The previous two incarnations of the event were held at Southern Illinois Raceway, an eighth-mile dirt oval located in Marion, Ill. McDaniel said he is thankful for the time spent at Southern Illinois the last two years, but this year he felt it was time for a change.
That decision is what brought the event to Belle-Clair Speedway this year. McDaniel hopes the event will continue to grow at Belle-Clair like it has the last two years at Southern Illinois.
“(This year) I expanded to Belle-Clair Speedway, it is a really great facility. It is an old fairgrounds. It has got a lot of character to it. It is bigger, better, it has a lot more room for pits, grandstands and the track is wider. The wider track is going to help a lot.”
The inaugural event in 2011 was won by Christopher Bell, who has since gone on to drive for Keith Kunz in USAC’s national midget and sprint car divisions. Bell won a pair of Honda USAC National Dirt Midget features en route to claiming the Indiana Midget Week crown.
Chris Andrews is the defending race winner and is expected to be joined by more than 100 other racers hoping to pocket the $10,000 winner’s share.
Among those entered are reigning POWRi 600cc Outlaw Micro Series champion Joe B. Miller, 2012 Phillips Memorial runner-up Scott Sawyer, 2012 Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget Series champion Andrew Felker, Dereck King and Cale Thomas.
“You’ll have 100 of the best micro sprint drivers and cars from across the country at one place battling for the most money that they can race for all year, so it is going to be really awesome,” McDaniel said. “It is cool to know that I took something that just started out as an idea and turned it into the biggest micro sprint race in the country. It has just been a blessing.”
The POWRi-sanctioned National Speed Sport News 66 Mike Phillips Memorial for micro sprint cars is scheduled July 18-20 at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. The July 20 finale pays $10,000 to win and $500 to start. For more information on the event, visit www.addiktivepromotions.com.