NST: Montana doubleheader preview

NST ready for Montana doubleheader this weekend The wide-open National Sprint Tour points race continues this weekend in the wide-open land of Montana. The NST runs a doubleheader Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18 and 19, at the 3/8-mile ...

NST ready for Montana doubleheader this weekend

The wide-open National Sprint Tour points race continues this weekend in the wide-open land of Montana.

The NST runs a doubleheader Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18 and 19, at the 3/8-mile Billings Motorsports Park in Billings, Mont.

There will also be a meet and greet Thursday, Aug. 17 from 4-6 p.m. at A To Z Tire, located at 912 4th Avenue North in Billings.

Danny 'The Dude' Lasoski, who had an eventful night in the Knoxville Nationals last Saturday, finished second in Monday's NST race at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.

Lasoski, a seven-time winner this year, enters Montana with a 64-point lead over Steve Kinser. Lasoski passed Kinser late to finish second on Monday, while Kinser's teammate Tim Kaeding won his 12th race of the season. Kaeding enters Montana third in the standings, 94 points behind Lasoski.

Not only are the top-three in close proximity, there are plenty of other battles going on in the NST points race. Jason Meyers and Jason Solwold sit comfortably in fourth and fifth, but sixth place Paul McMahan is only 15 points ahead of Jason Sides.

Other NST drivers racing both nights at Montana are Shane Stewart, Brian Paulus, Kerry Madsen and Dean Jacobs. Jacobs, who continues to fill in for the injured Tim Shaffer, picked up his first NST top-five finish Monday night.

Jacobs drives for Lonny Parsons, who was injured when hit by a water truck while crossing Selinsgrove Speedway in Pennsylvania on Aug. 5. Parsons was released from the hospital last Friday.

Other drivers expected to follow the NST out west include Chad Hillier, Travis Rilat and Jonathan Allard.

"Obviously we are extremely excited about hosting the best drivers in the world," said Syl Schied, co-promoter at Billings Motorsports Park. "We built this track from the ground up three years ago. When you have the best drivers at your track, when you see them in action you're awe.

"When you have them in your home town, it's amazing," Schied added. "You're looking at speeds of 110 mph plus on this track. The group of guys is phenomenal. It's awesome to watch them in person."

Les Kraft, co-promoter with Schied, is also excited about the doubleheader.

"This is a real opportunity for Billings and Montana overall to get these drivers in," Kraft said. "They put on a great show. We're fortunate to have a two-day show. It's a pretty slick deal."

Kinser swept the 2004 feature events at the track, and won the Friday show last year. He finished second in last year's finale to Daryn Pittman.

Both Schied and Kraft are appreciative of comments Kinser made about the track last year.

"Kinser said this is one of the finest tracks in the nation," Schied said. "He's been to a lot of them, so that made us feel extremely good."

Kraft recalled, "Kinser said Friday night it is a really nice track, and you can run two-wide, three-wide or four-wide. That's a neat deal coming from the best Sprint car driver in the world."

The Billings weekend has traditionally kicked off Brownfield Promotions Inc.'s post-Knoxville 'Wild Wild Northwest Tour'. Teams travel to Montana on the way to a doubleheader Aug. 25-26 at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. The National Sprint Tour then travels to Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore. for an Aug. 29 date.

"The nice part is it brings cars from the Midwest in our direction," Kraft said. "We're kind of the start of Northwest Tour. We're kind of the kick off point. If it wasn't for Northwest Tour, it would be difficult for guys to come out in this direction."

As in Nebraska on Monday, top finishers at Montana in 360s and non-NST drivers with a 410 will get bonus money. The top five finishers in each category are eligible for up to $1,500 with the top finisher getting $500.

Ticket sales for both nights at Montana start at 2 p.m. the day of the event. Tickets can also be purchased in advance by calling the track at 406-256-7511, or they can be bought at A To Z Tire.

Tickets are $30 for Friday and $40 for Saturday. Children 10 and under are half price, while children young enough to sit on a lap are admitted for free. Gates open at 5 p.m. both nights, with racing set to start around 7. The track's Super Stocks will be the supporting class both nights.

For more information on Billings Motorsports Park, visit www.bmpracer.com. For more information on the National Sprint Tour, visit www.nationalsprinttour.com.

-credit: nst

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Series Sprint
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Steve Kinser , Brian Paulus , Dean Jacobs , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Jonathan Allard , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Tim Kaeding