The 2007 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion Steve Francis will return to The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway searching for his second straight win in the Circle K Colossal 100 on March 27-28.

Francis, known to dirt late model fans as the "Kentucky Colonel,"

started from the pole and survived 16 caution flags en route to his 2008 victory.

"The Colossal 100 has become one of the crown jewels in dirt racing," Francis said. "It's definitely a top event in the dirt late model series and one we look forward to.

"The Dirt Track's surface has changed in the last couple of years.

It's a little easier on the race cars, which is a great improvement for the racers. The facility is second to none and now with the improvements on the surface it's even better."

Francis began racing at age 15 and won his first dirt late model event in 1984. He has more than 200 career feature wins and has been named an official Kentucky Colonel by the governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for his success in auto racing.

Last year the 41-year-old driver of the No. 19 late model won a total of six feature races, in 43 starts before finishing third in the overall season point standings for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Francis started off the 2009 season last Saturday night with a win in the 50-lap late model series A-Main during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. The win was his 21st career World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory making it the most of any driver on the national tour since 2004.

Friday night's portion of the Circle K Colossal 100 features group time trials and heat races. The top-three finishers in each heat will secure a spot in the 100-lap finale and a draw will determine the starting lineup.

Saturday night's program begins with the Circle K driver autograph party and on-track action includes preliminary features, the main event and for the first time in Circle K Colossal 100 history, cars that do not qualify for the main event through the B features can participate in the Charlotte 30, a 30-lap race that pays $2,000 to win.

If purchased in advance, reserved tickets for both Friday and Saturday nights are just $39 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under. Two-day pit passes are $60 in advance.

Tickets and pit passes for the March 27-28 Circle K Colossal 100 can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.