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Jerry Coons wins 30th Mopar Belleville Midget Nationals

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Sunday, 29 July 2007

By Alex Wollf

Jerry Coons Jr. became the seventh repeat winner in the history of the legendary Mopar Belleville Midget Nationals in its 30th running Saturday night at the Kansas oval. Coons joins Stan Fox, Sleepy Tripp, Steve Knepper, Kasey Kahne, Dave Darland, and Josh Wise in the elite club of repeat winners. The victory by Coons was also the first ever at the Mopar Belleville Midget Nationals for the great Wilke-Pak Racers team.

Brad Sweet and Coons led the field down to the green flag of the Championship Race. Sweet jumped into the early lead and held the lead until lap thirteen when Coons made a daring move on the main straightaway where he passed four lapped cars and Sweet to take the race lead. A scary moment came on lap 18 when Cody Brewer flipped and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crashed into him just after taking second place, luckily both walked away. During a lap 26 yellow for Donnie Ray Crawford's flat right rear tire, Brad Sweet relinquished second position by pulling into the pits. Seven laps later Brady Bacon had a flat tire and during the caution period sprinkles began to fall and lightning flashed.

From there the only thing that challenged the driver of the Wilke-Pak Racers/Speedway-Motors-K&N Filters/Spike/ Stanton Mopar #11 was showers that picked up in intensity during the final five laps. He was able to hold on and take the 40-lap Championship Race. Behind Coons in the top five were Levi Jones, Brad Kuhn, Darren Hagen, and Robby Flock. After the race Coons summed up his feelings.

"It is such a relief to get this win for the Wilke-Pak team," he said.

Eight-lap heat races went to Darren Hagen, Don Droud Jr., Donnie Ray Crawford, and Robby Flock. The ten-lap Pole Dash went to Brad Sweet. Gary Taylor won the fifteen-lap Semi Feature.

USAC NATIONAL/WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: July 28, 2007 - Belleville, Kansas - Belleville High Banks - 30th Mopar "Belleville Midget Nationals"

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Darren Hagen (#32 RFMS), 2. Damion Gardner (#67 Kunz), 3. Michael Pickens (#2 Lein), 4. Cody Brewer (#96 Brewer), 5. Bradley Galedrige (#26 Galedrige), 6. Terry Goodwin (#7 Mentgen), 7. Daron Clayton (#75 Pedregon), 8. Brad Loyet (#05L Loyet). 2:24.96

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Robby Flock (#19x Sala), 2. Dave Darland (#9 Nine Racing), 3. Bud Kaeding (#71x Pedregon), 4. Joe Liguori (#28 Owen), 5. Bryce Townsend (#3nz Townsend), 6. Matt Smith (#13 Smith), 7. Scott Buckley (#25nz Buckley), 8. Dustin Morgan (#111 Morgan/Walker), 9. Rick England (#12c Coleman). 2:26.62

z THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Don Droud Jr. (#4 Klatt), 2. Davey Ray (#91 Nine Racing), 3. Nathan High (#21az Burkhart), 4. Gary Taylor (#999 Tel-Star), 5. Danny Stratton (#21a Burkhart), 6. A.J. Fike (#69 RFMS), 7. Brad Kuhn (#43 Quin), 8. Kevin Swindell (#79 Kahne), 9. C.J. Sarna (#20x Sarna).2:25.78

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Donnie Ray Crawford (#299 Tel-Star), 2. Brady Bacon (#99 Kahne), 3. Chris Windom (#17 Windom), 4. Brad Mosen (#71 Kunz), 5. Jonathan Beason (#36 Beason), 6. Matt Johnson (#85 Johnson), 7. Mike Hess (#51x Hess), 8. Lance Beale (#05nz Loyet), 9. Scott Pierovich (#35 Pierovich). 2:27.55

FIFTH HEAT (Pole Dash): (10 laps) 1. Brad Sweet (#97 Kunz), 2. Jerry Coons Jr. (#11 Wilke-Pak), 3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (#21 Stewart), 4. Levi Jones (#20 Stewart), 5. Scott Hatton (#15 Huston), 6. Johnny Rodriguez (#87 Mitchell). 3:07.43

ALSO AT THE TRACK: Russ Harper (#09 Harper), Todd Plemons (#17p Mentgen), Matt Sherrell (#22J Tel-Star), #05, Loyet; #19, Nine Racing; #20s, Stewart, #21s Stewart, #29, Galedrige, #35x, Pierovich; #37 Mitchell; #43nz, Quin; #67k, Kunz; #96x, Brewer; #132, RFMS and #175, Pedregon.

SEMI: (15 laps) 1. Taylor, 2. Kuhn, 3. Stratton, 4. Swindell, 5. Mosen, 6. Liguori, 7. Brewer, 8. Sarna, 9. Loyet,10. Pierovich, 11. Johnson, 12. B.Galedrige (#26), 13. Plemons, 14. Beale, 15. Fike, 16. Beason, 17. Sherrell, 18. Townsend, 19. Smith, 20. Goodwin. 4:42.49

FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Jerry Coons Jr., 2. Levi Jones, 3. Brad Kuhn. 4. Darren Hagen, 5. Robby Flock, 6. Don Droud Jr., 7. Michael Pickens, 8. Damion Gardner, 9. Danny Stratton, 10. Chris Windom, 11. Brad Mosen, 12. Joe Liguori, 13. Brady Bacon, 14. Kevin Swindell, 15. Brad Sweet, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Bud Kaeding, 18. Donnie Ray Crawford, 19. Scott Pierovich, 20. Davey Ray, 21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 22. Cody Brewer, 23. Gary Taylor, 24. Johnny Rodriguez, 25. Scott Hatton, 26. Nathan High. NT

**Brewer and Stenhouse flipped in turn 3 on lap 19 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Sweet, Laps 13-40 Coons.

NEW NATIONAL MIDGET CAR POINTS: 1-Hagen-566; 2-Coons-561; 3-Stenhouse-531; 4-Kuhn-476; 5-Jones-475; 6-Darland-459; 7-Swindell-404; 8-Bacon-349; 9-Bobby East-306; 10-Ray-286.

NEW WESTERN MIDGET CAR POINTS: 1-Rodriguez-749; 2-Pierovich-625; 3-Matt Mitchell-535; 4-Shannon McQueen-442; 5-Sarna-392; 6-Flock-387; 7-Chris Rahe-361; 8-Randi Pankratz-314; 8-Quintin Crey-288; 10-Jerome Rodela-286.

NEXT NATIONAL MIDGET CAR RACE: August 4 - Salem (IN) Speedway - "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Classic"

NEXT WESTERN MIDGET CAR RACE: August 4 - Hanford, CA - Kings Speedway

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