(Ashland, Kentucky - March 26, 2002) During the past several racing seasons, several corporate entities have seen more and more of their names and brands in the headlines of American short-track racing. Two of those global leaders of industry have...
(Ashland, Kentucky - March 26, 2002) During the past several racing seasons, several corporate entities have seen more and more of their names and brands in the headlines of American short-track racing. Two of those global leaders of industry have taken numerous rides to victory lane by virtue of the continued winning ways of Steve Francis in his championship dirt late model racing efforts. While taking his team associates to the front of the pack, Francis has posted consecutive runner-up finishes in United Dirt Track Racing Association's (UDTRA) National Championship battles.
Although winning races and series titles is not a new thing to Francis, the driver known as the Kentucky Colonel has his eyes firmly fixed on capturing the UDTRA crown in 2002. By doing so, Francis would become the first driver in short-track history to win titles on both the UDTRA and Renegade STARS racing circuits. The Ashland, KY native has already etched his name in the record books as the only competitor in history to reel off three straight Renegade STARS titles, pulling the triple-feat off during the 1997, 1998 and 1999 seasons. So far in 2002, Francis appears to be up to his old tricks as he is currently listed in fifth place of the UDTRA point standings, just 70 points out of the lead. The early season surge for Francis has yielded 4 top-five and 7 top-ten runs along with a pole award and 5 preliminary event wins. This week Francis will unload the MOPAR Parts-Valvoline Rocket Chassis Dodge Intrepid at Knoxville, TN's Atomic Motor Speedway, site of the holiday weekend's "Waste Management Thunder 100" which holds a $25,000 payoff to the race winner.
Don't expect the quiet Kentuckian to be too cooperative with the competition. With the money and prestige on the line this weekend Francis will be concerned about one thing and one thing only - getting to the front of the field and staying there until the checkered flag waves. Although he's still looking for his first win of the season, Francis has picked up where he left last year christening the new season by scoring the first UDTRA pole award of 2002 at Golden Isles Speedway in Brunswick, GA. When Francis roared around the five-eighths mile speedway in qualifying with a lap of 17.014 seconds everyone knew that the `Dodge Boy' was back in town. The lap at Golden Isles Speedway, which is by far the fastest speedway visited by the UDTRA dirt late model drivers, equated to an average speed of 132.244 mph and it's hard to imagine zooming around in an 800 horse powered, 2,300 pound dirt late model at those kind of speeds, but it's something that comes natural to Francis just as does his knack for overcoming stout odds.
The official home on the Internet for Steve Francis has recently relocated to www.stevefrancisracing.com
Francis won three major events in 2001 and narrowly missed claiming the 2001 UDTRA national title by the smallest margin in series history. Along the way Francis combined for an overall 11 pole awards en route to an impressive 55 top-ten finishes in 63 overall events.
Francis and the Rocket Chassis team plan to again compete for the UDTRA championship while also appearing at numerous other major dirt late model events throughout this year's crusade across America's dirt tracks and this weekend in Knoxville, TN is one of the biggies of the 2002 season.