Belleville, Kan., July 31—Zach Daum turned in a dominating performance winning the 25-lap feature on Thursday Night, kicking off the 37th annual Belleville Midget Nationals on the Belleville High Banks. Daum’s victory in the USAC Honda National Dirt midget series event, establishes himself as the favorite for Saturday’s 40-lap Championship Feature.
Daum’s victory in the non-stop event broke Kasey Kahne’s track record by over sixteen seconds, which was set on August 4, 2000. Earlier in the night Tracy Hines lowered the one-lap track by over a half-second to 16.803 seconds. Michael Pickens’ victory in the second heat race also lowered the 8-lap track record.
Polesitter Dave Darland took the lead at the start, Daum moved into second position on the third lap. Daum closed to Darland’s rear bumper two laps later. Daum took the lead as the pair crossed the start/finish line on the eighth lap. Defending Belleville Champion Chrsitopher Bell retired one lap later.
Daum increased his lead over Darland each lap, and at the midway point held a 2.8 second lead. With Daum leading, a great battle for second was staged between Darland, Rico Abreu and Hines.
Daum driving the Dan Daum owned Eagle/Stanton Toyota No. 5 finished 6.92 seconds ahead of Abreu, Darland,Hines and Chris Windom. ” It’s so great to finally get a victory here, hopefully our luck will improve for Saturday” commented Daum.
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-16.803; 2. Bryan Clauson, 63, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.039; 3. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.229; 4. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-17.302; 5. Rico Abreu, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.314; 6. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.406; 7. Dave Darland, 17, RW/Curb-Agajanian-17.454; 8. Michael Pickens, 3F, RFMS-17.499; 9. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-17.537; 10. C.J. Johnson, 45, Martin-17.759; 11. Chris Windom, 3, RFMS-17.799; 12. Jerry Coons Jr., 2, Lein-17.935; 13. Don Droud Jr., 44, Smith-18.062; 14. Chett Gehrke, 11c, Matteson-18.181; 15. Garrett Hood, 11H, Hoods-18.190; 16. Cody Brewer, 96, Central Motorsports-18.239; 17. Jeff Stasa, 91, Stasa-18.291; 18. Stu Snyder, 2s, Rhoten-18.307; 19. Matt Johnson, 85, Johnson-18.562; 20. Randy Boyer, 69, Boyer-NT; 21. Johnny Murdock, 0, Murdock-NT; 22. Joe Cleveland, 0A, Murdock-NT; 23. Robert Bell, 0z, Murdock-NT.