posted June 15, 2001 05:49 PM
UDTRA MIDWEST TOUR BEGINS TUESDAY IN DAVENPORT, IA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WOODSTOCK, GA - The United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series
begins it's 3rd Annual Midwest Tour this Tuesday night with a 50-lap
$10,000-to-win show at Davenport Speedway in Davenport, IA.
The Davenport event begins an eight-race tour through Iowa, Wisconsin,
Indiana and Ohio over a 20-day period.
The Tuesday night Davenport show is one that UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series point
leader Rick Eckert of York, PA is looking forward to. Eckert has become
"Mr. Tuesday" this season on the tour with two of his three wins this season
having come on Tuesday night in West Liberty, IA and Lincoln, NE.
Eckert will also be trying to climb out of a slight slump that has occurred
during the last three UDTRA events in Bristol, TN. Before the Battle of
Bristol, Eckert held a 218-point lead over Steve Francis of Ashland, KY
the UDTRA points chase with nine straight top five finishes. After three
races in Bristol, TN, Eckert had two tenth-place efforts and a 13th-place
"We had a new car and a new motor for Bristol, and we discovered we had
some ignition problems, so we never really got the car dialed in like we
wanted to," Eckert said. "We've got an easy fix to the problem for
Davenport because we're leaving that car home, and bringing the car we won
with at West Liberty and Eagle to Davenport."
Eckert said that car is one they had built in 1999, and they even crashed
it at the UDTRA Pro DirtCar season opener in Brunswick, GA on February 3.
"That car has been a good car for us," Eckert said. "Even after we wrecked
it in Brunswick back in February, we fixed it and it got even better."
Francis is another driver that is looking forward to another visit to the
black dirt of Davenport Speedway. Francis has closed the gap on Eckert
139 points, and has 18 top ten finishes in the first 20 UDTRA events of
season. Francis has yet to pick up a victory this season, but had a strong
second-place finish in the Battle of Bristol finale on June 2.
At this point last season, Francis was still looking for his first win
the season. It finally came at Davenport Speedway, and he vaulted himself
to championship contender status, led the points for most of the summer,
was defeated for the title in the last race of the season at the UDTRA
Shootout at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA.
The defending and four-time UDTRA Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN is
fresh off a successful Battle of Bristol winning two of three events, and
sits third in the points chase. Like Eckert, Bloomquist also has three
The 1997 UDTRA Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR is fourth in the UDTRA
points battle, and has established himself as a title contender once again.
Moyer has one win this season, and is coming off a strong third-place effort
at Bristol where he led many laps.
Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR continues to do what he has done for the
past five seasons of UDTRA competition, and that is establish himself in
top five of the UDTRA point standings. Wallace has two UDTRA victories
under his belt this season and is fifth in the point standings, just 34
points behind Moyer.
Moyer and Wallace will be racing hard to stay in the top five of the UDTRA
point standings. Going into Davenport, point positions fourth through tenth
are separated by just 135 points.
The 1998 UDTRA Davenport winner Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI is sixth in
points, just six points out of the top five. Schlieper started in the 12th
and final row at the Battle of Bristol and charged his way up to a
seventh-place finish in the 60-lap main event. Schlieper is still looking
for his first win of the 2001 season, and Davenport was the site of his
first career UDTRA victory.
The 1999 UDTRA Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA used a couple of Bristol,
top five finishes to move up to the seventh spot in the points chase, 17
points behind Schlieper. McDowell is another driver looking for his first
win of the season after 10 top ten finishes in 20 events.
Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI picked up a win in Bristol, TN, and is eighth
points, 13 points behind McDowell. Mars has two high-profile wins this
season, with both victories coming at Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facilities
in Fort Worth, TX and Bristol, TN
The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN is ninth in points
having a pair second-place finishes in Bristol. Smith has three top five
and four top ten finishes in his last five UDTRA events, and is 15 points
behind Mars. Among all of that, Smith also won his second Show Me 100 in
West Plains, MO.
Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC is tenth in points, 30 points behind Smith. While
most of his competitors have been on Hoosier Racing Tires, Cook switched
over to American Race Tires for the 2001 season, and has had some success
with two top fives, eight top tens, and one fast time.
Other top UDTRA entries expected for the 50-lap $10,000-to-win Davenport,
Midwest Tour opener include 1999 Davenport winner Rick Aukland of
Zanesville, OH, local favorites Steve Boley of West Liberty, IA, Brian
Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA and Gary Webb of Bluegrass, IA, UDTRA Rookie
the Year point leader Joe Izzo of LaSalle, IL, Shannon Babb of Decatur,
and Randy Korte of Highland, IL.
On Tuesday at Davenport, the pit gate opens at 1 p.m., and the grandstand
gate opens at 4:30 p.m. UDTRA hot laps are set for 5 p.m. and followed
time trials, Borla Performance Heat Races, the Renegade Transporter and
Polaris ATV Consolation Races, and the 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event.
The Davenport, IA Days Inn North is the UDTRA Official Host Hotel for the
Davenport Speedway race. The Davenport North Days Inn will be offering
UDTRA fans and competitors a special discount rate of $59 per night. The
Days Inn features an indoor pool and jacuzzi, along with an exercise room
The Days Inn is located at exit 295a on I-80. To make reservations call
E-Accommodations+ at 1-888-212-2712, or visit their web site at www.racinghotels.com.
For ticket and race day information call Davenport Speedway at (319)
326-5338. Davenport Speedway is located three miles east of I-280 at exit
on Locust St.