Sprint Bandits TNT - the tracks

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT 2008 -- The Tracks... TULSA, Okla. (August 5, 2008) -- Each year, they meet in the middle. The nation's top wingless Sprint Car drivers converge upon the nation's mid-section for a full week of O'Reilly...

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT 2008 -- The Tracks...

TULSA, Okla. (August 5, 2008) -- Each year, they meet in the middle. The nation's top wingless Sprint Car drivers converge upon the nation's mid-section for a full week of O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless competition.

This year is no different, as drivers from the Hoosier State of Indiana and surrounding "traditional" areas will take on the best the West can offer for six consecutive nights throughout Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas, beginning next Monday night, August 11. And it's all on tracks that only host the wingless warriors once a year. It's the closest thing to neutral turf to be found.

Some of the locals even clip their wings to take on the wingless professionals. One of those, Jesse Hockett of Warsaw, MO, further proved his wingless prowess when he captured the 2006 Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing championship. The versatile racer had already topped Lakeside Speedway's $10,000 wingless classic two times previous to TNT honors.

The previous year, Illinois shoe Levi Jones ignited with the TNT title. And then last year, West Coast natives Robert Ballou and Tim Kaeding tied for top TNT honors.

This year, five tracks are set to host the series, with Lucas Oil Speedway opening up the six-night set with ensuing events at Nebraska Raceway Park's I-80 Speedway, Oklahoma City's State Fair Speedway, Sapulpa's Creek County Speedway and then Kansas City's Lakeside Speedway.

Round One -- Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO)
When: Monday, August 11
Description: 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt oval
Location: 0.2 miles south of US 54 on SR 83
Times: Pits open at 4:00 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Notes: "The Diamond of Dirt Tracks" rejoins the TNT trail. Dickie Gaines scored his lone career TNT victory at Lucas Oil Speedway in 2006, fending off a serious bid for the win by Jesse Hockett.

Round Two -- I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE)
When: Tuesday, August 12
Description: 4/10-mile semi-banked dirt oval
Location: Between Omaha and Lincoln off I-80 Exit 420, then 0.4 miles north on SR 63, then west
Times: Pits open at 5:00 p.m. Racing begins at 7:00 p.m.

Notes: I-80 Speedway has annually hosted some of the most competitive wingless action of the week. Levi Jones topped an action-packed 2005 TNT feature, Robert Ballou shocked the world with his first wingless win in 2006 and then Dave Darland gave the Trucker's Team their first TNT win when he nipped Tim Kaeding at the line by 0.052 seconds last year.

Round Three -- State Fair Speedway (Oklahoma City, OK)
When: Wednesday, August 13
Description: 3/8-mile slightly-banked clay oval
Location: At the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds near the intersection of N.W. 10th and May Avenue
Times: Pits open at 4:00 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Notes: There is an abundance of history in the air at the Fairgrounds Speedway that has hosted auto racing for more than half a century, but this will be the first wingless Sprint Car race since Levi Jones topped the TNT forces in 2005. Prior to that, the last 410-ci wingless Sprint Car race was a 1988 classic in which Lealand McSpadden wore out the outer guard rail on the old half-mile to beat Shane Carson and Ron Shuman.

Round Four -- Creek County Speedway (Sapulpa, OK)
When: Thursday, August 14
Description: 0x00bc-mile semi-banked clay oval
Location: Southwest of Tulsa off I-44 Exit 211 then 0.3 miles south on SR 33, then one miles west on US 66
Times: Pits open at 3:00 p.m. Racing begins at 7:00 p.m.

Notes: The bullring hosted non-wing 410-ci Sprint Cars for the first time last year and lived up to all expectations with Robert Ballou besting a field of 42 entries with the first of three consecutive TNT wins.

Rounds Five & Six -- Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
When: Friday and Saturday, August 15-16
Description: 0x00bd-mile semi-banked dirt oval
Location: Off I-435 Exit 18, then one mile northwest on SR 5
Times: Pits open at 5:00 p.m., racing begins at 7:30 p.m. on both nights

Tickets: $16 on Friday and $18 on Saturday if ordered in advance by calling the track, $20 and $25 on race days. Kids 8-14 just $8 each night.

Notes: After four nights of $4,000 to win events, the week culminates with Lakeside Speedway's $10,000 to win Ron Shuman Classic on Saturday night, August 16. The top four finishers in Friday night's preliminary feature are locked into the finale. Robert Ballou took last year's $10,000 top prize along with the coveted pedal car, joining a prestigious list of past event winners including Brad Sweet (2006), Bud Kaeding (2005 and 2002), Jesse Hockett (2004 and 2003), Troy Rutherford (2001) and Tony Elliott (2000).

-credit: www.sprintbandits.com.

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Dave Darland , Bud Kaeding , Levi Jones , Jesse Hockett , Brad Sweet , Troy Rutherford , Tim Kaeding