Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing final summary

Robert Ballou & Tim Kaeding are Dyno-Mite! - Tie for Sprint Bandits TNT Honors Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (August 23, 2007) -- In what proved to be the most competitive O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing yet, it was only ...

Robert Ballou & Tim Kaeding are Dyno-Mite! - Tie for Sprint Bandits TNT Honors

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (August 23, 2007) -- In what proved to be the most competitive O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing yet, it was only fitting that a pair of drivers ended up knotted atop the points charts for the TNT title.

A pair of Northern California natives, both from winged racing backgrounds, proved to be the cream of the crop over the course of the week with Rocklin's Robert Ballou and Campbell's Tim Kaeding tying for championship honors on the Third Annual O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing.

More than $100,000 in purse money, point fund and tow money was distributed over the course of the week as record car counts bolstered the popular series.

After finishes of eighth and fourth in the first two rounds of the week, 18-year-old Ballou went on a tear by winning the final three features of the week, including the $10,000 to win finale at Lakeside Speedway on Saturday night, August 18.

Ballou needed every bit of those three triumphs to tie Kaeding, who claimed podium finishes in all five feature events. Both drivers collected an extra $2,000 for their share of the championship.

Making just his second career wingless start, and first in more than three years, in the Tuesday night, August 14, event at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway, Kaeding finished second to Dave Darland by mere inches.

Kaeding also finished second to 16-year-old Chris Windom the next night at Mid-America Speedway in South Coffeyville, OK, as well as in the Lakeside finale, with third-place finishes at Creek County Speedway on August 16 and in the Lakeside preliminary feature.

Ballou and Kaeding ended the week with 726 points apiece, 40 markers ahead of Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett, who finished third in points after claiming last year's TNT Midwest Swing championship.

After finishing well back in the field in the I-80 opener, Hockett finished among the top-five in the remaining four events of the week with a third-place run in Saturday night's Ron Shuman Classic at Lakeside Speedway his top finish of the week.

Sixteen-year-old Cole Whitt of Alpine, CA, ran strong throughout the week to finish fourth in points, with Bedford, Indiana's Brady Short rounding out the top ten.

The balance of the top ten included Cory Kruseman (Ventura, CA), Casey Shuman (Tempe, AZ), Neil Shepherd (Warsaw, IN), Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) and Mat Neely (Robinson, IL).

Ten other drivers competed in all five events over the course of the week, including Charles Davis, Jr. (Buckeye, AZ), Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO), Michael Trimble (San Jose, CA), Chad Boat (Phoenix, AZ), R.J. Johnson (Phoenix, AZ), Don Droud, Jr. (Lincoln, NE), Jesse Mack (Fresno, CA), Mike Leslie (Litchfield Park, AZ), Bret Mellenberndt (Sioux Falls, SD) and Tony Everhart (El Cajon, CA).

A total of $10,000 was divvied up among the top ten points finishers, with more than $5,000 distributed to each of the teams that competed in each event during the week.

Sixty-eight different drivers competed in at least one O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing event last week, with a record average car count of 37.8 cars per night.

Final O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing 2007 Points (Top 30):

1. 81 - Robert Ballou (Rocklin, CA) 726
(tie) 10k - Tim Kaeding (Campbell, CA) 726
3. 75 - Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO) 686
4. 29w - Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA) 664
5. 2b - Brady Short (Bedford, IN) 662
6. 21k - Cory Kruseman (Ventura, CA) 632
7. 4 - Casey Shuman (Tempe, AZ) 626
8. 4n - Neil Shepherd (Warsaw, IN) 616
9. 71 - Damion Gardner (Concord, CA) 602
10. 17n - Mat Neely (Robinson, IL) 590
11. 21s - Charles Davis, Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) 575
12. 10T - Hunter Schuerenberg (Sikeston, MO) 560
13. 21 - Michael Trimble (San Jose, CA) 555
14. 10 -- Dave Darland (Lincoln, IN) 554
15. 17 - Chris Windom (Canton, IL) 544
16. 30 -- Chad Boat (Phoenix, AZ) 537
17. 15 -- R.J. Johnson (Phoenix, AZ) 536
18. 2J -- Don Droud, Jr. (Lincoln, NE) 534
19. 71m -- Jesse Mack (Fresno, CA) 492
20. 76 -- Mike Leslie (Litchfield Park, AZ) 486
21. 11d -- Dustin Morgan (Collinsville, OK) 484
22. 92/5c -- Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) 474
23. 97 -- Bret Mellenberndt (Sioux Falls, SD) 445
24. 29 -- Bud Kaeding (Campbell, CA) 428
25. 69 -- Jerry Coons, Jr. (Tucson, AZ) 380
26. 55 -- Tony Everhart (El Cajon, CA) 375
27. 02 -- Matt Rossi (Peoria, AZ) 370
28. 12 -- Trey Robb (Newcastle, OK) 264
29. 11w -- Ricky Williams (Clinton, OH) 242
30. 5c -- Cody Cordell (Tulsa, OK) 240

The success of this year's O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing already has several new tracks inquiring about TNT dates for 2008.

Additional information regarding the O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless series is available at www.sprintbandits.com.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Dave Darland , Bud Kaeding , Cory Kruseman , Jerry Coons , Mike Leslie , Jesse Hockett , Brady Short , Damion Gardner , Dustin Morgan , Cole Whitt , Chad Boat , Chris Windom , R.J. Johnson , Hunter Schuerenberg , Casey Shuman , Gary Taylor , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams