‘Chubzilla’ Puts On A Show En Route To Third-Place Finish At Lincoln Speedway

BEAR LAKE, PA – May 19, 2009 – Chub Frank didn’t repeat his 2008 victory at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series returned to the quarter-mile track on Sunday night, but he certainly gave the Midwest’s fans a show.

And the 47-year-old star from Bear Lake, Pa., just might have gotten his groove back during his stirring run to a third-place finish in the ‘Land of Lincoln 40.’

Mired in a year-long win drought – his last triumph came in last May’s WoO LMS show at Lincoln – and just three weeks removed from a car-destroying crash in a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway, Chub looked more like the ‘Chubzilla’ everyone knows on Sunday night. He timed eighth-fastest in the 43-car qualifying session and won his heat race, then seemed to get a rare boost from Lady Luck when he drew the outside pole starting spot for the 40-lap A-Main.

Chub led the race’s first two laps before being overtaken by eventual winner Rick Eckert. He proceeded to slip all the way back to seventh place, but he wasn’t about to let the feature end with his Corry Rubber/Lake Shore Paving/Hino Toyota/All-Star Performance/Corry Laser/Slavic Corporation/Custom Race Engines/GW Performance Chevrolet Impala SS Rocket Chassis No. 1* that far back in the finishing order.

After the race’s lone caution period on lap 24, Chub came alive. He rode the outside groove to the front, reaching third with less than five laps remaining and mounting a last-lap bid that saw him slide across the track outside runner-up Josh Richards and Eckert rounding turns three and four.

What was the key to Chub’s late charge? Perhaps a little credit goes to the uke tire on the inside of turn three that ended up positioned slightly higher than it had been for the first 24 laps of the race, preventing drivers from running extremely low on the track for the final 16 circuits.

“It they would’ve left the racetrack the way it’s supposed to be – if they would’ve moved those uke tires out (before the start of the race) so everybody couldn’t run through the infield – we would’ve been OK,” said Chub. “I moved one of them (with a bump during the lap-24 caution period) – just moved it out to where they couldn’t get down in that traction on the infield where they shouldn’t have been. Everybody should’ve been out on the racetrack, and they were when that tire was out there higher.

“After we got the (top of the) track cleaned up because they weren’t running so low and throwing that ---- out there on the racetrack, I just kept my momentum up around the racetrack and drove by guys,” continued Chub, describing his rally. “I think most of those guys in front of me ran soft tires, so when they got out in that black (because the higher uke tire in turn three kept them out of the moisture) they couldn’t get any traction. We had hard tires on so we could run up there.”

Chub fell short, but the third-place finish was his best of 2009 on the WoO LMS. He left Lincoln ranked seventh in the points standings, but just 62 points behind leader Darrell Lanigan.

“I feel better about how we ran,” said Chub. “The car was better, but we still need to work on some stuff. Think we had the car a little too tight.”

Chub ran the car that his Canadian buddy, Peter Mantha Jr., drove in February during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. Mantha’s car is housed at Chub’s shop and serves as a backup for Chub; Chub decided he wanted to try Mantha’s machine, so he swapped parts from that car onto one of his other Rocket mounts and put his own parts on what was Mantha’s car.

A WoO LMS event was also scheduled for Saturday night at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, but saturated grounds from heavy rain forced the cancellation of the program on Saturday morning.

Chub remained on the road after Lincoln’s event in advance of a tripleheader weekend for the WoO LMS. The ‘Tri-State Late Model Challenge’ will visit U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo., on Fri., May 22; 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, on Sat., May 23; and Charter Raceway Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., on Sun., May 24



 

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