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'First State 50' At Delaware Intnatl. Spwy. Homecoming For Aus

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World of Outlaws Late Model Series 'First State 50' On Thursday (May 13) At Delaware International Speedway Serves As Homecoming For Austin Hubbard


DELMAR, DE - May 13, 2010 - Call it 'Homecoming 2010' for Austin Hubbard.


When the World of Outlaws Late Model Series visits Delaware International Speedway on Thursday night (May 13) for the sixth time in the last seven years, the national tour's sensational young rookie will naturally attract a very large portion of the spotlight.


While Hubbard, 18, has never been a regular competitor at the half-mile oval during his six-year dirt Late Model career, he's still the local boy who's made good. He hails from nearby Seaford, Del., so Thursday's $10,000-to-win 'First State 50' gives him the rare opportunity to perform in his backyard rather than the usual hundreds, or thousands, of miles away from home.


"It'll be nice to be racing 15 minutes from the shop," said Hubbard, who is following a grueling 2010 WoO LMS schedule that currently boasts 48 events at 41 tracks in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. "My family is gonna be there, a lot of my friends, all of my sponsors from the area. It adds a little pressure because you want to run good in front of them, but I like having a chance to hang out with them.


"With so many people I know coming out, it makes it a more home-type atmosphere."


Hubbard's 'Homecoming 2010' will actually start 14 miles north of the speedway on Thursday when he makes a public appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the headquarters of Trinity Transport, located on Alternate Rt. 13 in Seaford, Del. He will visit with many of his longtime sponsor's 100-plus employees, and fans are invited to stop by to meet Hubbard, snap pictures of his Beitler Motorsports No. 19 race car and hauler and purchase special-edition t-shirts produced to commemorate his return to Delaware as an Outlaw.


Hubbard enters Thursday's program as one of the country's hottest up-and-coming talents in the dirt Late Model division, not to mention a trailblazer for short-track racers from the First State. He's not only the first resident of Delaware to compete as a regular on the renowned WoO LMS, but also the first driver from the state to win an A-Main on the tour after breaking into Victory Lane in just his fourth start of the season, on March 20 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.


The teenager known as the 'Delaware Destroyer' understands how fortunate he is to be in such an enviable position, racing professionally for a high-profile team owned by Dale Beitler of West Friendship, Md., while many of his buddies are still in classrooms finishing up their school years.


"Delaware's pretty small, but there's been some good drivers (from the state) – like Ricky Elliott and Kenny Pettyjohn – who have won a lot of races and shown they can run with the best guys (in the dirt Late Model division)," said Hubbard, who accelerated his senior-year studies at Sussex Tech with night classes so he could receive his high-school diploma ahead of schedule in order to concentrate on racing. "Those guys have just never gotten the opportunity to branch out and run across the country.


"I'm glad I've gotten the chance, and I feel like we've definitely capitalized on it."


And he's proud to carry the torch for Delaware's dirt Late Model drivers on a national level.


"I feel like I gotta represent for the chickens, the Blue Hens," quipped Hubbard, referencing one of the state's nicknames.


Currently ranked sixth in the WoO LMS points standings through 12 events (he's been as high as fourth) with one win, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes, Hubbard has already shown more than enough speed this season to qualify as a legitimate threat for victory in Thursday's 'First State 50.' His competition will feature an array of heavy hitters such as former WoO LMS champions Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. (the tour's current points leader), Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. (defending champ), Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky. (the only two-time WoO LMS winner at Delaware International) and Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky. (who appeared headed to victory in last year's 'First State 50' driving Beitler's car until a late-race flat tire dive-bombed his bid), but Hubbard isn't intimidated by any of them.


"Dale gives me equipment that's second-to-none and 'Hog' (crew chief Robby Allen) always has it prepared great," said Hubbard, who has totaled $38,620 in earnings on the WoO LMS this season. "It's up to me to drive it to the best of my ability."


Hubbard has raced at Delaware International Speedway less than a dozen times in his career, with a single feature win to his credit in a weekly race during the 2007 season. His finishes in WoO LMS A-Mains at the track include a 21st in 2007 and 17th in 2009 (after setting the third-fastest time in qualifying).


"It would be so cool to win an Outlaw show at Delmar," said Hubbard, who spent most of his formative Saturday nights early in his career racing at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica. "Winning in front of so many people who support me so much but don't get to see me race a lot anymore – that would be so exciting."


And don't worry – if Hubbard happens to pull off a triumph on Thursday night, he'll certainly celebrate his accomplishment in the uniquely unbridled manner that has quickly become his trademark. After his victory two months ago at Screven he delighted fans with an uninhibited "I'm on fire!" impersonation of Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, running down the homestretch wearing nothing but his helmet, fireproof socks and long underwear.


Perhaps a victory would even get Hubbard excited enough to just run out the track exit and right up Rt. 13 to his front door. That's certainly something he couldn't do at any other speedway on the WoO LMS schedule.


Delaware International Speedway's gates are scheduled to open on Thurs., May 13, at 4 p.m. The program, which also includes action for the Little Lincolns division, will kick off with hot laps at 7 p.m.


General admission is $26 (adults) and $5 for children ages 7-13, with reserved seats available for an additional $4. Pit passes are $35 and $10 (ages 7-13).


More info on the 'First State 50' is available by logging on to www.delawareracing.com or calling the track office at 302-875-1911.


For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

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