posted April 30, 2003 12:02 AM
April 29, 2003
NEW TUNICA, MS TRACK PUTS XTREME DRIVERS ON LEVEL GROUND
MOORESVILLE, NC - The Xtreme DirtCar Series will visit a brand new
this Saturday night for the 75-lap $15,000-to-win Thunder In The Delta
Delta Bowl Speedway in Tunica, MS in front of the SPEED Channel cameras.
The top drivers in the country will all be on level ground, as none of
have yet to turn a lap on the track that was finished only a week ago.
The drivers will not be able to rely on past experience, or notes from
races. They won't be able to ask a fellow competitor what's it like out
there because none of them have been on the track. The teams will make
educated guess on what they will need, and hope they loaded the right
in the team transporters.
One thing the Xtreme DirtCar Series drivers are is the best in the
business. They've all been in this situation at least once before in
respective careers. Being the best makes them adaptable. They will
three-hour practice session on Friday night, a brief hot lap session
Saturday night, and then it's time to test what they've learned.
The most consistent driver in the first six races of the XDCS 2003
is point leader Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI. Mars is the only driver
has finished in the top ten in all six events so far this season. Mars
the second race of the season in Tampa, FL, and has three top five
and one fast time.
Just 17 points behind Mars is the second-place driver in points, Earl
Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL. Pearson is trying to recover from two
straight finishes outside the top ten in races five and six, after
the fourth race of the season in Gaffney, SC. So far this season,
has posted four top ten, and two top five finishes.
Steve Francis of Ashland, KY is still looking for his first win of the
season, but four top five finishes in the first six races has him third
points, and only 36 points behind Mars. The defending and two-time XDCS
Champion Rick Eckert of York, PA is fourth in points, 38 points behind
Eckert got off to a quick start at the beginning of the season, winning
of the first three races. Since then, Eckert has not posted a top ten
finish, and his only top ten finishes of the season were his two wins in
Tampa, FL. Eckert will be trying to reach a milestone this Saturday
at Delta Bowl Speedway.
If Eckert can pick up the $15,000 winner's check, along with his
champion awards, Eckert will go over the $1-Million mark in XDCS career
earnings. The bulk of Eckert's earnings have come during the past four
seasons, and before the season is over, he will become the driver that
reached the XDCS Millionaire's Club in the least amount of time.
The first three members of the XDCS Millionaire's Club are four-time
champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN, Wendell Wallace of
AR, and 1999 XDCS Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA.
Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA is off to a quick start in the XDCS
chase, and is looking for the series title to go with his World 100 win
season. Birkhofer is fifth in points, and is within 26 points of Eckert.
Birkhofer is looking for his first win of the season, but he has two top
fives, three top tens, and one fast time honor.
Bloomquist will roll into Delta Bowl Speedway on a hot streak, as he
searches for his fifth title. The driver that owns the most XDCS career
wins at 90 - three times more than the next driver in line - got off to
slow start in the 2003 XDCS season, and even failed to transfer into one
the first three events in Tampa, FL.
But since putting the Sunshine State in his rear-view mirror,
has rolled to one win, and three straight top five finishes. Bloomquist
also the XDCS all-time career money winner having earned over $1.6-Million
Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH is seventh in XDCS points with one top five,
three top tens, and one fast time. The 2002 UMP Late Model champion
English of Benton, KY is off to a good start with the XDCS in 2003 and
eighth in points with one top five, and four top tens.
McDowell is now in the top ten in XDCS points. McDowell is fresh off
best finish of the season, a second-place effort last Saturday night in
Chatsworth, GA. That moved McDowell into the ninth spot in XDCS points.
McDowell has two top fives, three top tens.
Among the drivers traveling to Tunica, MS this Saturday night trying to
race their way into the top ten in XDCS points are Dan Schlieper of
Pewaukee, WI, Randle Chupp of Mooresville, NC, Randy Korte of Highland,
and Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year point leader Matt Miller of Waterville,
Lucas Oil will award the top rookie driver at season's end with a $10,000
Schlieper is in the 11th spot in XDCS points, just three points behind
Cook of Brasstown, NC. The top ten is an important place for XDCS
be because each top ten drivers receives $600 in winner's circle money
travel to an event. Korte had two wins last season, and has finished in
top ten in XDCS points for the past two seasons.
Among the other top drivers in the country expected to make the trip to
Tunica, MS are 1996 XDCS Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN, 1997
Champion Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR, Shane Tankersley of Morganton,
Shannon Babb of Decatur, IL, and Jeff Smith of Dallas, NC.
Friday night's schedule will have the pit gate opening at 4 p.m., with
practice and a barbecue from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
On Saturday, the pit gate will open at 2 p.m. and the grandstand gate
at 5 p.m. Tech and registration will be from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.,
the drivers meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled for 6
to be followed by Ringers Gloves Qualifications.
In the first six events of the season, there have been six different
that have earned Ringers Gloves Fast Qualifier Awards. At season's end,
Ringers Gloves will award the driver with the most fast time awards a $5,000
For race day and ticket information call Delta Bowl Speedway at (901)
487-0204, or visit their web site at www.deltabowl.com. Delta Bowl
is located 35 miles south of Memphis, TN. Take U.S. Highway 61 17.5
south of Memphis to Mississippi State Road 3, then turn left and go 17.5
miles south on S.R. 3 to the track.