posted July 03, 2001 06:44 PM
UDTRA MIDWEST TOUR READY FOR THE BUCKEYE BLITZ
ZANESVILLE, OH - The United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar
Series competitors begin the final week of the 3rd Annual Midwest Tour with
the Buckeye Blitz featuring three events in Ohio. The first race will be
Tuesday night with a 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event at Muskingum County
Speedway in Zanesville.
Rick Eckert of York, PA leads Steve Francis of Ashland, OH in the UDTRA
point standings by 141 points. The defending and four-time UDTRA Champion
Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN hopes to keep his June momentum going
Bloomquist is third in the points chase and won five of eight UDTRA Pro
DirtCar Series events in June to close to within 281 points of Eckert.
Just 168 points separate the battle for fourth through ninth spots in the
UDTRA point standings. The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville,
GA is fourth with 3,289 points and 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of
Knoxville, TN is ninth with 3,121 points.
In between are some of the nation's top dirt late model drivers in the
country. Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI is fifth, just eight points behind
McDowell, and Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR is sixth, 15 points behind
Schlieper. Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI is seventh, 74 points behind
Wallace, and Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC is eighth, 12 behind Mars and 59
points ahead of Smith.
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will be making its first visit ever to the
4/10-mile Muskingum County Speedway tonight, and some of the UDTRA drivers
visited the track on Monday for a press luncheon.
"I've raced here before, and they have done a lot of work here to improve
the track to make it better for both the fans and competitors," Eckert said.
"The fans here are very enthusiastic, and I think they will have some great
racing to cheer about Tuesday night. They are working this track, putting
lot of water on it, and I hope we have good race for the fans."
Ronnie Moran, father of driver Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH, promotes the
track. The son Moran is fresh off the biggest win of his career, The Eldora
Million. Moran has been running a limited UDTRA schedule this season, as
his wife Brenda was expecting the couple's fifth child during the first
of the season.
The biggest week of Donnie Moran's life took place a couple of weeks ago
when he became "The Million Dollar Man" and just a few days after that,
Brenda gave birth to the couple's first daughter. Moran is looking forward
to capping off an eventful last couple of weeks with a win at a track that
is literally and figuratively right in his own back yard.
"I won't have a lot of miles to travel this Tuesday because I can just about
drive the race car out of my shop and on to the race track," Moran said.
'd like to do well in front of the hometown fans against the best in the
nation. I've run twice here this season. I finished 11th in one, and I
Another Zanesville driver with a helmet full of UDTRA experience is Rick
Aukland, who moved to the area a few years ago from Fargo, ND where he was
known as "The Badlands Bandit". A win at his newly adopted home track
could rename Aukland "The Buckeye Bandit".
Other expected UDTRA drivers expected tonight are UDTRA Rookie of the Year
point leader Joe Izzo of LaSalle, IL, Randy Korte of Highland, IL, Steve
Boley of West Liberty, IA, Davey Johnson of Greensburg, PA, and Steve Shaver
of Parkersburg, WV. Two drivers from the Ohio-based STARS Series that also
have UDTRA wins this season also expected are Chub Frank of Sugar Grove,
and Mike Balzano of Parkersburg, WV.
The pit gate at Muskingum County Speedway opens Tuesday at 3 p.m., with
grandstand gate opening at 4 p.m. UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series hot laps are
scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to be followed by time trials, Borla Performance
Heat Races, the Renegade Transporters and Polaris ATVs Consolation Races,
and the 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event.
The Muskingum County Speedway Outlaw Street Stocks will also be in action
tonight, and there will also be a huge fireworks display to begin the July
4th holiday. For race day and ticket information call (740) 754-9199.
track is located 10 miles north of I-70 on U.S. Highway 60.
On Thursday and Friday nights, the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will travel
Raceway 7 in Conneaut, OH for a 100-lap $20,000-to-win main event, and the
Buckeye Blitz will conclude on Saturday night with a 50-lap $10,000-to-win
main event at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, OH.