Milwaukee race notes, Belleville preview

NATIONAL MIDGET LEADER COONS HEADS BELLEVILLE ENTRIES; SANTOS WINS MILWAUKEE INDIANAPOLIS -- Defending "Belleville (Kan.) Midget Nationals" champion Jerry Coons Jr. fulfilled a lifelong goal last year by winning the annual event in his 16th try.

NATIONAL MIDGET LEADER COONS HEADS BELLEVILLE ENTRIES; SANTOS WINS MILWAUKEE

INDIANAPOLIS -- Defending "Belleville (Kan.) Midget Nationals" champion Jerry Coons Jr. fulfilled a lifelong goal last year by winning the annual event in his 16th try. This season, he's trying to reach another achievement.

Coons, driving for Wilke-Pak Motorsports will look to defend his Belleville triumph from a year ago and extend his point lead in search of his first USAC title. The Tucson, Ariz. native was sixth Saturday in the "Toyota USAC Midget Classic 25" at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., five spots behind winner Bobby Santos III.

But before Coons heads to Belleville, he'll have to fend off fellow National competitors and those from the Western Midget Car Series tomorrow at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan. Coons has won two of the three dirt races this season. The race is the first for the series at the 3/8-mile track in nearly three decades.

The two-night "Belleville Midget Nationals" will pay out more than $83,000 to competitors, with the winner of the 40-lap feature Saturday taking home at least $12,500. Coons added his name to the list of champions last year that include Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler, two-time series champion Dave Darland and defending series champion Josh Wise.

Santos continued his stellar performance on pavement at Milwaukee, running to a two-second advantage at the conclusion of the 25-lap race. He passed Billy Wease on Lap 12 and led the remainder of the event in the Terry Klatt-owned No. 4 Clorox/Ford Beast/Esslinger Ford for his fourth series victory of the season.

Trailing Wease were Darland, Brad Loyet and Dave Steele. Coons's sixth-place finish produced a 17-point lead over Darland, who won last year's preliminary event at Belleville.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jason Leffler , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , Dave Steele , Josh Wise , Bobby Santos III , Billy Wease , Brad Loyet