Eckert Leads Off Full-Fender Frenzy With UMP Late Model Win At Volusia BARBERVILLE, FL - A star-studded field of 71 United Midwestern Promoters Super Late Model teams opened the second week of racing during the 34th Annual Daytona ...
Eckert Leads Off Full-Fender Frenzy With UMP Late Model Win At Volusia
BARBERVILLE, FL - A star-studded field of 71 United Midwestern Promoters Super Late Model teams opened the second week of racing during the 34th Annual Daytona Dodge-Chrysler Mopar Speed Shop Winter Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park and it was full-fender veteran Rick Eckert leading wire-to- wire on Tuesday to capture the 30-lap A-Main.
"We had a good working car all night and we're happy to put it in the winner's circle when it counted most," said Eckert, 39, after dominating the show from start to finish. The York, PA star tamed the half-mile clay oval with a one-lap best time of 17.69 seconds for an average speed of 101.752 mph., then went out and won the first of six qualifying heats before three B-Mains determined the 24-car starting field.
With side-by-side action the order of the day, Eckert was in command from the opening green flag aboard his potent no. 24 Raye Vest Excavating/Rocket and never looked back en route to the convincing win in front of another capacity crowd at the popular Barberville, Fla. speedplant.
"We were a little short-handed tonight as my owner went home along with some of the crew. Obviously, our substitutes did their job and we hope to be back here again this week," added Eckert, after pocketing the $5,000 winner's share.
'Scrub' was chased across the stripe by fellow World of Outlaws Late Model Series 'Dirty Dozen' drivers Billy Moyer, Steve Francis and Dale McDowell, the defending WoO Florida Tour champion by just three points over Eckert, with Shannon Babb rounding out the top-five.
Other members of the 2005 Dirty Dozen filling the field were '04 WoO LM rookie of the year Tim McCreadie (9th), Chub Frank (13th) and Darrell Lanigan (18th), while D12 rookie John Blankenship failed to make the show.
The U.M.P. Super Late Models return to action at Volusia on Tuesday in round two while the 2005 Winter Nationals points champion is crowned Friday, Feb. 18 following the fourth night of full-fender competition.
SUMMARY EVENT NO. 1
FEATURE (30-LAPS): 24-RICK ECKERT, 21-Billy Moyer, 15-Steve Francis, 17m- Dale McDowell, 18-Shannon Babb, w11-Robbie Blair, 39-Tim McCreadie, 32d- Darren Miller, e1-Mike Balzano, 28-Dennis Erb, 83-Scott James, 99-Kenny Schrader, *1-Chub Frank, 4b-Jackie Boggs, 99-Donnie Moran, 44-Chris Madden, 5wp-Eric Jacobsen, 29-Darrell Lanigan, 21d-Dan Stone, 38-Kenny Pettyjohn, 12w-Duke Whiseant, 11-Pat Doar, 9z-Jayme Zidar, 7m-Matt Miller.
HEAT 1: Eckert, Blair, Babb, M.Miller.
HEAT 2: McCreadie, Jacobsen, Boggs, Zidar.
HEAT 3: Francis, Schrader, James, Lanigan.
HEAT 4: Doar, Moran, Frank, Whiseant.
HEAT 5: Moyer, Blazano, Pettyjohn, Anthony Rushing.
HEAT 6: McDowell, D.Miller, Erb, Madden.
CONSI 1: Zidar, Stone, Rushing, Frank Heckenast.
CONSI 2: M.Miller, Whiseant, Terry English, Brian Shirley.
CONSI 3: Madden, Lanigan, Pat Sheltra, Greg Johnson.
TIME TRIALS (Top-10): 17.69sec(101.752mph)-Rick Eckert, 17.76-Jacobsen, 17.79-Francis, 17.80-Doar, 17.82-Balzano, 17.84-McDowell, 17.92-Blair, 17.94-McCreadie, 17.94-Lannigan, 17.99-Garrett Durrett.