posted August 10, 2001 10:00 PM
SATURDAY'S IRONMAN 100 COULD BE A PIVOTAL EVENT IN CHAMPIONSHIP RUN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WOODSTOCK, GA - The United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series
returns to Florence Speedway in Union, KY this Saturday night for the
make-date for the Annual $20,000-to-win Ironman 100. The second night of
the two-day show was rained out on July 28, and in the two-week period since
then, the championship battle has taken a different shape.
The winner of the last two Ironman 100s, Steve Francis of Ashland, KY has
closed to within 38 points of UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series point leader Rick
Eckert of York, PA. The defending and four-time UDTRA Champion Scott
Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN is in the third spot in points, and he has
closed the gap on Eckert to 181 points.
The first night of the Ironman 100 was completed on July 27, and the first
16 starting spots were set through the four Borla Performance Heat Races
with the top four finishers transferring to the Ironman 100. Francis earned
the 10th starting spot with a third place finish in the second heat.
Bloomquist won the second heat and starts from the outside of row one.
Eckert is not yet in the show. Eckert finished sixth in the third heat
race, and will start the Polaris ATVs 2nd Consolation Race from the inside
of row two. The top three finishers in each of the two consolation races
transfer to the Ironman 100.
If Eckert wins his consy, he can start no better than 18th. If Eckert fails
to transfer out of the consy, he is the first driver in line for a UDTRA
Provisional starting spot, in which he would start 23rd.
Another point battle involves the fourth position in the UDTRA points chase
among two drivers. One driver is in the Ironman 100, and the other is not.
The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA is in the fourth
spot, just 64 points ahead of Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR. McDowell
finished seventh in the second heat, which will put him on the outside of
the third row in the Renegade Transporters 1st Consolation Race.
If McDowell fails to finish in the top three of that event, he will be the
second driver eligible for a provisional. Wallace finished fourth in the
fourth heat race, and will start the Ironman 100 from the 16th starting
Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI is sixth in points, and he finished fourth
the second heat race and will start the Ironman 100 from the 14th starting
position. Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC is seventh in points, and he finished
third in the fourth heat for a 12th starting spot in the Ironman 100.
The eighth place driver on the UDTRA points list, Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound,
WI is on the outside looking in going into Saturday night. Mars finished
sixth in the second heat, and will start the first consy from the outside
The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN is in the Ironman
with a second-place finish in the second heat for an eighth starting spot
the big show. The UDTRA Rookie of the Year point leader and tenth overall
in points, Joe Izzo of Chicago, IL, will start the first consy from the
inside of row six. Izzo is out of provisionals having used up his allotment
Randy Korte of Highland, IL could close in on Izzo for a top ten position
the UDTRA points chase. Korte finished fifth in the second heat, and will
start the first consy from the outside of the front row. Korte is eleventh
on the points list and trails Izzo by 155 points.
Mike Jewell of Scottsburg, IN won the first heat and will start the Ironman
100 beside Bloomquist from the pole position. Local favorite Darrell
Lanigan of Union, KY won the third heat and starts the Ironman 100 from
inside of row two. John Gill of Mitchell, IN won the fourth heat, and will
start along side Lanigan in the second row.
The second place finishers in the first two heat races make up row three.
Fast qualifier Jerry Rice of Verona, KY will be on the inside, with Bob
Pierce of Oakwood, IL on the outside. Skip Arp of Georgetown, TN will join
Smith in row four, starting on the inside after a second place finish in
third heat race.
Defending Florence Speedway Champion Steve Landrum of Erlanger, KY took
third spot in the first heat, and starts the Ironman 100 from the inside
row five along side Francis. Barry Bragdon of Wheelersburg, OH will start
the Ironman 100 on the inside of row six along side Cook after finishing
third in the third heat race.
Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN finished fourth in the first heat race,
he starts the big show next to Schlieper on the inside of row seven.
Another local favorite, Jesse James Lay of Walton, KY will start the main
event from the inside of row eight next to Wallace. Lay finished fourth
the third heat race.
Among other UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series top 20 drivers that have yet to make
the Ironman 100 starting field are the 1997 UDTRA Champion Billy Moyer of
Batesville, AR, Rick Aukland of Zanesville, OH, Brian Birkhofer of
Muscatine, IA, and Shannon Babb of Decatur, IL
On Saturday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m. and the grandstand gate opens
p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for 6 p.m. For ticket information call Florence
Speedway at (859) 493-0034, or visit the Florence Speedway web site at www.florencespeedway.com. Florence Speedway is located 9 miles south of
I-75 on U.S. Highway 42.
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.
"SWEET 16" STARTING LINE-UP FOR THE IRONMAN 100 (Car #, Driver, Hometown,
Sponsor Chassis/Engine Car Make):
9j - Mike Jewell, Scottsburg, IN, Southern Indiana Rock Drilling
Mastersbilt/Cornett Grand Prix
0 - Scott Bloomquist, Mooresburg, TN, Miller Brothers Coal Warrior/Custom
29 - Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY, Lanigan Motorsports Rocket/Cornett Mustang
75 - John Gill, Mitchell, IN, Elrod Grain Service Rocket/Race Tech Grand
1b - Jerry Rice, Verona, KY, Brooks Electric Rocket/Draime Monte Carlo
32 - Bob Pierce, Oakwood, IL, Murphy Trucking Rayburn/Pro Power Monte Carlo
31 - Skip Arp, Georgetown, TN, Curtis Equipment GRT/Cornett Mustang
00 - Freddy Smith, Knoxville, TN, Christenberry Trucking and Farms
GRT/Custom Monte Carlo
18 - Steve Landrum, Erlanger, KY, Rocket Chassis Rocket/Custom Grand Prix
15 - Steve Francis, Ashland, KY, Valvoline/Mopar Performance Rocket/Stanton
77 - Barry Bragdon, Wheelersburg, OH, Finishing Touch Painting Rocket/T&H
53 - Ray Cook, Brasstown, NC, English Mountain Spring Water GRT/Cornett
71o - Don O'Neal, Martinsville, IN, Ware Funeral Home Rocket/Cropper Monte
s9 - Dan Schlieper, Pewaukee, WI, Performance Roofing Systems Rayburn/Pro
Power Monte Carlo
33 - Jesse James Lay, Walton, KY, Cox Outdoor Advertising Rocket/Dargie
6m - Wendell Wallace, Batesville, AR, JFR Graphics/Monday Motorsports
GRT/Russell Baker Grand Prix
CONSOLATION RACE LINE-UPS:
RENEGADE TRANSPORTERS 1ST CONSY:
1 Rick Aukland - 00k Randy Korte
18 Shannon Babb - 28m Jimmy Mars
83 Scott James - 17m Dale McDowell
7 Brandon Green - 19 Jeremy Miller
9n Ted Nobbe - 99 Johnny Johnson
166 Joe Izzo - 71w Thomas Ware
11 **** Phillips - 21h Robert Hensley
1j John Holt - 10 Audie McWilliams
15b Brian Birkhofer
POLARIS ATVs 2ND CONSY:
21 Billy Moyer - 72 John Mason
24 Rick Eckert - 9c Rick Corbin
a1 Duke Whiseant - 7c Jim Curry
01 Tony Traficant - 18k Brandon Kinzer
53h Stanley Haddix - 28x Mike McWilliams
23 Bubby James - 55 Jeff Raisor
28r Bill Reed - 15e Gary Engle
28c Chuckie May - 5u Dan Hoard