Coming off an ’11 campaign that he closed on an encouraging upward trend, the veteran star from Bear Lake, Pa., is “hammer-down” working on his Corry Rubber/Hino Toyota/Horton Equipment Rocket No. 1* machines in preparation for the upcoming racing wars.
“Usually by the end of a season I’m ready for it to be over,” said Frank, whose illustrious racing career has spanned more than 30 years. “But this year is different. I feel like the changes we made late in the season really helped pick our program up, so I wish we could’ve kept racing.
“I’m ready to get going again now. I’m pumped about what we can do in 2012.”
The renewed fire in Frank’s gut comes largely as the result of a change he made under the hood. Just before Labor Day he began using new Roush-Yates engines and his performance – especially his qualifying efforts – noticeably improved. His end-of-the-year surge included his biggest victory of 2011, a $13,000 United Late Model Series score on Sept. 25 at McKean County Raceway in East Smethport, Pa.
With powerful Roush-Yates Chevy and Ford engines at his disposal for ’12, the popular driver known as ‘Chubzilla’ is confident that he’ll return to his vintage form.
“I’m really looking forward to next season,” said Frank, who closed his ’11 schedule on Nov. 13 with an 11th-place finish in the unsanctioned National 100 at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Ala. “I think we’re really going to be able to qualify better with these Roush-Yates motors, and that’s gonna make a big difference. We’ve been playing catch-up too much lately because we’ve gotten behind in qualifying.”
Frank put together a respectable 2011 season, highlighted by his fifth-place finish in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series points standings. While he fell short of reaching Victory Lane on the national tour for the second consecutive season, he recorded five top-five (including two runner-up outings) and 17 top-10 finishes in 32 events en route to his first top-five placing in the points battle since 2008. He amassed $93,185 in earnings on the series, including his $30,000 points-fund check.
Frank did earn three feature wins away from the World of Outlaws circuit in 2011, adding a pair of regular-show triumphs at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., to his marquee checkered-flag at McKean County. Overall he entered 50 events and registered 14 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. He failed to finish just four of the 42 feature races he started.
Frank and his team plan to kick off their 2012 schedule on Feb. 10-11 in the World of Outlaws’s season-opening, $20,000-to-win ‘Winter Freeze’ event at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., before heading farther south for action at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. (WoO Late Model Series on Feb. 16-18) and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. (DIRTcar UMP shows on Feb. 20, 21, 22 and 24 and WoO Late Model Series programs on Feb. 23 and 25).
Frank, who will celebrate his 50th birthday on Jan. 22, expects to once again focus his efforts on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, the tour he’s followed religiously since 2004 (his best points finish is second, in 2007). He’s hoping to see the series grow significantly in 2012 – in fact, he’s challenging the World of Outlaws marketing team to make that happen.
“We’ve been running the World of Outlaws since the World Racing Group started it and we definitely want to do it again (in ’12), but I would also like to see the series get bigger and better,” said Frank. “For the last four or five years I’ve been hearing from people in the World Racing Group marketing department that they’re close to signing a title sponsor, but nothing has ever happened. I know it’s not easy to find sponsors, but I feel like they’ve had plenty of time and they need to start producing some positive things for the series on the marketing side.
“I know that if the World Racing Group marketing department steps up their program and brings more companies and manufacturers into the series, then it would help our program. We’re out there doing our job promoting the series, and I’m hoping the World Racing Group marketing team will do their job so the series will grow and become more attractive for everyone.”
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.