posted September 10, 2001 07:47 AM
UDTRA CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE CONTINUES WITH TEXAS AND LOUISIANA TOUR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WOODSTOCK, GA - The red hot United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro
DirtCar Series Championship points battle continues this week with stops
Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX this Thursday night, and Thunder
Valley Speedway in Glenmora, LA this Saturday night.
Going into this week's action, Rick Eckert of York, PA holds a 13-point
lead over Steve Francis of Ashland, KY. In the meantime, the defending
four-time UDTRA Champion Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN is keeping his
"Drive For Five" alive from the third spot in the points chase, 106 points
At this point last season with eight races to go, Francis held a 65-point
lead over Bloomquist. Bloomquist was able to overcome the deficit and take
his fourth UDTRA title.
In recent weeks, Bloomquist is the hottest dirt late model driver in the
country, having won over $100,000 in prize money with victories in his last
five starts in dirt late model competition. Bloomquist has won the last
three UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series events in Pecatonica, IL, Union, KY and
Bloomquist is the only driver in UDTRA history to win four straight, and
sweep this week would give him yet another new UDTRA record. Along with
UDTRA wins, Bloomquist has also posted wins in two unsanctioned races, the
Topless 100 in Batesville, AR and the World 100 in Rossburg, OH.
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series competitors will make their second visit of
season to the 4/10-mile clay dirt oval at Texas Motor Speedway for the
50-lap $15,000-to-win Wolf Brand Chili Challenge. Dan Schlieper of
Pewaukee, WI won this event in 2000, and fellow Badger State driver Jimmy
Mars of Elk Mound, WI won the UDTRA TMS round in March of this year.
The UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series will visit Thunder Valley Speedway for the
third straight year for a 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event. Two of the
championship contenders have had success at TVS. Francis was a 1999 UDTRA
TVS winner, and Bloomquist won the race there last season.
Based on past experience at both tracks, all three UDTRA title contenders
are very close, with no one driver having a big advantage.
At TMS, based on main event finishes and qualifying, Francis holds a slight
edge. In 2000, Francis finished fourth in the main event, and earlier this
year, he finished tenth for an average finish of seventh. In qualifying,
Francis was the fast qualifier at TMS in 2000, and in March he was seventh
quick, for an average qualifying spot of fourth.
Eckert has an average TMS finish of 7.5 after an eighth-place showing in
2000, and a seventh place finish in March. Eckert has qualified tenth in
both of his Texas Motor Speedway appearances.
Bloomquist has an average Texas Motor Speedway finish of tenth, although
has the best finishing spot of all three drivers with a third-place in 2000.
A 17th place finish at TMS in March drops his average. Bloomquist qualified
11th fastest in 2000, and he was the second quick qualifier in March, for
average of 6.5.
At Thunder Valley Speedway, Francis also holds the edge in average finishes
at 4th. Francis had a win in 1999, and a seventh-place finish in 2000.
Francis also is the best qualifier at TVS of the trio. In 1999, Francis
qualified second quick, and was ninth in 2000 for an average of 5.5.
Eckert is second in average finish and qualifying at TVS based on
consistency. Eckert finished seventh in 1999 and 11th in 2000 for an
average finish of 9th. In qualifying at TVS, Eckert was 15th in 1999 and
11th in 2000 for an average of 13th.
Despite his 2000 TVS win, Bloomquist finished 19th in 1999 for an average
finish of 10th. Bloomquist has had his troubles qualifying at TVS. In
1999, he qualified 23rd, and was the 14th fastest qualifier in 2000 for
average of 18.5.
One thing to keep in mind, the past UDTRA appearances at both TMS and TVS
have been early in the season. Eckert and Francis have been known to be
quick starters in UDTRA competition, while Bloomquist's past record in
recent seasons have shown the opposite, as he has been known to get his
momentum going later in the season.
If his last five races are any indication of the momentum Bloomquist has
going into the Texas and Louisiana UDTRA events, Eckert, Francis, and the
rest of the UDTRA regulars could have their hands full.
Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA is still fourth in UDTRA points, but Wendell
Wallace of Batesville, AR is closing in. Wallace is another driver looking
to reach a UDTRA milestone this week. Wallace is $19,925 shy of becoming
the second UDTRA Millionaire in career UDTRA earnings.
A Texas and Louisiana sweep for Wallace could put him in the UDTRA
Millionaire's Club with Bloomquist.
Schlieper is sixth in the UDTRA points chase while looking for his second
Texas Motor Speedway Wolf Brand Chili trophy. Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC
seventh in points and looking for his first UDTRA win of the season. Mars
is eighth in UDTRA points and will be looking for a 2001 Texas Motor
The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN is ninth in the UDTRA
point standings, and will travel west to Texas and Louisiana looking for
second win of the season. The battle for tenth is also shaping up to be
good one. UDTRA Rookie of the Year point leader Joe Izzo of Chicago, IL
tenth in the UDTRA points, but Randy Korte of Highland, IL is closing in.
On Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway, the pit gate opens at noon, the
grandstand gate opens at 5 p.m., hot laps are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.,
followed by qualifying, Borla Performance Heat Races, the Renegade
Transporters and Polaris ATVs Consolation Races, and the 50-lap main event.
The Sun Suites in Lewisville, TX will be the Official Host Hotel for the
United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series Wolf Brand Chili
Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX on September 13. The
Sun Suites is located at 324 Corporate Drive, just off I-35E at the
Corporate Drive exit.
The Sun Suites will be offering UDTRA fans and competitors a special
discount rate of $59.99 per night. The Sun Suites is located within 20
minutes of Texas Motor Speedway, with restaurants and shopping areas nearby.
To make reservations call (972) 459-5800 and be sure to ask for the special
UDTRA Discount rate.
Fans attending the Wolf Brand Chili Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway
Dirt Track Thursday night, September 13 can now save $5.00 off the
grandstand admission to see the country's best drivers compete.
The $5.00 discount is available to fans that bring two labels from cans
Wolf Brand Chili, Ranch Style Beans or Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes purchased at
Albertsons to the speedway ticket office. Tickets for the Wolf Brand Chili
Challenge begin at $15 each.
Texas Motor Speedway is located north of Fort Worth at I-35W and S.R. 114.
Tickets are on sale daily at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817)
215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster
Thunder Valley Speedway will host a practice session and cookout on Friday
night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturday night, the gates open at 4 p.m.
with hot laps scheduled for 7 p.m. Douglas Farms will pay the fast
The UDTRA Pro DirtCars will also compete in the Borla Performance Heat
Races, the Renegade Transporters and Polaris ATVs Consolation Races, and
50-lap main event. The Thunder Valley Speedway UMP Modifieds, Street Stocks
and Sportsman cars will also be in action on Saturday night.
The Comfort Inn at 2001 N. Bolton Ave. in Alexandria, LA will be the
Official UDTRA Host Hotel for the Thunder Valley Speedway event. The
Comfort Inn will be offering UDTRA fans and competitors a special discount
rate of $59.96 per night. Call (318) 484-9155 to make reservations and
sure to ask for the UDTRA discount rate.
For ticket and race day information call (318) 748-4470. Thunder Valley
Speedway is located 12 miles west of Glenmora, LA on SR 113.