Take the Checkers !Hoosier Racing TireTake the Checkers !




Rick EckertGAFFNEY, SC (September 21, 22) -- Despite two setbacks, United Dirt Track Racing Association driver, Rick Eckert, overcame potential disaster to capture his sixth series win of the season, and more importantly, extended his narrow point lead to 23 markers over Steve Francis. Despite mechanical problems on the first night of competition and electrical problems on the final night, Eckert took the 100-lap win, leading all 100 circuits of the event and pocketed $20,000 for the win.

On Friday night, the first of two night's of competition, Eckert encountered mechanical problems during hot laps which required the points leader to go to a back-up car for qualifying, as 36 of the 37 competitors elected to ride on USA-made Hoosier tires. 

Eckert and his team rolled up their sleeves and had the car ready in time for Eckert's qualifying turn. Eckert drew the number one qualifying position which cut his "prep time" to an absolute minimum. Eckert, in his Raye Vest Rocket/Cornett Mustang backup, went on to post the fifth fastest time, a tribute to his team's skills.

Also on Friday, the three preliminary heat races resulted in a Hoosier 1-2-3 finish in all three events. Steve Francis, Wendell Wallace and Scott Bloomquist finished first, second and third for Team Hoosier in the night's first heat, while Rick Eckert, Dale McDowell and Mike Duvall finished 1-2-3 in the middle heat. In the final heat, Davey Johnson, Tim Headen and Dan Schlieper capped the "all-Hoosier" podium sweep of the preliminary heat racing competition.

On Saturday night, Eckert's #24 developed a misfire during hot laps. Eckert's crew once again jumped into action, hurriedly changing the dirt modified's entire ignition system just minutes before the main event was to start. With his adrenaline pumping and starting from the outside pole position, Eckert immediately used the high line to take possession of the race lead on the first circuit. From there, Eckert would not be denied, leading all 100 laps en route to the heart pounding win in front of the standing-room-only crowd.

Finishing in second was Steve Francis, as Scott Bloomquist captured third. The finish duplicated the current UDTRA points standings as Eckert (5805) extended his narrow lead over Francis (5782) to 23 points, with Scott Bloomquist still within striking distance in third, with 5684 points, with just five events remaining in the season. 

Hoosier tires were on all but one of the feature race competitors, as Team Hoosier swept the top eight finishing positions. Finishing fourth through eighth were Wendell Wallace, Dale McDowell, Freddie Smith, Randle Chupp and Tim Headen for Team Hoosier.

The next two UDTRA events will be a $7,000 to-win race on September 28, and a $10,000 to-win race on the 29th at Green Valley Speedway in Glencoe, Alabama.

Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. thanks all the UDTRA competitors for their continued use and support of our tires during the 2001 racing campaign.



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