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Williams Grove Speedway

Francis outruns Eckert, wins at Williams Grove

June 10, 2009, 12:35 am
From correspondent reports
Steve Francis (19) battles Rick Eckert (24) early. (Brian McLeod)
Steve Francis (19) battles Rick Eckert (24) early. (Brian McLeod)

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (June 9) — Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., got in on the Appalachian Mountain Speedweek fun at Williams Grove Speedway with a $5,000 victory Tuesday night on the fourth leg of the seven-race miniseries. | Slideshow

Driving for Maryland-based Beitler Motorsports, Francis started third and overtook outside front-row starter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., in the early laps for a lead he'd never give up. Francis kept his No. 19 in the high groove throughout the race, planting his right rear tire against the cushion and setting sail.

Briefly challenged on restarts, Francis edged away as the final 22 of 40 laps were run without a caution. Eckert ended up five lengths behind Francis at the checkered flag with eighth-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., finishing third in his debut at the sprint-car stronghold. D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa., who battled with Eckert for second earlier in the race, was fourth while Darryl Hills of Great Mills, Md., rounded out the top five. The event was slowed by six cautions in the first half of the race, three on the 18th lap.

Notes: Francis drives a Rocket Chassis with sponsorship from Reliable Painting, Valvoline, Port City Racing and PRC. ... Rick Eckert's fast qualifying time of 19.770 seconds was about three-tenths quicker than his closest competitor. ... After four of seven events, Jeremy Miller of Gettysburg, Pa., leads the miniseries with 523 points followed by 17-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. (458) and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. (457). The miniseries champion receives $2,000. ... Next up for Appalachian Mountain Speedweek is a rare Super Late Model event at Lincoln (Pa.) Speedway. Wednesday's second annual Charlie Grinestaff Memorial pays $7,000 to the winner.

Appalachian Mountain Speedweek @ Williams Grove: (1) Steve Francis, (2) Rick Eckert, (3) Josh Richards, (4) D.J. Myers, (5) Darryl Hills, (6) Coleby Frye, (7) Austin Hubbard, (8) Jeff Rine, (9) Dan Stone, (10) Frank Plessinger, (11) Jeremy Miller, (12) Jim Yoder, (13) Scott Flickinger, (14) Steve Campbell, (15) Dylan Yoder, (16) Tyler Armstrong, (17) Nick Dickson, (18) Bryan Bernheisel, (19) Jason Covert, (20) Jamie Lathroum, (21) Keith Jackson, (22) Nathan Durboraw, (23) Booper Bare, (24) Rob Blair. Fast qualifier (among 49 cars): Eckert, 19.770 seconds. Heat race winners: Eckert, Hubbard, Francis, Richards. Consolation winners: Stone, Durboraw.

Speedweek points

(Through June 9)
1. Jeremy Miller - 523
2. Austin Hubbard - 458
3. Josh Richards - 457
4. Jason Covert - 446
5. D.J. Myers - 418
6. Jamie Lathroum - 378
7. Jeff Rine - 364
8. Steve Francis - 330
9. Rob Blair - 310
10. Nick Dickson - 300

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