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Dirt Administrator

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posted August 08, 2001 10:58 AM UIN: 16262997


PECATONICA, IL - The big half-mile dirt track at the Winnebago County
Speedway will play host for the first time on Wednesday night to the UDTRA
Pro DirtCar Series for a 50-lap$10,000-to-win main event. As the series
draws deep into the second half of its 2001 season, the battle for the
championship is beginning to take shape.

Going to the Pecatonica race, UDTRA point leader Rick Eckert of York, PA
beginning to feel some heat, and it isn't just the record high temperatures
in the Midwest.

Steve Francis of Ashland, KY has the closed the gap on Eckert to just 95
points, and the third place driver in the points chase, the defending and
four-time UDTRA Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN has closed to
within 250 points of Eckert.

The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA is fourth in UDTRA
points, and is fresh off his first win of the season on Saturday night at
the USA Nationals in New Richmond, WI. McDowell is over 600 points out
first place, but with 13 races left in the season, he is still within
striking distance.

Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR is fifth in points, and is just 68 points
behind McDowell. Wallace is racing hard to keep his unprecedented streak
alive of being the only driver to finish in the top five of the UDTRA point
standings for the past five years. Wallace is also closing in on the
$1-Million mark in UDTRA career earnings.

Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI is sixth in points, 120 points behind Wallace.
Much of Schlieper's success with UDTRA has come on the big Midwestern tracks
like Winnebago County Speedway. Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI is eighth in
UDTRA points followed by Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC and the 1996 UDTRA
Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN.

Joe Izzo of Chicago, IL is tenth overall in UDTRA points and leads the 2001
UDTRA Rookie of the Year point standings. Izzo is trying to become the
first rookie since Schlieper in 1998 to finish in the top ten of the UDTRA
Championship points. Izzo leads a host of Illinois drivers that have had
top five finishes in UDTRA, but are still looking for that first win.

Another Illinois driver that is hoping to find some magic in his home state
is Shannon Babb of Decatur. Babb has had strong finishes, and led many
UDTRA events during the past three seasons, but has yet to post his first
UDTRA career win. The Babbster is fresh off a second-place finish in the
USA Nationals.

Randy Korte of Highland, IL is eleventh in UDTRA points and hopes a stop
a track in his home state will prove successful. The 1999 UDTRA Rookie
the Year Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, IL could be another driver to
watch in his own backyard, as he has proven this season he is ready to visit
the UDTRA winner's circle.

Other front runners expected for the Wednesday night event are 1997 UDTRA
Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR, Steve Boley of West Liberty, IA,
Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA, and Gary Webb of Bluegrass, IA.

Along with the UDTRA Pro DirtCars, the Winnebago County Speedway Open-Wheel
Modifieds will also be in action on Wednesday night. The pit gate opens
3 p.m., with the grandstand gate opening at 4 p.m.

Hot laps are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. followed by UDTRA Qualifications, Borla
Performance Heat Races, the Renegade Transporters and Polaris ATVs
Consolation Races, and the 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event.

For race day and ticket information call (815) 239-1641. Winnebago County
Speedway is located one-mile north of U.S. Highway 20 on Pecatonica Road,
then west on 1st Street at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds.

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