Steve Francis and his Tim Logan-led crew worked hard to earn their pair of top-10 finishes in last weekend's World of Outlaws Late Model Series 'RaceFest World Championships' at West Virginia Motor Speedway. Francis and Co. made a pair of engine changes -- one after time trials on Saturday night (May 29) in search of a powerplant combination more suitable for the big five-eighths-mile oval, another on Sunday afternoon (May 30) because Francis was concerned about his motor running hot during Saturday's A-Main (he attributed the overheating to nosepiece airflow problems he needs to correct). The engine he installed on Sunday was a Russell Baker-built piece that was fetched from Logan's shop on Sunday morning by Steve's wife, Amanda, who skipped Saturday's action to help her parents run their weekly program at Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, Ky.
All the work in the hot weather allowed Francis to finish ninth (from the 17th starting spot) in Saturday's 30-lap A-Main and a solid fourth in Sunday's 40-lapper, during which he was a contender throughout the distance but was hampered by a slight overheating condition. He ended the weekend ranked fourth in the points standings, 102 points behind leader Josh Richards. "We want see if we can work our way back into this points thing a little bit," said Francis, who entered the weekend 120 points out of first place. "We only gained a little this weekend, but there's a long way to go. Maybe we can get ourselves into a fairly safe fourth and go from there."