Visit The Dirt Forum for More Information

Author Topic:   FRANCIS TAKES FIRST UDTRA WIN OF THE SEASON IN WEST VIRGINIA
jammin
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 3279
posted July 16, 2001 09:43 AM UIN: 16262997
FRANCIS TAKES FIRST UDTRA WIN OF THE SEASON IN WEST VIRGINIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PARKERSBURG, WV - Steve Francis of Ashland, KY posted his first United
Dirt
Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series victory of the 2001 by winning
the 50-lap main event on Sunday night at West Virginia Motor Speedway.
Francis took the lead from the defending and four-time UDTRA Champion Scott
Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN on lap 30 and never looked back.

Francis completed the 50 laps in 20 minutes and 37.620 seconds to set a
new
track record with his Valvoline/Mopar Performance Rocket/Stanton Dodge.
"The Kentucky Colonel" also set fast time among the 48 entrants with a lap
around the 5/8-mile clay oval in 22.602 seconds for an average speed of
99.549 miles per hour.

With an early starting time for the event, the track dried out during the
heat race action, but track officials watered the track as the sun set
before the consolation races, which changed the race strategy for Francis.

"When I saw the water going down on the track as the sun went down, I knew
we had a chance to win this thing," Francis said. "We were good on the
bottom groove, but we were even better on the high side."

Just past the halfway point, Francis began to reel in the early race leader
Bloomquist. Francis stepped to the outside and rode the cushion on lap
29,
getting a run on Bloomquist coming off the second turn. Bloomquist slid
up
in front of Francis to hold the lead, but one lap later, Francis got a run
on Bloomquist coming off the fourth turn and made the pass for the lead.

"I didn't see Scott come up on me coming off two until he was already there
because we were carrying the left front wheel in the air," Francis said.
"I
really had to get on the brakes hard, but I tried the move again a lap later
and we got by him coming off four. This is about the same time we got on
a
roll last year, so it feels good to finally win one this year."

Bloomquist had to settle for second in the Miller Brothers Coal Warrior/Pro
Power Mustang, and polesitter Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR took the
third spot in the JFR Graphics/Monday Motorsports GRT/Russell Baker Grand
Prix. The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA finished
fourth in the Larry Shaw Race Cars Larry Shaw/Hatfield Grand Prix.

Steve Shaver of Parkersburg, WV had a good run at his home track with a
fifth place effort in the Simonton Windows/Poske Performance Rocket/Malcuit
Monte Carlo. After starting 13th, Shaver took the JE Pistons Hard Charger
of the Race Award.

Bart Hartman of Zanesville, OH was sixth in the Morehead Auto Parts
GRT/Russell Baker Monte Carlo, and Brian Birkhofer of Muscatine, IA finished
seventh in the Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket/Pro Power Grand Prix. Mark Banal
of St. Clairsville, OH claimed the eighth spot in the A-! Citgo Service
Center Rocket/Malcuit Monte Carlo.

Mike Balzano of Parkersburg, WV took the ninth position in the Eddie's
Auto
Parts Rocket/Russell Baker Monte Carlo, and Dan Schlieper of Pewaukee, WI
rounded out the top ten in the Performance Roofing Systems Rayburn/Pro Power
Monte Carlo. UDTRA point leader Rick Eckert of York, PA finished 11th and
gave up 47 points to Francis in the UDTRA points chase.

Eckert still holds a 165 point lead over Francis, while Bloomquist is in
the third spot, 341 points out of first place.

Bloomquist took the lead at the start of the race from the outside front
row starting spot followed by Wallace, McDowell, Birkhofer and Francis.
On
lap three, Francis worked around Birkhofer for the fourth spot, and two
laps
later began to challenge McDowell for third position. Up front, Bloomquist
looked strong, pulling out to a full straightaway lead over Wallace.

Francis passed McDowell for the third spot on lap 12, and by lap 14, he
was
challenging Wallace for second. Francis continued his march to the front
of
the pack on lap 15 when he stepped to the outside to pass Wallace for
second. It took Francis ten laps to make up a full straightaway deficit
to
Bloomquist, and he was in striking distance of the leader by lap 25.

With Francis digging hard on the cushion on the high side of the track,
Bloomquist was working the inside, and the two drivers diced back and forth
through lapped traffic for three laps before Francis made his outside move
on Bloomquist coming off the fourth turn on lap 30.

By lap 40, Francis had over a half straightaway lead on Bloomquist, and
at
the checkered flag, Francis had checked out to a full straightaway lead.

Wallace won the first eight lap Borla Performance Heat Race, with Bloomquist
winning the second heat. McDowell won the third heat, and Birkhofer picked
up the JE Pistons $100 Bonus Award with a fourth heat race victory.

Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI won the Renegade Transporters first 10-lap
Consolation Race in the Parker Store Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo.
Steve Lucas of Charleston, WV won the Polaris ATVs second 10-lap Consolation
Race driving the Green Valley Bridge Construction Rocket/T&H Grand Prix.

The next three events for the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will be the 3rd
Annual UDTRA Triple Crown on July 20-22 with three 50-lap $10,000-to-win
events. The first jewel will be on July 20 at Atomic Motor Speedway in
Knoxville, TN, with the second jewel on July 21 at Dixie Speedway in
Woodstock, GA. The final jewel will be on July 22 at Rome Speedway in Rome,
GA.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 30 AT WEST VIRGINIA MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN PARKERSBURG,
WV ON 7/15/01:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 5 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge 50 $10,600
2. 2 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN Ford 50 $6,950
3. 1 6m Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR Pont. 50 $3,600
4. 3 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 50 $3,100
5. 13 30 Steve Shaver Parkersburg, WV Chev. 50 $2,000
6. 8 75 Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH Chev. 50 $1,800
7. 4 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. 50 $1,600
8. 7 T8 Mark Banal St. Clairsville, OH Chev. 50 $1,400
9. 10 E1 Mike Balzano Parkersburg, WV Chev. 50 $1,200
10. 9 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI Chev. 50 $1,700
11. 14 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 50 $1,600
12. 17 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 49 $1,550
13. 15 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Chev. 49 $900
14. 11 19 Jeremy Miller Littlestown, PA Pont. 49 $875
15. 18 2 Steve Lucas Charleston, WV Pont. 49 $850
16. 19 100 C.S. Fitzgerald Lexington, VA Ford 49 $825
17. 24 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. 49 $1,400
18. 16 44 Jeff Burdette Parkersburg, WV Chev. 49 $750
19. 20 1 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 49 $700
20. 23 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford 49 $1,300
21. 22 72 John Mason Millersburg, OH Chev. 48 $700
22. 21 166 Joe Izzo Chicago, IL Chev. 48 $1,300
23. 12 26 Steve Boley West Liberty, IA Ford 32 $700
24. 6 28 Tim Hitt Weston, WV Ford 10 $700

ENTRIES: 48
PROVISIONALS: Cook (4) and Smith (7)
LEAD CHANGES: 1
LAP LEADERS: Bloomquist, 1-29; Francis, 30-50
LAPS LED: Bloomquist , 29; Francis, 21
JE PISTONS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Shaver (started 13th and finished
5th)
CAUTIONS: None
TIME OF THE RACE: 20 Minutes, 37.620 Seconds (New Track Record)
UDTRA SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Banal, Miller, Lucas, Burdette, Chuck Harper,
and
Courtney Clewell (Promoter's Choice)

QUALIFICATIONS:

POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 15 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Dodge 22.883 22.602 22.602 99.549
2 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN Warrior Mustang 22.636 22.722 22.636
99.399
3 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Larry Shaw Grand Prix 23.372 22.813 22.813
98.628
4 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Rocket Grand Prix 23.243 23.370 23.243
96.803
5 6m Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR GRT Grand Prix 23.455 23.257 23.257
96.745
6 28h Tim Hitt Weston, WV Rocket Mustang 23.718 23.285 23.285 96.629
7 1j Davey Johnson Greensburg, PA Rocket Monte Carlo 23.750 23.297 23.297
96.579
8 26 Steve Boley West Liberty, IA Mastersbilt Mustang 23.620 23.313 23.313
96.513
9 100 C.S. Fitzgerald Lexington, VA Warrior Taurus 24.098 23.327 23.327
96.455
10 12 Rick Aukland Zanesville, OH Rocket Grand Prix 23.345 23.369 23.345
96.380
11 T8 Mark Banal St. Clairsville, OH Rocket Monte Carlo 23.801 23.409 23.409
96.117
12 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Larry Shaw Monte Carlo 23.695 23.467 23.467
95.879
13 s9 Dan Schlieper Pewaukee, WI Rayburn Monte Carlo 23.598 23.615 23.598
95.347
14 E1 Mike Balzano Parkersburg, WV Rocket Monte Carlo 23.634 23.711 23.634
95.202
15 19 Jeremy Miller Littletown, PA Rocket Grand Prix 23.640 23.709 23.640
95.178
16 75 Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH GRT Monte Carlo 23.702 23.810 23.702
94.929
17 30 Steve Shaver Parkersburg, WV Rocket Monte Carlo 23.888 23.710 23.710
94.897
18 33s Aaron Scott Newark, OH GRT Monte Carlo 23.804 23.923 23.804 94.522
19 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Rocket Monte Carlo 23.812 23.842 23.812
94.490
20 44 Jeff Burdette Parkersburg, WV Rocket Monte Carlo 24.048 23.832 23.832
94.411
21 166 Joe Izzo Chicago, IL GRT Monte Carlo 24.123 23.833 23.833 94.407
22 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Mustang 23.878 24.124 23.878 94.229
23 00h Chuck Harper Beverly, WV Rayburn Monte Carlo 23.902 24.183 23.902
94.134
24 72m John Mason Millersburg, OH Rocket Monte Carlo 23.938 23.942 23.938
93.993
25 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 23.964 23.980 23.964 93.891
26 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 23.983 24.032 23.983
93.816
27 c9 Steve Casebolt Richmond, IN Rayburn Mustang 24.005 24.110 24.005
93.730
28 1 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Mustang 24.290 24.016 24.016
93.688
29 4b Jackie Boggs Grayson, KY Swartz Monte Carlo 24.024 24.293 24.024
93.656
30 12c Courtney Clewell Cambridge, OH Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 24.036 24.250
24.036 93.610
31 2 Steve Lucas Charleston, WV Rocket Grand Prix 24.178 24.055 24.055
93.536
32 21m Jason Montgomery Jackson, OH Rocket Grand Prix 24.068 24.485 24.068
93.485
33 e10 Brian Eaton Belpre, OH GRT Grand Prix 24.640 24.070 24.070 93.477
34 17e Lance Elson Wellsburg, WV Rocket Grand Prix 24.082 24.092 24.082
93.431
35 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC GRT Taurus 24.118 24.119 24.118 93.291
36 001 Greg Mitchell Parkersburg, WV Rocket Monte Carlo 24.176 24.370 24.176
93.068
37 a10 Andy Bond Coolville, OH Rayburn Monte Carlo 24.862 24.218 24.218
92.906
38 32 Greg Lucas Whitesburg, KY Rocket Dodge 24.787 24.231 24.231 92.856
39 tb4 Tommy Boggs Grayson, KY Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 24.253 24.375 24.253
92.772
40 2j Mike Johnson Imperial, PA Rocket Grand Prix 24.290 24.263 24.263
92.734
41 83c Chris Rhodes Windber, PA Rocket Monte Carlo 24.885 24.615 24.615
91.408
42 24c Ryan Cline Washington, WV Mastersbilt Grand Prix 24.677 25.391 24.677
91.178
43 12h Chad Hina Zanesville, OH GRT Grand Prix 25.093 24.764 24.764 90.858
44 80 Brian Durig Warren, OH Boss Grand Prix 50.309 25.098 25.098 89.649
45 69 John Ward Buckhannon, WV Rocket Monte Carlo 26.472 26.880 26.472
84.995
46 17w Chris Wilson Lousia, KY Stinger Grand Prix 24.740 24.754 DQ DQ
47 14 Jack Pencil Bedford, PA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 23.958 24.457 DQ DQ
48 10 Kenny Compton Cool Ridge, WV Rocket Monte Carlo NT NT NT NT

BORLA PERFORMANCE 8-LAP HEAT RACES (Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

1ST HEAT: 1. Wallace; 2. Francis; 3. Schlieper; 4. Shaver; 5. Fitzgerald;
6. Izzo; 7. Smith; 8. J. Boggs; 9. Eaton; 11. Bond; 12. Rhodes; 13. Ward.

SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRE 2ND HEAT: 1. Bloomquist; 2. Hitt; 3. Balzano; 4.
Eckert; 5. Mars; 6. Aukland; 7. Scott; 8. Clewell; 9. Pencil; 10. Elson;
11.
Cline; 12. G. Lucas.

3RD HEAT: 1. McDowell; 2. Banal; 3. Miller; 4. Chupp; 5. S. Lucas; 6.
Casebolt; 7. Harper; 8. T. Boggs; 9. Cook; 10. Hina.

JE PISTONS 4TH HEAT: 1. Birkhofer; 2. Hartman; 3. Boley; 4. Burdette;
5.
Pearson; 6. Mason; 7. Korte; 8. Montgomery; 9. Mitchell; 10. Durig; 11.
M.
Johnson.

CONSOLATION RACES (10 Laps - Top 3 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

RENEGADE TRANSPORTERS 1ST CONSY: 1. Mars; 2. Fitzgerald; 3. Izzo; 4.
Aukland; 5. Smith; 6. J. Boggs; 7. Scott; 8. Pencil; 9. Clewell; 10. Eaton;
11. G. Lucas; 12. Bond; 13. Cline; 14. Rhodes; 15. Ward.

POLARIS ATVs 2ND CONSY: 1. S. Lucas; 2. Pearson; 3. Mason; 4. Casebolt;
5.
Korte; 6. Harper; 7. Cook; 8. Montgomery; 9. T. Boggs; 10. Durig; 11.
Wilson; 12. Hina.

UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 7/15/01:

1. Rick Eckert - 4696
2. Steve Francis - 4531
3. Scott Bloomquist - 4355
4. Dale McDowell - 3979
5. Wendell Wallace - 3948
6. Dan Schlieper - 3868
7. Jimmy Mars - 3844
8. Ray Cook - 3772
9. Freddy Smith - 3615
10. Joe Izzo - 3191
11. Randy Korte - 3076
12. Billy Moyer - 2899
13. Steve Boley - 2857
14. Davey Johnson - 2814
15. Steve Shaver - 2753
16. Rick Aukland - 2549
17. Brian Birkhofer - 2351
18. Chub Frank - 2288
19. Shannon Babb - 2170
20. Randle Chupp - 2029

Back to the Archives