WM: Belleville Midget Nationals preview

RODELA LOOKING TO JOIN WISE, BOAT AND JONES AS WESTERN MIDGET BELLEVILLE CHAMP INDIANAPOLIS -- Jerome Rodela already has a USAC Western Midget Car Series championship under his belt. The El Monte, Calif. native, who won the title last year...

RODELA LOOKING TO JOIN WISE, BOAT AND JONES AS WESTERN MIDGET BELLEVILLE CHAMP

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jerome Rodela already has a USAC Western Midget Car Series championship under his belt.

The El Monte, Calif. native, who won the title last year after a pair of runner-up finishes, currently leads the series point standings again this season, and looks to continue his season heading into one of the busiest weeks of the series' season.

But one thing Rodela is still searching for is a "Belleville (Kan.) Midget Nationals" winner's trophy. He hopes this season is the year as the Western Midget Car Series meets up National competitors and those of other sanctioning bodies for three races in the Sunflower State.

Before Rodela gets a chance to tame Belleville, he'll try his hand tomorrow at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan. The 3/8-mile track will host its first USAC Midget race in nearly three decades.

The two-night "Belleville Midget Nationals" will pay out more than $83,000 to competitors, with the winner of the 40-lap feature Saturday taking home at least $12,500. Coons added his name to the list of champions last year that include Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler, two-time series champion Dave Darland and defending series champion Josh Wise.

Wise is one of several USAC Western Series standouts to have taken the Belleville Saturday night feature, standouts which include multiple-time Indianapolis 500 starter Billy Boat as well as Page Jones, the younger son of 1963 Indy 500 champ Parnelli Jones.

Rodela finished second to Garratt Boyden on Saturday at Madera Speedway in California, and brings a 28-point advantage over Tyler Brown heading into 81 Speedway.

Boyden led the final 11 laps after passing Rodela in the co-sanctioned USAC/BCRA event, winning his first USAC race of the season. Evan Margeson, Scott Pierovich and Ryan Kaplan rounded out the Top 5.

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Series USAC
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jason Leffler , Billy Boat , Parnelli Jones , Kasey Kahne , Dave Darland , Josh Wise , Ryan Kaplan , Scott Pierovich