BEAR LAKE, PA – March 2, 2012 – Chub Frank is ready to make his return to Victory Lane on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.
The veteran standout from Bear Lake, Pa., made that perfectly clear during his season-opening racing trip to Georgia and Florida. With one especially powerful performance, he proved that his frustrating checkered-flag drought on the national tour will soon come to an end.
Frank, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Jan. 22, made a serious run at victory on Feb. 23 in the first of two 50-lap WoO LMS A-Mains contested during the 41st UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. After recording the third-fastest lap around the half-mile oval in time trials and winning a heat race, ‘Chubzilla’ drove off the outside pole in the feature to lead laps 1-27 before being overtaken by eventual winner Dennis Erb Jr. and ultimately settling for a third-place finish.
“I’m tickled with how we ran,” said Frank, whose last WoO LMS win came on Aug. 22, 2009, at Atomic Speedway (then K-C Raceway) in Alma, Ohio. “We want to win, but we’ll take a top-three finish. For Volusia and the points race, that’s good.”
Frank was the highest-finishing WoO LMS regular in the Thursday-night event – the only Outlaw traveler to crack the top six spots, in fact. Racing on a heavy, extremely fast racetrack, he said his Corry Rubber/Hino Toyota/Horton Equipment Rocket No. 1* was just slightly off the necessary setup to repel Erb and runner-up Scott Bloomquist.
“I couldn’t get through one and two. I was horrible in (turns) one and two,” said Frank. “I could make it work if I hit it just right, but I was trying to cut across the bottom and I was just too tight so it would wash out. (Erb’s) car rotated really good.”
Armed with powerful Roush-Yates Ford engines for his 2012 action, Frank sees in his future many nights similar to – and better than – his third-place outing at Volusia.
“These Roush-Yates Fords just run great,” said Frank, who made the switch to Roush-Yates engines late last season. “They have plenty of power and that’s really helping our qualifying. We’ve struggled in that department the last few years and that’s put us behind, so we’re hoping to get some better consistency there.”
Unfortunately, Frank wasn’t able to duplicate his Thursday-night performance in Volusia’s WoO LMS finale on Feb. 25. Problems during Friday night’s DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned program – he dropped out of a B-Main due to a broken rearend – created issues with his car on Saturday. He had to use a provisional to start Saturday’s headliner and managed just a 19th-place finish.
“When we broke that rear on Friday night it did something that messed the car up,” said Frank, who jumped into his bright orange-colored backup car for Friday’s 40-lap UMP feature thanks to a provisional spot but retired early and was credited with a 28th-place finish. “The changes we made made the car drive better (than Thursday), but it didn’t have traction like it did on Thursday night.”
Frank entered the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals – during which he also recorded DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned feature finishes of 22nd on Feb. 20 and 15th on Feb. 21 (he didn’t qualify for the event that was postponed by rain to Friday afternoon, Feb. 24) – having already run WoO LMS events at two other tracks.
The tour’s 2012 campaign began on Feb. 10-11 with the inaugural $20,000-to-win ‘Winter Freeze’ at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. Frank struggled in the lidlifter, driving his bright-orange machine to a quiet 17th-place finish in the 60-lapper.
Frank was solid and steady when the WoO LMS moved on to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., for the first-ever ‘Bubba Army Late Model Winter Nationals’ from Feb. 16-18. He finished eighth (started seventh) in the 40-lap A-Main on Feb. 16; seventh (started 25th) in the 50-lapper on Feb. 17; and seventh (started ninth) in the 60-lap finale on Feb. 18.
Chubzilla’s run in the 50-lapper at BRP was especially noteworthy. After a heat-race incident forced him to park his distinctive orange machine, he used a provisional to start the A-Main in his white car and promptly drove through the pack. He advanced far enough to bid for a top-five position late in the distance.
Frank ended the busy of February ranked fifth in the WoO LMS points standings, 86 points behind leader Darrell Lanigan.
Next on Frank’s racing agenda is the $20,000-to-win WoO LMS ‘Illini 100’ on March 30-31 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway.
For more information on Chub Frank, visit his Web site at www.chubfrank.com.
Chub Frank Racing receives support from many valued sponsors, including Corry Rubber, Lake Shore Paving, Hino Toyota, Sorbera Family Chiropractic, Horton Equipment, All-Star Performance, Slavic Corporation, GW Performance, Integra Shocks, Hoosier Tire and Roush-Yates Racing Engines.