Sprint Bandits TNT season preview

Sprint Bandits TNT Ignites Next Sunday! TULSA, Okla. (August 9, 2009) -- The annual occurrence is just one week away. Each year, somewhere right around the middle of August, the nation's top wingless Sprint Car drivers ...

Sprint Bandits TNT Ignites Next Sunday!

TULSA, Okla. (August 9, 2009) -- The annual occurrence is just one week away. Each year, somewhere right around the middle of August, the nation's top wingless Sprint Car drivers converge upon the nation's mid-section for a full week of Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless competition.

This year is no different, with the exception that the wingless wars get under way one night earlier with a Sunday night event (August 16) marking the first of six nights of racing over a span of seven days.

A multitude of drivers hailing from the Hoosier State of Indiana and surrounding "traditional" areas will take on the best the West can offer atop a handful of tracks throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas that only host the top wingless forces once a year, offering up some neutral turn to determine the best of the best.

Indiana's Dave Darland is the reigning Sprint Bandits TNT champion after posting five podium finishes in six events last year, including his second consecutive series triumph at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway.

While Darland's consistency netted the title, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon and California's Robert Ballou combined to win five of the six features last August. Bacon, 18 years old at the time, strung together the initial three wingless 410-ci Sprint Car wins of his career, while Ballou topped Lakeside Speedway's $10,000-to-win wingless classic for the second year in a row.

While Darland is the reigning TNT champion, Robert Ballou and Tim Kaeding tied for top TNT Midwest Swing honors in 2007, Missouri's Jesse Hockett earned the top spot in 2006 and Illinois' Levi Jones captured the inaugural TNT championship in 2005.

This year's TNT swing opens at a new venue with Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, IA, hosting the series on Sunday night, August 16. The following night, it's on to Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway for the Fifth Annual TNT Husker Nationals.

After a travel day on Tuesday, action resumes at Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway on Wednesday, August 19, before moving up the Turner Turnpike to Creek County Speedway near Tulsa on Thursday. The week then concludes with the traditional $10,000-to-win two-night stand at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, on August 21-22.

Round One -- Rapid Speedway (Rock Rapids, IA)
When: Sunday, August 16

Description: 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt oval
Location: 0.5 miles east of US 75 on SR 9, then 0.5 miles south on South Tama St. (at the Lyons Co. Fairgrounds)

Race Time: 8:00 p.m.

Notes: Just a stone's throw or two from Sioux Falls, SD, Rock Rapids Speedway hosts the Sprint Bandits TNT for the first time with the opening round of 2009.

-credit: www.sprintbandits.com.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Dave Darland , Levi Jones , Jesse Hockett , Tim Kaeding