NCRA: Belleville High Banks preview 2001-07-01

BELLEVILLE, Kan. (June 27, 2001) - The hottest drivers in the Midwest converge on the "World's Fastest Half-Mile Dirt Track" this Sunday, July 1, as the Belleville High Banks officially kicks off the 2001 racing season. Rain stopped the...

BELLEVILLE, Kan. (June 27, 2001) - The hottest drivers in the Midwest converge on the "World's Fastest Half-Mile Dirt Track" this Sunday, July 1, as the Belleville High Banks officially kicks off the 2001 racing season.

Rain stopped the originally scheduled opener on June 3, but the green light is on for this Sunday as the O'Reilly Auto Parts National Championship Racing Association (NCRA) Late Model and Modified Series storm the steep banking of the historical Sunflower State clay oval.

Leading the charge into Belleville is Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., who has three wins to his credit in the first six NCRA Late Model races of the season, including the most recent just a few miles south in Wichita.

Other top stars expected to try taming Belleville's big half-mile are current points leader Kent Taylor of Wellington and Sallisaw, Okla.'s Raymond Merrill, who trails Taylor by a slim 65 points entering Sunday's showdown. Other "highly possibles" to earn a hard-earned trip to Belleville's winners circle are Wichita's Delbert "The Ice Man" Smith, fellow Kansas racer Ted Martin and Colorado's Kelly Boen -- a past winner at Belleville.

The Modifieds pick up where they left off in last month's series opener as Brian Franz out-dueled two-time series champ John Allen of Chanute for the victory. Allen, also driving in the Late Model ranks this season, is a strong favorite for a double-taste of victory at Belleville this Sunday.

Wichita hotshoes Greg Stephens and Curt Fulps are also expected this weekend, along with top-five series regular Dan Daniels of Humbolt.

Hot laps begin Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and the green flag will unfurl for the first heat race at 7:30.

The wild-and-crazy Cruiser cars will also be in action, trading paint on Belleville's inner short track.

Adult admission is just $15.00, children ages 10-14 are $5.00 and kids under 10 are admitted free.

After the on-track fireworks have finished, a huge Fourth of July Weekend fireworks display will light up the sky.

The Belleville High Banks, located in Belleville, Kan., is managed by a volunteer racing committee that host 10-12 racing events annually. "The World's Fastest Half-Mile Dirt Track" allows drivers the rare opportunity to run "wide open" the entire track, and the sweeping oval is one of the most demanding test of endurance and skill for drivers. The track's mainstay is the annual Belleville Midget Nationals, held every year during the first weekend in August. As the nation's most prestigious midget car race of the year, the best equipment, owners and drivers flock to the small rural community of 3,500, which is transformed into a racing Mecca of more than 30,000 people each August.

For more information on the Belleville High Banks, write to: Belleville High Banks, P.O. Box 349, Belleville, KS 66935, or call (785) 527-6050. Sponsorship inquiries may call or fax (402) 761-3676 or via e-mail at wdake@alltel.net. Information is also available on the World Wide Web by logging on to http://www.highbanks.org or http://www.whowon.com.

Reserved tickets for the 24th Annual Belleville Midget Nationals presented by WhoWon.com are available by calling (785) 527-5179, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

-BHB

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers John Allen , Ted Martin