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posted April 14, 2001 02:12 PM UIN: 16262997

WOODSTOCK, GA - The United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series
will begin a busy string of three straight weekends of competition on April
20 at Oglethorpe Speedway Park in Savannah, GA and on April 21 at
Fayetteville Motorsports Park in Fayetteville, NC. Each event will feature
50-lap $10,000-to-win main events.
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series has made one previous visit to Oglethorpe
Speedway Park in 1996 when the current defending and four-time UDTRA
Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN took the win. Bloomquist will
welcome a track he has had success at, as he is in one of the worst streaks
of his illustrious UDTRA career.
After winning the 2000 season finale, the UDTRA Shootout at Dixie Speedway
in Woodstock, GA on October 14, 2000, Bloomquist has struggled through the
first eight events of the 2001 UDTRA season without a top ten finish.
However, Bloomquist has qualified for each event, and accumulated enough
points to sit ninth in the standings.
Current UDTRA point leader Rick Eckert of York, PA will return to the site
of his fourth and final victory of the 2000 season at Fayetteville
Motorsports Park. Eckert has already bagged a 2001 win at Volusia Speedway
in February, and leads Steve Francis of Ashland, KY in the points chase by
27 points.
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series has a long history at Fayetteville Motorsports
Park. Bloomquist has two victories at the 4/10-mile clay oval, and other
winners include Billy Moyer, Wendell Wallace, Danny Parker, Ed Basey, and
Hank Edwards.
Moyer has posted a UDTRA win this season in February at East Bay Raceway,
and the Batesville, AR 1997 UDTRA Champion is fourth in the points chase.
Wallace is still looking for his first win of the 2001 season, but is fifth
in the UDTRA point standings.
Another top entry expected for the Savannah/Fayetteville tour is Steve
Shaver of Parkersburg, WV. Shaver is currently third in the UDTRA point
standings, and won the East Bay Winternationals in February.
Also traveling to Georgia and North Carolina will be the sixth through
eighth place point drivers Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI, Chub Frank of
Sugar Grove, PA, and Terry English of Benton, KY. Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC
is now tenth in the points chase.
Other expected entries include the 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of
Rossville, GA, Texas Motor Speedway winner Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI, 1996
UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN, Earl Pearson Jr. of
Jacksonville, FL, UDTRA Rookie of the Year point leader Joe Izzo of LaSalle,
IL, and Steve Boley of West Liberty, IA.
Oglethorpe Speedway Park will host an open practice session this Thursday
night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Friday night, the pit gate opens at 1
p.m., the grandstand gate opens at 4 p.m., hot laps are set for 6 p.m., with
qualifying and racing to follow.
For ticket and race day information call 1-888-724-1591 or (912) 964-7223.
Directions to Oglethorpe Speedway Park are I-95 to exit 102, then 2.5 miles
east on U.S. 80, then .3 miles south on Dublin Rd. (east of CAT Construction
Co.), then SW on Jessup.
The schedule of events for Fayetteville Motorsports Park on Saturday, April
21 will have the pit gate opening at 1 p.m., grandstand gates opening at 4
p.m., hot laps are scheduled for 6 p.m., with qualifying and racing to
follow. For ticket and race day information call 1-888-724-1591 or (910)
867-0873. To get to Fayetteville Motorsports Park, take I-95 to exit 44
(Snow Hill Rd. Exit) 1.7 miles NW on Claude Lee Rd., then 1.8 miles east on
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will make its first-ever appearance at Cochran
Speedway in Cochran, GA on April 27. This event replaces the rained out
show from February 4 at Golden Isle Speedway in Brunswick, GA. Cochran
Speedway officials will be honoring rain checks from the rained out
Brunswick show for the 50-lap $10,000-to-win program.
On April 28, the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series makes its return to Cherokee
Speedway in Gaffney, SC after a three-year absence. The main event will be
a 50-lap $10,000-to-win race, the richest one-day event in the long history
of Cherokee Speedway.
Another two-event weekend for the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series is scheduled for
May 4 and 5. The May 4 stop will be at Thunder Ridge Speedway in
Prestonsburg, KY with a 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event, and the series
will then travel to KC Raceway in Chillicothe, OH for a 50-lap
UDTRA officials are looking into the possibilities of webcasting selected
events during the 2001 season off its web site at
The UDTRA web site Producer Norman Martin of Action Sportswear and the site
providers Anthony and Chrystal Douglas of A&C Enterprises teamed up at Texas
Motor Speedway on March 31 to give fans worldwide a taste of UDTRA Pro
DirtCar Series action. They were able to tap into the TMS P.A. system,
while UDTRA Announcer Roby Helm delivered a five-hour radio-style commentary
of the action on the track.
"The webcast was a last minute thing that we put together, just to see how
it all worked, and to see how responsive the fans would be to it," Helm
said. "We were sitting around during the rain delay on March 28 when it was
first brought up. Chrystal Douglas said A&C had the technology to provide
the webcast, and Norman Martin at Action approved it. That set the wheels
in motion."
According to UDTRA officials, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and
further webcasts on are being looked into.
"The Texas webcast was not promoted in advance because it was a test to see
how it would work, how it sounded, and how the fans that heard it
responded," Helm said. "We started the webcast at 6:30 p.m. with hot laps,
and took the fans listening right on through qualifying, heat races,
consolation races, the main event, and the winners circle interview with
Jimmy Mars. We only had 100 streams, and by heat race time, they werefilled.
"A lot of fans didn't get to hear the entire webcast, and some didn't get on
at all because of the heavy traffic, but we are working towards correcting
that," Helm said. "Through the years with UDTRA expanding its schedule
geographically, we understand our loyal fans in the Southeast can't always
travel to our shows in the Midwest and vice-versa. UDTRA sees the future of
the webcast as a tool to bring the series action to all of its fans nation
and world wide on the Internet."
Helm said putting on a webcast is not as simple as plugging in and turning
on a microphone. It takes personnel and technical support, things that have
to be worked out in advance.
"A webcast is a lot like a television or radio production, but on a smaller
scale, both personnel and expense-wise," Helm said. "Right now, we are in
search of a title sponsor that can pick up the cost of our television
package. We do have some television packages from several networks on the
table, but they don't come cheap, and we need a title sponsor to underwriteit.
"Negotiations with potential title sponsors are ongoing, but while this is
happening, we're looking at going forward with the webcasts," Helm said.
"We have the personnel and technical equipment, but we have to find the
facilities with the proper amount of phone lines to finish the job.
"A lot of tracks we go to have one phone line, and I know of one track we go
to that does not even have a phone line going into the track. Texas was an
easy deal because the technical personnel were from Dallas, and TMS has more
phone lines in the press box than most tracks have bathrooms," Helm said.
"We are also looking at ways to underwrite the expenses of travel for the
technical personnel, additional technical support, additional audio streams
The Gallery page on the Official UDTRA web site, has been
updated to include some spectacular digital images by David Allio from the
UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series visit to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX on
March 31. The Gallery is accessible from the site's home page.
UDTRA officials have announced they will soon be launching a new page on
its web site, concerning all of the latest news, information
and photos for the 2nd Annual Battle of Bristol Presented By Free Service
Tire and Advance Auto Parts at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN on May
31-June 2.
The countdown for this event has begun, and soon, BMS officials will begin
the process of hauling in red clay to cover the .533-mile concrete oval.
Last year, over 45,000 fans made this event won by Dale McDowell the largest
attended dirt late model race in history. The new web site page will
highlight the new revamped schedule, and all of latest news leading up to
the event.

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