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Belleville Midget Nationals news 2009-07-16

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Belleville Midget Nationals news 2009-07-16
Oct 2, 2009, 4:40 PM

"ALL-STAR RACE" & $90,000 BELLEVILLE PURSE AWAIT PARTICIPANTS IN 32ND SPEEDWAY MOTORS MIDGET CLASSIC Over $90,000 in total prize money awaits participants in the 32nd Speedway Motors "Belleville Midget Nationals" July 30-August 1 at the ...

"ALL-STAR RACE" & $90,000 BELLEVILLE PURSE AWAIT PARTICIPANTS IN 32ND SPEEDWAY MOTORS MIDGET CLASSIC

Over $90,000 in total prize money awaits participants in the 32nd Speedway Motors "Belleville Midget Nationals" July 30-August 1 at the famed Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kansas.

The nation's richest Midget race has already drawn entries from a number of sanctioning bodies and race fans will be treated to a brand-new "All-Star Race of Champions" on opening night, Thursday, July 30 at the 1/2-mile banked dirt oval at the North Central Kansas Free Fair.

Defending champion Brad Sweet of Grass Valley, Calif. returns to compete in an entry from the Kasey Kahne/Curb Racing stable, while former champion Tracy Hines and teammate Levi Jones will team in entries from Tony Stewart Racing.

USAC Mopar National Midget point leader Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind. is aiming for his initial Belleville triumph, along with other top drivers from across the country.

Thursday's action includes a special 12-car "shootout," featuring the top eight drivers in USAC's Mopar National Midget standings as of July 6, plus four "at-large" selections. Scheduled for opening-night racing are Sweet, Kuhn, Hines, two-time Belleville champ Jerry Coons Jr., former Belleville champ Bobby East, defending National Midget champ Cole Whitt, Darren Hagen and Kevin Swindell, plus "at large" stars Levi Jones, USAC Triple Crown and two-time Belleville champ Dave Darland, former Belleville champ Josh Wise, and Henry Clarke. They will compete for four automatic berths in Saturday night's 40-lap "Belleville Midget National" finale.

On Friday night, a complete program of racing unfolds at Belleville, featuring top USAC drivers and stars from other sanctioning bodies, including "Indiana Midget Week" king Bryan Clauson, Chad Boat, Caleb Armstrong, Brad Loyet, Joe Boyles, Garrett Hood, Cody Brewer and Brady Bacon. They will also compete for four automatic Saturday starting berths, with a 25-lap main event slated.

Saturday night's competition pits all competitors in a full night of racing culminating with the big 40-lap feature to crown the 2009 champion.

"The "Belleville Midget Nationals" always offers spectacular racing and 2009 will be no exception," says USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. "We are extremely grateful for the support offered by race sponsor Speedway Motors and long-time USAC supporter Bill Smith. Belleville is one of the premier short-track motorsports events and we are delighted to again be part of this truly American classic."

A $12,500 paycheck awaits Saturday night's winner, while each Saturday night feature starter is guaranteed $1,000 and each participant in the three-night program is guaranteed a minimum of $700.

The atmosphere at Belleville is unique, with the North Central Kansas Free Fair underway, and race fans from across the country have been jamming the grandstands there for years to thrill to some of the most intense competition on the USAC calendar.

Sanctioned by USAC since 1996, the Belleville event started in 1978 with Eddie Jackson's victory and winners since have included drivers Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jason Leffler, Billy Boat, Stan Fox, Sleepy Tripp, Johnny Parsons, Jack Hewitt and Chuck Gurney.

-credit: --USAC--

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