posted February 01, 2003 01:39 PM
2003 XTREME DIRT CAR SERIES SEASON BEGINS WITH THREE EAST BAY EVENTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MOORESVILLE, NC - The Xtreme DirtCar Series begins the 2003 season with
three events next week at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL as a part of
the 27th Annual East Bay Winternationals. The first event will be a
$5,000-to-win race on Tuesday night, followed by a $7,000-to-win event on
Thursday night, and the third race will be on Saturday night, paying
This will mark the sixth straight year the Xtreme DirtCar Series has
participated in the East Bay Winternationals along with the Ohio-based
Renegade DirtCar Series, who will be in action on Monday, Wednesday, and
Friday nights. This combination will bring an expected car count of over
competitors that reads like a "Who's Who" in dirt late model racing.
"The East Bay Winternationals is one of the premier events in all of dirt
late model racing, and we're proud to be a part of it," Xtreme DirtCar
Series President Doug Bland said. "The three nights of racing at East Bay
will set the table for the 2003 season, and with the best drivers in the
nation being attracted to this event, it's a true test of man and machine
a tough 1/3-mile clay oval."
SPEED Channel will tape the Thursday night and Saturday night events for
airing later this spring. The complete Xtreme DirtCar Series television
schedule on SPEED Channel will be announced in the coming weeks.
Among those competitors will be Winston Cup star Ken Schrader of Fenton,
MO, who will compete at East Bay Raceway Park on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Schrader is no stranger to dirt late model racing, having competed in years
past with the Xtreme DirtCar Series. Schrader also owns a dirt track in
Defending and two-time Xtreme DirtCar Series Champion Rick Eckert of York,
PA will unload his Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett Taurus at East Bay Raceway Park
to begin his quest for an unprecedented third straight XDCS title. Eckert
has one XDCS win at East Bay in 2000.
The 1999 XDCS Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA will be looking to
improve on his series runner-up status from last season in quest of his
second XDCS championship driving the Larry Shaw Race Cars Rocket by
Shaw/Custom Grand Prix.
Steve Francis of Ashland, KY will begin his second straight season driving
the Rocket "house car" after driving the Valvoline/Mopar Parts
Rocket/Stanton Intrepid to a third-place finish in XDCS points last season.
The Kentucky Colonel has finished in the top five in XDCS points in the last
four seasons, but the championship has eluded him.
Jimmy Mars became a series championship contender last season with an early
season victory last February at EBRP. Mars drove his Jimmy Mars Racing
Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo to a fourth-place finish in the 2002 XDCS
Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL hopes to get off to a quick start in
the 2003 season. A late season rally put Pearson in the fifth spot in the
2002 XDCS points chase driving the Lucas Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford Rocket/Eatmon
The 1996 XDCS Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN will debut a new team
with a new nameplate for XDCS competition at EBRP. The Southern Gentleman
will unload a new Dodge Intrepid with a Gaerte-built Mopar engine bolted
his Warrior chassis. Smith finished sixth in the 2002 XDCS point standings.
Randy Korte of Highland, IL broke into the win column in XDCS competition
last season with two victories, and a seventh-place finish in the point
standings. Korte will return for the 2003 battle driving the
Mid-Continental Fuels Rocket by Shaw/Pro Power Grand Prix.
Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC has been getting ready for the 2003 season by
doing some testing this winter with Winston Cup star Bill Elliott. The Tar
Heel Tiger will take to EBRP in the Youngblood Concrete Mastersbilt/Cornett
Taurus looking for his ninth-straight top ten points finish in XDCS
competition. Cook finished eighth in XDCS points last season.
Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, TN begins his sophomore season of XDCS
competition as the reigning Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year. Ogle, who
finished ninth in points last season, returns in the Calhoun's Restaurant
GRT/Clements Monte Carlo.
Last season's Lucas Oil RoY runner-up Shane Tankersley of Morganton, GA will
also return for his second season of XDCS competition driving the Tankersley
Motorsports Rocket/Race Tech Grand Prix. Tankersley is still recovering
from off-season non-racing related injuries with two broken heals.
Two drivers have announced their candidacies for the 2003 $10,000 Lucas Oil
Rookie of the Year Award. Matt Miller of Waterville, OH will compete in
McCullough Motorsports/LoTemp Racing Rocket/Russell Baker Grand Prix.
Miller has one career XDCS victory coming in 2001.
Troy Kuyoth of Stratford, WI will compete for the Lucas Oil RoY honors
driving the Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket/Pro Power Grand Prix. Kuyoth won
the WISSOTA Modified Championship in 1999, and won the late model
championship last season at MHR Speedway in Unity, WI.
Four-time XDCS Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresville, TN will start the
season looking for his fifth championship driving the Miller Brothers Coal
Warrior/Custom Taurus. Bloomquist is the all-time winningest driver in XDCS
history with 89 victories, and over $1.5-million in XDCS career earnings.
Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR will return to XDCS competition this
season with a new look to his GRT Race Cars team. His number changes from
6m to 88 in honor of his late father Hootie, and Wallace also changes from
Pontiac Grand Prix to a Ford Taurus with a Keith Craft-built engine.
Among the Renegade series top entrants will be the three-time Champion Chub
Frank of Sugar Grove, PA. Frank has several XDCS wins on his resume driving
the Corry Rubber Rocket/Draime Monte Carlo, including last year's $55,000
victory in the XDCS Hardee's Shootout at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA.
Parkersburg, WV drivers Mike Balzano and Steve Shaver will be two other
Renegade stars competing with the XDCS at East Bay. Shaver is a two-time
XDCS East Bay Winternationals Champion, and he will be debuting a new team
at this year's edition.
The defending and two-time XDCS East Bay Winternationals Champion Don O'Neal
of Martinsville, IN will return to try and continue his domination of EBRP
late model competition. O'Neal won four of six events last year at the
Winternationals driving the Petroff Towing Rayburn/Rayburn Monte Carlo.
Skip Arp of Georgetown, TN won the Winternationals in 1998, and returns
after a strong second-place finish in the XDCS Hardee's Shootout last
October. Arp will drive the Charter Communications GRT/Gaerte Grand Prix.
The 1997 XDCS Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR has a pair of EBRP
wins, including one last year. Moyer will be at the controls of the Hawkeye
Trucking/McCarthy Heating and Air Rayburn/Clements Taurus. Moyer will be
joined by his teammate Shannon Babb of Decatur, IL, who is still looking
his first career XDCS win.
Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI also has an EBRP win in XDCS competition.
Schlieper's win was spectacular, as his Pro Power Racing Engines Rayburn/Pro
Power Monte Carlo suffered a broken steering column early in the race, and
Schlieper had to man-handle the car to the winner's circle.
Other top entries expected include Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA, Donnie
Moran of Dresden, OH, Randle Chupp of Mooresville, NC, Rick Aukland of
Zanesville, OH, along with local favorites Keith Nosbisch of Valrico, FL,
and Bobby Alexander Jr. of Tampa, FL.
For ticket information and a schedule of events for the East Bay
Winternationals, visit the EBRP web site at www.eastbayracewaypark.com.