From Bryan Gapinski
Belleville, KS — (August 4, 2012) — Jerry Coons Jr. won the 35th annual Belleville Midget Nationals, Saturday Night at the Belleville High Banks. Coons became the first three-time winner of the event. Coons’ previous wins came in 2005, and ’07.
Coons passed pole sitter Caleb Armstrong for the lead on the opening lap. Caution flags on Lap 3 for a stalled car, and debris five laps later kept the field bunched up behind Coons. Coons quickly pulled away from the field on the restart and within two laps held a one second lead over Armstrong and Brad Kuhn.
Coons, Armstrong, and Kuhn pulled away from the field. Armstrong made an attempted pass for the lead on Coons entering Turn 4 on lap 18, and drifted high allowing Kuhn to move into second place. Before the lap was continued Armstrong and Kuhn made contact with the lapped car of Terry Goodwin. Goodwin flipped, escaping injury, the accident sidelined Kuhn.
On the restart Coons quickly moved away from the field. Running flawless laps on the high groove Coons opened up a 3.62 second lead over Armstrong, with ten laps remaining. The caution was displayed when third place running Zach Daum slowed, with six laps remaining.
On the restart Coons again pulled away from the field while Rico Abreu passed Armstrong for second place. Coons driving the Joe Dooling owned Spike/Ford-Esslinger No. 63 finished 1.27 second ahead of Abreu, Armstrong, Chet Gehrke, and Zach Daum. Ten cars finished the feature.
“Its great to win this three times I’ve been coming here since 1990, Joe Dooling has great equipment and mechanic Rusty kunz did a fabulous job preparing this car all week” commented Coons who collected $12,000 for the victory.
8-lap Heat Race#1: 1. Chris Windom (Wilke-PAK#11); 2. Terry Goodwin (Goodwin#2); 3. Chet Gehrke (Mattson#11c); 4. Don Droud Jr. (Smith#44); 5. Vance Lein (Lein#7).
8-lap Heat Race#2: 1. Zach Daum (Daum#5d); 2. Casey Shuman (Lein#2); 3. Scott Hatton (Huston#1); 4. Rico Abreu (Kunz#67); 5. Jeff Stasa (Stasa#91); 6. Randy Boyer (Boyer#69).
6-lap Pole Dash: 1. 1. Zach Daum; 2. Jerry Coons Jr. (Dooling#63); 3. Darren Hagen (RFMS#3); 4. Caleb Armstrong (C&A#7c); 5. Brad Kuhn (RW#17); 6. Chris Windom; 7. Casey Shuman; 8. Chet Gehrke.
40-lap Feature: 1. Jerry Coons; 2. Rico Abreu; 3. Caleb Armstrong; 4. Chet Gehrke; 5. Zach Daum; 6. Scott Hatton; 7. Casey Shuman; 8. Don Droud Jr.; 9. Jeff Stasa; 10. Chris Windom; 11. Randy Boyer; 12. Brad Kuhn; 13. Terry Goodwin; 14. Darren Hagen.
Feature Lap Leaders: Coons 1-40. *Goodwin flipped Lap 19 of feature, uninjured.