BELLEVILLE, Kan. — Chad Boat captured the 25-lap feature on Friday night, kicking off the 39th annual Belleville Midget Nationals on the Belleville High Banks.
The victory in the USAC National Midget Championship Series event, makes Boat one of the favorites for Saturday’s 40-lap feature.
Boat joins his father Billy Boat as the only father-son feature winners in the event’s history. Billy won the 1995 Belleville Nationals and won preliminary night features in 1995 and ’97.
Carson Macedo jumped into the lead at the start, with Boat passing three cars the opening lap to move into second place. Macedo led Boat by one-car length at the completion of five laps. Three laps later the leaders began lapping the tail of the field. Macedo changed grooves to the bottom allowing Boat to pass the California driver for the lead exiting turn four on the ninth lap.
At the midway point Boat led Macedo by three-quarters of a second. Two laps later Boat increased his to 2.5 seconds. Boat’s lead was erased when the event’s first caution appeared for a stalled car.
On the restart, Boat pulled away from Macedo who was involved in a three- car battle for the runner-up position. The lapped car of Morgan Frewaldt came to a sudden stop in front of the leaders on the final lap. Boat and Macedo narrowly missed the car. Third-place Bryan Clauson struck the car at full speed, bringing out the red flag.
Boat again pulled away from the field on the restart, while Tanner Thorson passed his teammate Macedo for runner-up honors. Spencer Bayston and Jerry Coons Jr. completed the top five.
“It’s great to win anytime at a place like Belleville it makes it special since my dad (Billy) also has victories here,” said Boat, who drove the Tucker-Boat Motorsports owned Spike/Toyota No. 84. The victory was his second this week after capturing Tuesday night’s USAC event at Fairbury, Neb.
Thirty-three cars competed in the evening’s events, the largest car count since the 2010 event.
The team of Will Popelka and Dustin Vannortwich won the 15-lap Cruisers feature.