Dream Update...

A long five days spent at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, ended in frustrating fashion for Steve Francis.Francis headed home to Ashland, Ky., after the Dream's checkered flag, but only for a quick stop. His crew chief, Tim Logan, returned to the shop on Sunday to prepare the two cars that Francis will take with him on the road with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series for the next week -- the 'Great Northern Tour' begins on June 15 at Can-Am Motorsports Park in Lafargeville, N.Y., and continues through the Firecracker 100 on June 24-26 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.

After kicking off his stay at the half-mile oval by fielding a Tornadoes-sponsored dirt Late Model for NASCAR star Ryan Newman in the 'Prelude to a Dream' charity race on June 9 (Newman finished 16th in the feature event), Francis sought the $100,000 top prize in the 100-lap 'Dream XVI' event. He started his assault on Friday night by timing 21st in the 104-car qualifying session and then drove to victory in Saturday night's third 15-lap heat race. Francis earned the fourth starting spot for the 100-lap A-Main, which was postponed to Sunday afternoon by rain. His hopes were high to contend for victory, but his chances were diminished on the first lap when he slapped the outside wall between turns one and two, leaving the right side of his car's rear spoiler with significant damage. He managed to keep his No. 15 inside the top five despite the handicap, but on lap 41 he retired after his attempt to slide by Steve Casebolt for fourth place ended with his car climbing the turn-four wall.

“I made the real smart move of trying to knock the wall down on lap two and then doing it again (on lap 41),” said Francis, who finished 21st after retiring with body and suspension damage following his second incident (his car was also starting to overheat from a punctured radiator). “I felt like my car was real maneuverable, but after messing up that spoiler we were done.”