By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (April 14, 2010) – It’s been more than two decades since the unbridled form of wingless 410-ci Sprint Cars have slung the clay in either the Lone Star or Razorback states.
That’s fixin’ to change though, as folks around those parts are prone to say, as the Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless series brings traditional Sprint Car racing back to Texas and Arkansas in the next couple of weeks.
A pair of tracks will be hosting wingless, 410-ci Sprint Cars for the first time ever, while another pair of famed dirt tracks welcome back the topless form of Sprint Cars for the first time since olden days of the 1980’s.
The Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT series opens up two weekends of action at the Golden Triangle Raceway Park in Beaumont, TX, on Friday night, April 30, before moving on to Baytown’s Houston Raceway Park the following night, May 1.
The following Friday, May 7, it’s on to the famed Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX. From there, it’s northeast on the interstate and across the state line into Arkansas to Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway on Saturday night, May 8.
All four events offer up a $3,000 winner’s share with $300 to start. A $500 bonus is also offered for the top finishing competitor powered by a 360-ci engine at each Texas event.
While Beaumont’s Golden Triangle Raceway Park and Baytown’s Houston Raceway Park are both regular stops on the ASCS Gulf South Regional tour, neither track has ever hosted the likes of traditional 410-ci Sprint Cars.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway last hosted wingless Sprint Car racing in May of 1988 with Ron Shuman reaching victory lane, while records indicate the last wingless 410-ci Sprint Car event contested at I-30 Speedway took place in 1981.
Defending TNT champ Brady Bacon of Broken Arrow, OK, leads the way into the pair of weekend doubles with past TNT champions Jesse Hockett of Warsaw, MO, and Robert Ballou of Rocklin, CA, in the mix as well along with the likes of Casey Shuman, Zach Chappell, Travis Rilat, Jack Dover, Channin Tankersley and many more.
A Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT points fund totaling $1,000 per event will be distributed among the series top teams at the end of the season. The top ten in series points will also receive $300 tow money per event.
In addition to the upcoming events at Golden Triangle, Houston Raceway Park, Devil’s Bowl and I-30, the series has a June 18-19 weekend set for Creek County Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway along with the traditional six-race slate of events from August 15-21 throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless (TNT)
When & Where:
Friday night, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. – Golden Triangle Raceway Park
Saturday night, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. – Houston Raceway Park
Friday night, May 7 at 8:00 p.m. – Devil’s Bowl Speedway
Saturday night, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. – I-30 Speedway
Golden Triangle Raceway Park (Beaumont, TX) – ¼-mile high-banked gumbo clay oval located 9.5 miles west of I-10 on US 90 near Beaumont, TX. Track phone: 409-752-7200.
Houston Raceway Park (Baytown, TX) – ¼-mile high-banked dirt oval located east of Houston on I-10 to Exit 799, then south to FM 565, then west to the speedway entrance at Gate 3. Track phone: 281-383-7223.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) – ½-mile, high-banked clay oval located six miles east of Dallas’ I-635 on I-20, then three miles north on Lawson Road. Lawson Road north of the track (and south off of US 80) has been closed for repair, so fans and racers are urged to use I-20 and then go north on Lawson. Track phone: 972-222-2421.
I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR) – ¼-mile high-banked clay oval located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Rd.), then south to frontage road, then east. Track phone: 501-455-4567.
Past Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT Champions:
2005 – Levi Jones
2006 – Jesse Hockett
2007 – Robert Ballou and Tim Kaeding
2008 – Dave Darland
2009 – Brady Bacon
Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT Career Feature Wins:
Brady Bacon 6, Robert Ballou 6, Levi Jones 5, Cory Kruseman 3, Dave Darland 2, Jesse Hockett 2, Brady Short 2, Jerry Coons, Jr. 1, Dickie Gaines 1, Darren Hagen 1, Bud Kaeding 1, Brad Sweet 1, Chris Windom 1.
Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT on the Web:
Those unable to catch all the action in person can listen to every Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits TNT event live at www.racinboys.com.
Official results, championship point updates, photos and race notes will be available at www.sprintbandits.com.
Additional information regarding the Lucas Oil Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless series is available at www.sprintbandits.com.