Mopar Speed The Official e-Zine of Team Mopar Friday, February 6, 2004 WoO Late Model "It's great to start out [with a victory] right off the bat. "I was concerned with [our] tires as we went a little softer than most of the other guys out...
The Official e-Zine of Team Mopar Friday, February 6, 2004
WoO Late Model
"It's great to start out [with a victory] right off the bat.
"I was concerned with [our] tires as we went a little softer than most of the other guys out there tonight. The car kept getting tighter and tighter as the race went on, but the track was the most racey I've ever seen and that made it a lot of fun getting around."
-- Steve Francis, after winning the first-ever WoO Late Model event in Volusia, Fla., Tuesday evening.
Francis wins Volusia opener, leads Winternationals point standings
Steve Francis drove his No. 15 Mopar straight into the record books with his victory Tuesday in the first-ever World of Outlaws Late Model event at Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park.
Francis dominated the 30-lap event, leading every lap and finishing 10 car-lengths ahead of the runner-up. Francis also posted the top qualifying time out of 54 entrants, circling the half-mile dirt track in 16.761 seconds at 107.392 mph.
Francis started Wednesday's A-main at Volusia from the pole, thanks to his five-lap dash victory earlier that evening. He hustled his Mopar to a solid fourth-place finish in the A-main.
Francis currently leads the Florida Tour standings with 1175 points to his credit. Francis' efforts in the two WoO Late Model events place him second in series points, just two markers behind leader Bart Hartman.
The WoO Late Models continue the 33rd annual Winternationals today and Saturday at Volusia. The week's finale is scheduled for Sunday night in a $12,000-to-win 50-lap championship event.
Team Mopar driver Danny Lasoski is also competing at the Volusia Winternationals this week, in the United States season debut of 410-cubic-inch winged sprint car racing. Lasoski uses a Mopar powerplant in his regular World of Outlaws sprint car. This non-sanctioned racing continues through Sunday.
Stewart drives his winged Mopar to quick time, heat win
Team Mopar owner Tony Stewart returned to his dirt track roots on Tuesday and Wednesday, competing in the USCS "Thunder Thaw" event at the Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park.
Stewart, who was piloting his own No. 20 J.D. Byrider/Mopar machine, set quick time in a Monday night practice session, turning in consistent laps in the 14.70 second range. The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion locked himself into the A-main of the two day feature with a heat race win and a 12th-place preliminary feature finish Tuesday night.
In Wednesday night action, Stewart found himself starting on the outside of the front row for the A-main event, after the top six drivers were determined by using transfer points from Tuesday night's preliminary action. Stewart won the dash event prior to the start of the A-main event and brought his machine across the finish line in sixth place, very respectable for a man who drives only a few winged event each year.
Stewart will compete this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway in the "Budweiser Shootout" and "Bud Pole" events with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.