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posted July 26, 2001 10:58 PM UIN: 16262997


UNION, KY - The United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series
travels to Florence Speedway in Union, KY this Friday and Saturday night
the Annual $20,000-to-win Ironman 100. In addition to battling for the
UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series title, Steve Francis of Ashland, KY will be trying
for his third straight Ironman victory.

Francis will enter the two-day show, Round 33 of the 2001 UDTRA Pro DirtCar
Series season, 99 points behind Rick Eckert of York, PA. Francis has not
been this close to Eckert in the points chase since early in the season.
The biggest point lead for Eckert came after winning in Eagle, NE at Round
17 on May 22 when he pulled out to a 218-point lead on Francis.

There are two other drivers trying to make a move into the championship
hunt. One is getting close and another one is making a move up the list.

The defending and four-time UDTRA Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg,
TN is third in the UDTRA point standings, and is fresh off his seventh win
of the season on Sunday night in Rome, GA. Bloomquist is 272 points behind
Eckert, and that's as close as he's been all season to the top of the list.
Bloomquist won the North-South 100 at Florence Speedway last season.

Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR has moved up to fourth in the UDTRA points
chase. Wallace, who is the only driver to have finished in the top five
the UDTRA point standings during the last five seasons, is over 600 points
behind Eckert, but there is still a long way to go in the season.

The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA is fifth in the point
standings, just nine points behind Wallace. After the last two UDTRA races,
McDowell could just as well have been fourth and closing on Bloomquist for

On Saturday night at Dixie Speedway, McDowell was leading the race, but
involved in a tangle with Bobby Turner of Cumming, GA. McDowell went to
back of the pack for the restart, and Turner went on to win the race.
McDowell was leading on Sunday in Rome, GA only to cut down a tire, giving
Bloomquist the win.

McDowell has showed the strength to win his first of the season, and if
can just get a little luck on his side, he might be wearing the gold hard
hat and carrying the gold sledge hammer that goes to the Ironman 100 winner.

Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI would love to get revenge on Florence
Speedway. It was at this track in 1999 that Schlieper broke his neck in
off-track ATV accident. Schlieper, who is currently sixth in the UDTRA
points, missed the rest of that season recovering from the injury.

Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC has moved up to seventh in the point's chase,
like McDowell, he is also looking for his first UDTRA win of the season.
Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI has two wins on the season, but a DNF at Rome
Sunday dropped him to eighth in the point standings.

Mars had a strong run going on Sunday, and it was initially reported his
had a broken J-Bar. After further inspection of the car, it was found that
the J-Bar manufactured by Wehrs Machine stayed together, but the bracket
was attached to was broken.

The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN won the season opener
back in February, and he is currently ninth in points. The UDTRA Rookie
the Year point leader Joe Izzo of Chicago, IL is tenth overall in the point
standings. Izzo had his best finish of the season Saturday night with a
fifth-place finish in Woodstock, GA.

Other top UDTRA entries expected for the Ironman 100 include Randy Korte
Highland, IL, and Steve Boley of West Liberty, IA. Darrell Lanigan of
Union, KY is expected to make the half-mile journey from his shop to
Florence Speedway. Lanigan posted a third-place finish in the UDTRA event
in North Vernon, IN on June 30.

Along with the UDTRA Pro DirtCars, the Florence Speedway Modifieds and Dirt
Stocks will also be in action this Friday and Saturday night. Both days,
the pit gate opens at 3 p.m. and the grandstand gate opens at 5 p.m. Hot
laps are scheduled for 6 p.m. each night.

On Friday night, the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will have Qualifications,
the Borla Performance Heat Races. On Saturday, there will be a UDTRA Pro
DirtCar Series Driver's Autograph Session on Souvenir Row at 5 p.m. The
UDTRA Pro DirtCars will compete in the Renegade Transporters and Polaris
ATVs Consolation Races, and the $20,000-to-win Ironman 100.

The Comfort Inn in Erlanger, KY will be the Official Host Hotel for the
UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series event at Florence Speedway. The Comfort Inn is
located off I-75 at exit 184, just minutes from Florence Speedway.

The Comfort Inn will be offering UDTRA fans and competitors a special
discount rate of $55 per night. The Comfort Inn features newly renovated
rooms, outdoor pool, complementary Continental Breakfast, and ample truck
parking. To make reservations call (859) 727-3400 and be sure to ask for
the special UDTRA discount rate.

For ticket information call Florence Speedway at (859) 493-0034, or visit
the Florence Speedway web site at Florence
Speedway is located 9 miles south of I-75 on U.S. Highway 42.

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