Coons Gets Third Belleville Title

Jerry Coons Jr. (63) fights off Caleb Armstrong en route to his third Belleville Midget Nationals victory last year at the Belleville High Banks. (Ken Simon photo)
Jerry Coons Jr. (63) fights off Caleb Armstrong en route to his third Belleville Midget Nationals victory Saturday night. (Ken Simon photo)

BELLEVILLE, Kan. — 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 polesitter Caleb Armstrong for the lead on the opening lap. Caution flags on lap three 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 seconds ahead of Abreu, Armstrong, Chet Gehrke and Zach Daum.

“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,” said Coons, who earned $12,000.

The finish:

Jerry Coons, Rico Abreu, Caleb Armstrong, Chet Gehrke, Zach Daum, Scott Hatton, Casey Shuman, Don Droud Jr, Jeff Stasa, Chris Windom, Randy Boyer, Brad Kuhn, Terry Goodwin, Darren Hagen.


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