posted August 30, 2001 07:22 AM
STRETCH DRIVE FOR THE 2001 UDTRA CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS THIS WEEKEND
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
KNOXVILLE, TN - The stretch drive for the 2001 United Dirt Track Racing
Association Pro DirtCar Series begins this weekend with a pair of events
Atomic Motor Speedway. There will be a 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event
Friday night, followed by a 100-lap $20,000-to-win two-day show on Saturday
and Sunday night.
With nine events left on the 2001 UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series schedule, just
123 points separate the top three drivers in the point standings. Steve
Francis of Ashland, KY leads Rick Eckert of York, PA by only seven points,
and the defending and four-time UDTRA Champion Scott Bloomquist of
Mooresburg, TN is in third spot, 123 points behind Francis.
There is not one or two UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series drivers that can lay claim
to having an edge at The World's Fastest 1/3-mile high-banked clay oval
Atomic Motor Speedway. The top seven drivers in the current UDTRA point
standings have all posted victories at Atomic during their driving careers.
Francis will be making his first UDTRA start since the sudden passing of
brother and crew chief Chris Francis on August 20. It was in the last UDTRA
event that the Francis brothers were together on August 11 that they took
over the point lead from Eckert.
Although Francis has only one UDTRA win this season, it has been his
consistency that has put him on the top of the UDTRA points list with 33
ten finishes in 36 starts.
Eckert will roll into Atomic with five UDTRA victories this season. Eckert
has led the UDTRA points chase for most of the season, and is still very
much in the hunt. Bloomquist leads the UDTRA win category this season with
nine victories and over $221,000 in season earnings. A slow start at the
beginning of the year has put him behind Francis and Eckert.
Bloomquist is quickly catching up, as he has won the last two UDTRA events,
plus he also grabbed the unsanctioned Topless 100 win on August 18 in
The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA is fourth in UDTRA
points, and has one win, and several strong finishes this season. McDowell
could play a spoiler role in the championship hunt, as his new team for
2001 season has come up to full strength.
Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR is fifth in the point standings with three
UDTRA wins this season. Wallace always runs well at Atomic Motor Speedway,
as does the sixth-place driver Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI, who has one
win this season.
Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC is seventh in the points chase, and is still
looking for his first win of the season. He has a UDTRA career win at
Atomic Motor Speedway, so it could be a good place for the Tarheel Tiger
put one in the 2001 win column.
Other top UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series regulars expected for the Labor Day Late
Model Rumble at Atomic Motor Speedway include Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI,
1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN, UDTRA Rookie of the Year
point leader Joe Izzo of Chicago, IL, Randy Korte of Highland, IL, and Brian
Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA.
The UDTRA regulars always get some tough competition at Atomic Motor
Speedway from East Tennessee favorites Scott Sexton of Pigeon Forge, Patrick
Duggan of Lenoir City, Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Mark Vineyard of Powell,
Mark Martin of Baxter, and Tommy Kerr of Rockford.
Each night, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., with the grandstand gate opening
at 5 p.m., and hot laps are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Friday night's program
will consist of UDTRA qualifying, heat races, consolation races, and the
50-lap main event.
The Saturday night program will see the UDTRA Pro DirtCars compete in
qualifying and Borla Performance Heat Races to set the front of the field
for Sunday's 100-lap main event. On Sunday there will be a UDTRA Driver's
Autograph Session on Souvenir Row from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday's program will feature the Renegade Transporters and Polaris ATVs
Consolation Races, and the 100-lap main event. The Atomic Motor Speedway
Steel-Head Late Models will be in action on all three nights.
For race day and ticket information call (865) 986-3589, or visit the Atomic
Motor Speedway web site at www.atomicmotorspeedway.com. Atomic Motor
Speedway is located west of Knoxville, just north of I-40 at exit 364.