SPEEDWAY MOTORS "BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS" THIS WEEKEND; GURNEY LANDS 1ST NATIONAL WIN & LEADS "TOYOTA CHALLENGE" Defending two-time USAC Mopar National Midget Champion Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. is set to defend his...
SPEEDWAY MOTORS "BELLEVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS" THIS WEEKEND; GURNEY LANDS 1ST NATIONAL WIN & LEADS "TOYOTA CHALLENGE"
Defending two-time USAC Mopar National Midget Champion Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. is set to defend his "Belleville Midget Nationals" crown in this Friday and Saturday's 31st annual event at the Belleville, Kansas High Banks, presented by Speedway Motors.
A 25-lap feature is slated at the 1/2-mile dirt Belleville oval Friday and the 40-lap finale is Saturday night with total prize money topping $83,000!
Coons currently ranks 10th in the latest USAC Mopar National Midget points and is still seeking his first victory of the 2008 campaign. Bobby East, winner of the 2004 Belleville Midget Nationals, is atop the National standings entering Belleville, but is only three points ahead of Tracy Hines, who continues to seek his first Belleville triumph. Hines hopes to land the 2008 National Midget title, becoming the fifth driver to claim USAC's career "Triple Crown," having also won the Silver Crown and Sprint Car titles. The others are Tony Stewart, Pancho Carter, Dave Darland and J.J. Yeley.
Chuck Gurney, Jr. of Livermore, Calif. earned his first USAC National feature victory in Thursday night's 30-lap "Toyota Challenge" Midget race at O'Reilly Raceway Park, leading all the way in his Performance Composites/Fontana Automotive Beast. NASCAR star Kasey Kahne finished a strong second ahead of Bobby Santos III, Levi Jones and Billy Wease.
Fast qualifier Bobby East encountered mechanical problems and was unable to take the green flag and was placed 24th in the official order of finish. East, however, passed Tracy Hines for the Mopar National Midget Series point lead going into the Belleville races this week.
Gurney emerged as the leader in the 2008 "Toyota Challenge" standings with is #51G entry. He has an eight point edge over Western Speed Racing's #45 machine going into the "Toyota Challenge" finale at O'Reilly Raceway Park September 12.