posted August 21, 2001 05:15 AM
CHRIS FRANCIS 1969-2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WOODSTOCK, GA - Chris Francis of Ashland, KY unexpectedly passed away
Monday morning at his home. Francis was the brother and crew chief of
United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series point leader Steve
Francis. Chris Francis was 32 years old.
"We appreciate the support and phone calls from everyone," Steve Francis
said. "As soon as the final arrangements are made for Chris' funeral, we
will pass on the information through the UDTRA web site at www.udtra.com,
the STARS web site at www.starsracing.com, and at www.**.net.
The Francis family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions
should be made in Memory of Chris Francis to the Dirt Racing Outreach
Drivers and Crew Members Benevolent Fund at 4920 Raccoon Valley Road,
Knoxville, TN 37938. This fund has been established by Dirt Racing Outreach
at the request of the Francis family.
"On behalf of everyone involved with UDTRA, I send our heart-felt
condolences to the Francis family," UDTRA President Mike Swims said. "Chris
Francis epitomized great sportsmanship both on and off the track, as he
always there to help, not only his brother, but also his fellow competitors.
"This sudden and unexpected loss has deeply saddened everyone in dirt late
model racing, and Chris will be greatly missed," Swims said. "Our thoughts
and prayers are with Chris' wife Rhonda, his brother Steve, and his parents
Mike and Jane."
Chris Francis worked along side his brother during their racing career,
the pair earned three straight STARS Series titles from 1996 through 1998
before joining the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series full time in 1999. The Francis
brothers were fourth in the 1999 UDTRA point standings, and were the UDTRA
National Championship Runner-Up in 2000.
After the first 36 races of the 2001 UDTRA season, the Francis brothers
one win, 20 top five finishes, 33 top ten finishes, five poles, and had
taken over the UDTRA point lead with a fourth-place finish at Florence
Speedway in Union, KY on August 11. Steve Francis also said he would be
making a statement concerning his racing plans in the near future.