Clauson scores second straight Belleville championship

By Bryan Gapinski

Belleville, Kan., Aug. 7—Bryan Clauson scored his second straight victory capturing the 33rd annual Speedway Motor Belleville Midget Nationals Saturday Night at The Belleville High Banks. Clauson joins Stan Fox (1979-80) and Kasey Kahne (2000-01) as the only drivers to win back-to-back events.

The event got off to a rocky start when Andrew Felker flipped on the opening lap, and on the second lap the caution was displayed for a stalled car. On the restart Clauson and Sweet pulled away from the field, and began lapping cars on the eighth lap.

On Lap 14 Clauson got trapped behind two slower cars giving Sweet the lead exiting turn 2. Sweet brushed the backstretch, giving Clauson back the top position. On lap later Zach Daum stalled on the track bringing out the caution.

Clauson and Sweet continued to be the fastest, as the duo again separated themselves from the balance of the field. Julee Jaimson spun on lap 21 bringing out the caution. On the restart attention turned to Dave Darland who stopped for a new tire on Lap 15. Darland charged through the field and moved into fourth position, before retiring from the event.

Clauson and Sweet were separated by one car length as they began lapping the field with ten laps remaining. The final caution appeared on Lap 33. On the restart Clauson opened his lead to three-car lengths over Sweet.

Clauson driving the Corey Tucker owned Parker Stone-BCI Spike/Ford-Esslinger no. 39 finished 1.13 second ahead of Sweet. It marked the second straight runner-up finish for the 2008 Belleville Champion. Jerry Coons Jr., Brad Kuhn, and Davey Ray completed the top five. Darren Hagen, Henry Clarke, Shane Golobic, Kevin Swindell and Tracy Hines rounded the top ten. Fifteen drivers finished the event with the top ten finishing on the lead lap.


8-lap Heat Race#1: 1. Darren Hagen (RFMS#3); 2. Travis Berryhill (Fattfro#14); 3. Zach Daum (Daum#5d); 4. Kevin Swindell (Erickson#8); 5. Josh Pelkey (Allen#12jr); 6. Caleb Armstrong (C&A#7a); 7. Julee Jaimson (Jaimson #3).

8-lap Heat Race#2: 1. Jerry Coons Jr. (Wilke-PAK#11); 2. Henry Clarke (Kunz#67); 3. Garrett Hood (Hood#11h); 4. Andrew Felker (Felker#11a); 5. Jeff Stasa (Stasa#91).

8-lap Heat Race#3: 1. Brad Kuhn (RWB#17); 2. Gary Taylor (Allen#12); 3. Matt Johnson (Johnson#85); 4. C.J. Johnson (Martin#45x); . Scott Fennell (Fennell#33); 6. Tony Rossi (Rossi#14).

8-lap Heat Race#4: 1. Brad Loyet (Loyet#05); 2. Shane Golobic (Bock#26); 3. Tracy Hines (Wilke-PAK#11w); 4. Terry Goodwin (Goodwin#2); 5. Ryan Cole (Cole#5); 6. Brian Postle (Postle#22).

6-lap Dash: 1. Bryan Clauson (#39); 2. Brad Sweet (Kahne/Curb#49); 3. Davey Ray (Kunz#67x); 4. Coons; 5. Dave Darland (Kunz#71); 6. Loyet; 7. Kuhn; 8. Swindell.

12-lap Semi Feature: 1. Berryhill; 2. Cole; 3. J. Stasa; 4. Jaimson; 5. Postle, 6. Goodwin; 7. Fennell; 8. Brewer; 9. Rossi; 10. Andy Shouse (Shouse#27).

40-lap Feature: 1. Bryan Clauson; 2. Brad Sweet; 3. Jerry Coons Jr.; 4. Brad Kuhn; 5. Davey Ray; 6. Darren Hagen; 7. Henry Clarke; 8. Shane Golobic; 9. Kevin Swindell; 10. Tracy Hines; 11. Gary Taylor; 12. Travis Berryhill; 13. Jeff Stasa; 14. Caleb Armstrong; 15. Julee Jaimson; 16. Josh Pelkey; 17. Ryan Cole; 18. C.J. Johnson; 19. Dave Darland; 20. Garrett Hood; 21. Matt Johnson; 22. Zach Daum; 23. Andrew Felker; 24. Brad Loyet.

Feature Lap Leaders: Clauson 1-40.

*Felker flipped Lap1 of feature, uninjuried.