posted July 28, 2002 09:18 AM
MARS WINS IN HOT KENTUCKY FRIED UDTRA ACTION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CALVERT CITY, KY - Jimmy Mars of Elk Mound, WI held off a hard charging
Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FL in a hotly contested battle for the
lead to win the 50-lap United Dirt Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar
Series main event Saturday night at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.
Mars drove the Jimmy Mars Racing Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte Carlo to his
second win of the season worth $10,000, and jumped from fourth to second
the UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series point standings.
Starting from the pole position, Mars took the lead at the start of the
race, while Pearson started 20th, dug in down on the bottom groove of the
track and worked his way up to second. Pearson took the lead from Mars
after a restart for two laps, but Mars grabbed back the point on lap 43
pulled away for the win.
"Earl has been running good lately and he was fast down on the bottom,"
Mars said. "He got by me on that last restart, but I was able to get my
momentum up on the outside and pass him back. Tonight, I just had an
awesome car, an awesome motor, and an awesome crew to get me this win."
Pearson had to settle for second in his backup Lucas Oil/Dunn-Benson Ford
Rocket/Eatmon Taurus. Pearson's primary car suffered a mechanical failure
in the heat race, and he had to start in the rear of the consolation race
after changing to his backup car. Pearson moved up to finish second, and
transferred into the main event.
The second place finish was Pearson's fourth top five finish in the last
five races, and his ninth top ten finish in the last ten events.
Brian Birkhofer finished third in the Daufeldt Transport Mastersbilt/Pro
Power Grand Prix, and Steve Francis of Ashland, KY was fourth in the
Valvoline/Mopar Parts Rocket/Stanton Intrepid. The 1997 UDTRA Champion
Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR took the fifth spot in the Petroff Towing/J&J
Steel Rayburn/Dickens Taurus.
Randy Korte of Highland, IL started out on a roll, taking fast time honors
in qualifications with a lap around the 3/8-mile clay oval in 14.558 seconds
for an average speed of 92.733 miles per hour in the Mid Continental Fuel
Rocket by Shaw/Pro Power Grand Prix.
Korte then won the JE Pistons $200 Bonus Award with a first 10-lap heat
win, and was set to start on the pole position for the main event. After
the heat race, Korte's crew discovered a problem with the engine, which
forced him to a backup car, and the 17th starting spot, which was the tail
of the heat race transfer cars. Korte rallied to finish sixth in the main
Don O'Neal of Martinsville, IN was seventh in the Petroff Towing Rayburn/Pro
Power Monte Carlo, and UDTRA point leader and defending series champion
Eckert of York, PA came back from a cut tire on lap 31 to finish eighth
the Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett Taurus. Eckert now holds a 138 point lead
Mars in the UDTRA championship hunt.
Ray Cook was another driver that made a pit stop during a caution period,
and came back to take the ninth spot in the Youngblood Concrete
Mastersbilt/Cornett Taurus. The 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of
Knoxville, TN rounded out the top ten in the Christenberry Trucking and
Farms Warrior/Custom Monte Carlo.
Mars took the lead after moving up to the pole position after Korte's
problem at the start of the race followed by Birkhofer, Francis, Shannon
Babb of Decatur, IL in the Car City Company Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte
Carlo, and Randy Sellars of Mayfield, KY in the RJS Automotive
Rayburn/Sellars Monte Carlo.
Babb passed Francis for third spot on lap three, but Francis came right
on the next lap to retake the position with an inside move coming off the
fourth turn. Sellars began to fade on lap five, and Moyer moved up to the
fifth spot. The first ten laps of the race saw the leaders run the inside
to middle groove of the wide track, and on lap 10, everyone followed Mars
the high side.
Everyone except Pearson, that is, as he ran right around the hub of the
track picking off several positions on each lap. By lap 15, Pearson had
worked his way into the top ten.
The 1999 UDTRA Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA dropped out on lap
18, returned to the race later for a couple of laps before retiring for
from the race. The DNF for McDowell was his third in the last four races,
and dropped him to fourth in the points chase.
At the halfway point in the race, Mars and Birkhofer moved back down to
middle groove of the track, while Francis stayed up on the high side.
Pearson continued to make progress on the bottom, passing Moyer for fifth
lap 29. Francis moved around the outside of Birkhofer on lap 30 to take
over the second spot.
Eckert brought out the first of two caution flags of the race with his cut
tire on lap 31. Mars led Francis, Birkhofer, Babb, and Pearson down for
restart. Pearson swept under Babb and Birkhofer in turn four to take the
By lap 33, Mars had plenty of company up front, as he drove the middle
groove, with Francis on the top, and Pearson on the bottom for a three-car
battle for the lead. Pearson cleared Francis on lap 36 to take over the
second spot, as Mars started to pull away. Pearson picked up the pace,
was reeling in Mars when the caution came out on lap 41 for debris in turn
On the restart, Pearson dove for the inside of Mars in turn one, and took
the lead coming off the second turn. On lap 43, Mars got going, and went
around the outside of Pearson coming off the fourth turn to retake the lead.
Birkhofer passed Francis for the third spot on lap 45 in turn four.
With four laps to go, Mars had pulled out to a three car-length lead over
Pearson, and took the checkered flag with a ten car-length advantage.
Pearson also picked up a $150 bonus for the Advance Auto Parts Hard Charger
of the Race Award.
Shane Tankersley of Morganton, GA was the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race after
finishing 14th in the Tankersley Motorsports Rocket/Custom Grand Prix.
Birkhofer picked up the Scott Performance Wire $50 Bonus Award with a second
heat race win, and Mars won the third heat.
Phil Walker of Paducah, KY won the Polaris ATVs 12-lap Consolation Race
the Cash Express Pawn Shop Rayburn/Runyon Grand Prix.
The next event for the Pro DirtCar Series will be on Sunday night at the
1/5-mile "Mighty Macon" Speedway in Macon, IL. The main event will be a
100-lap $10,000-to-win race, and because of the small size of the track,
will also feature double-file restarts.
The pit gate opens at noon, the grandstand gate opens at 4 p.m., with hot
laps set for 6:30 p.m., and time trials scheduled for 7:30 p.m. For race
day and ticket information call (217) 764-3770. Macon Speedway is located
on the north side of Macon, IL, just west of U.S. Highway 51.
The next UDTRA Dirty Thursday will air on August 1 at 11 p.m. ET with the
4th Annual Masters 75 from Cedar Lake Speedway. For the complete UDTRA
SPEED Channel schedule and a direct feedback link, visit the UDTRA web site
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 27 AT KENTUCKY LAKE MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN CALVERT
CITY, KY ON 7/27/02:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 1 28 Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 50 $10,600
2. 20 1p Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 50 $6,750
3. 2 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Pont. 50 $3,050
4. 3 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge 50 $3,100
5. 7 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Ford 50 $2,000
6. 17 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Pont. 50 $2,600
7. 9 71 Don O'Neal Martinsville, IL Chev. 50 $1,600
8. 8 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 50 $2,250
9. 10 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford 50 $1,800
10. 14 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. 50 $1,700
11. 13 55 Jeep Van Wormer Picconning, MI Ford 50 $1,000
12. 21 K5 Gary Keeling Paducah, KY Pont. 49 $950
13. 4 3 Randy Sellars Mayfield, KY Chev. 49 $900
14. 16 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morganton, GA Pont. 49 $875
15. 24 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Pont. 49 $850
16. 22 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE Pont. 49 $825
17. 23 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN Chev. 49 $1,400
18. 15 52 Scott Sexton Pigeon Forge, TN Pont. 49 $750
19. 11 20 Larry Seay Mayfield, KY Chev. 49 $700
20. 5 32 Bob Pierce Oakwood, IL Chev. 48 $700
21. 6 18 Shannon Babb Decatur, IL Chev. 40 $700
22. 12 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 23 $1,400
23. 18 51 Tait Davenport Paducah, KY Chev. 21 $700
24. 19 2 Phil Walker Paducah, KY Pont. 5 $700
PROVISIONALS: Ogle (5) and Johnson
LEAD CHANGES: 2
LAP LEADERS: Mars, 1-40; Pearson, 41-42; Mars, 43-50
LAPS LED: Mars, 48; Pearson, 2
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HEARD CHARGER: Pearson (started 20th and finished 2nd)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Tankersley
TIME OF THE RACE: 26 Minutes, and 31.420 Seconds
HARDEE'S SHOOTOUT INVITEES: Van Wormer, Keeling, Sellars, Seay, Davenport,
and Walker (Promoter's Choice)
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Grand Prix 14.652 14.558 14.558 92.733
2 71 Don O'Neal Martinsville, IN Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.037 14.695 14.695
3 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 14.805 14.913 14.805
4 3 Randy Sellars Mayfield, KY Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.564 14.863 14.863
5 15b Brian Birkhofer Muscatine, IA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 14.865 15.591
6 96 Terry English Benton, KY Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.062 14.880 14.880
7 1P Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Taurus 14.904 14.925 14.904
8 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Intrepid 14.933 15.131 14.933 90.404
9 18 Shannon Babb Decatur, IL Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 15.052 15.356 15.052
10 32p Bob Pierce Oakwood, IL Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.076 15.235 15.076
11 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Taurus 15.379 15.117 15.117 89.303
12 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR Rayburn Taurus 15.152 15.223 15.152 89.097
13 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Mastersbilt Taurus 15.177 15.325 15.177 88.950
14 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 15.288 15.385 15.288
15 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.394 15.288 15.288
16 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 15.407 15.342 15.342
17 52s Scott Sexton Pigeon Forge, TN Mastersbilt Grand Prix 15.719 15.411
18 55 Jeep Van Wormer Picconning, MI Warrior Taurus 15.557 15.458 15.458
19 8 Jeremy Williams Paducah, KY Warrior Grand Prix 15.536 15.499 15.499
20 7 John Tindall Fancy Farm, KY Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 15.641 15.513
21 T14 Tim Brown Benton, KY Warrior Taurus 15.515 15.541 15.515 87.013
22 20 Larry Joe Seay Mayfield, KY Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.549 15.695 15.549
23 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE GRT Grand Prix 15.622 15.730 15.622 86.417
24 K5 Gary Keeling Paducah, KY Warrior Grand Prix 15.709 15.825 15.709
25 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morgonton, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.774 15.906
26 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Warrior Grand Prix 15.986 15.832 15.832
27 51 Tait Davenport Paducah, KY Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.878 16.064 15.878
28 2 Phil Walker Paducah, KY Rayburn Grand Prix 15.890 16.840 15.890 84.959
29 92 Bobby Deitz Kirksey, KY GRT Grand Prix 16.203 16.073 16.073 83.992
30 4 Joe Mike Mayfield, KY Warrior Grand Prix 16.235 16.352 16.235 83.154
HEAT RACES (10 Laps - Top 6 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):
JE PISTONS 1ST HEAT: 1. Korte; 2. Sellars; 3. Pierce; 4. Cook; 5. Seay;
Tankersley (R); 7. Walker; 8. Williams; 9. Ogle (R); 10. Pearson.
SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRE 2ND HEAT: 1. Birkhofer; 2. Francis; 3. Eckert;
O'Neal; 5. Smith; 6. Sexton; 7. Anderson (R); 8. Johnson; 9. Deitz; 10.
3RD HEAT: 1. Mars; 2. Babb; 3. Moyer; 4. McDowell; 5. Van Wormer; 6.
Davenport; 7. Brown; 8. Mike; 9. Keeling; 10. English.
POLARIS ATVs 12 LAP CONSOLATION RACE (Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main
Event): 1. Walker; 2. Pearson; 3. Keeling; 4. Anderson (R); 5. Tindall;
Deitz; 7. Brown; 8. Ogle (R); 9. Mike; 10. Williams; 11. Johnson.
UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 7/27/02:
1. Rick Eckert - 4260
2. Jimmy Mars - 4122
3. Steve Francis - 4118
4. Dale McDowell - 4110
5. Earl Pearson Jr. - 3583
6. Freddy Smith - 3466
7. Randy Korte - 3283
8. Donnie Moran - 3125
9. Ray Cook - 3006
10. Billy Ogle Jr. (R) - 2740
11. Brian Birkhofer - 2687
12. Shane Tankersley (R) - 2601
13. Mark Kraus (R) - 2337
14. Dan Schlieper - 2072
15. Billy Moyer - 1984
16. Scott Bloomquist - 1918
17. John Anderson (R) - 1709
18. Rick Aukland - 1627
19. Randle Chupp - 1608
20. Matt Miller - 1182
R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate