban; 11. Rushing; 12.
Hupp; 13. Moon; 14. Bloomquist; 15. Duvall; 16. Parker; 17. Webb.

2ND CONSY: 1. Chupp; 2. Nosbisch; 3. Ware; 4. Boen; 5. Babb; 6. James;
7.
S. Smith; 8. Setser; 9. Nobles; 10. Kuyoth (R); 11. Rayburn; 12. Stone; 13.
Dauber; 14. Douglas; 15. Zidar; 16. Tankersley; 17. Van Wormer; 18. Collins;
19. McDowell; 20. Pettyjohn; 21. Deece; 22. Sturgeon.

3RD CONSY: 1. Lucas; 2. English; 3. Erb; 4. Harper; 5. Schrader; 6.
Montgomery; 7. Coffey; 8. Prince; 9. Mason; 10. Swartz; 11. Hawley; 12. Rod
Conley; 13. Wolter (R); 14. Muzzin; 15. Fifield; 16. F. Smith; 17. Southard;
18. Crouse; 19. Blackwell; 20. McCoy; 21. G. Johnson.

XDCS POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 2/4/03:

1. Rick Eckert - 185
2. Earl Pearson Jr. - 176
3. Rob Blair - 169
4. Jimmy Mars - 160
5. Brian Birkhofer - 157
6. R.J. Conley - 153
7. Donnie Moran - 146
8. Davey Johnson - 142
9. Tim Dohm - 138
10. Don O'Neal - 136
11. Mike Balzano - 130
12. Dan Schlieper - 127
13. Ray Cook - 124
14. Chub Frank - 121
15. Randle Chupp - 118
16. Keith Nosbisch - 115
17. Rick Aukland - 113
18. Steve Francis - 111
19. Jeremy Miller - 110
20. Dale McDowell - 107

R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate

-30-

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