The Northwest's premier late model stock car event, the Coors Light Montana 200, has over 40 drivers pre-registered with more still to come. Gary Lewis has won three consecutive Montana 200 races but will be challenged this year with drivers coming from as far as Colorado to dethrone the champion.
Courtesy: Montana Raceway Park Media Relations
KALISPELL, Mont. (July 2, 2010)-As the pre-entry deadline nears for race teams to save on their registration for the 20th Annual Coors Light Montana 200 presented Kalispell Toyota, Fun Beverage and Bee Broadcasting; over 40 drivers have reserved car numbers and pit space.
Leading the pack are four Montana 200 champions with six titles amongst them.
Three-time winner, Gary Lewis, will have his work cut out for him in 2010 as the driver who preceded his streak in 2006, Jeff Jefferson, has joined past champions Tim Elliott (1998)Mark Owens (1995) and Cory Wolfe (1994) as pre-registered drivers.
Making his Montana 200 debut will be Colorado National Speedway late model points leader, Ronnie Hults, who will make the trek from the Centennial State to Big Sky country. The over two thousand mile round trip makes Hults eligible for the longest tow of the 200 distinction.
Current ARCA West Ignite Series points leader, Brian Levant, will attempt to put his Toyota Camry into the Montana 200 24-car starting field. Levant scored the pole award at the 45th running of the Yakima Speedway Apple Cup in April and followed that up with a pole award on the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series’ stop in Salt Lake City in May.
Winners of the 44th and 45th running of the Apple Cup, Jason Fraser and Mike Longton, have joined the field. For Longton it’s a return to Montana after missing last season’s event with motor issues. Fraser will be making only his second start of the 2010 season after taking time off since the Apple Cup to focus on other endeavors.
David Garber, winner of the last three Inland Northwest Super Stock Association championships and its current points leader, will be back to Montana looking for victory on the high-banked oval. Garber is the 2009 MRP Firecracker Tundra 125 champion and has been running the Kalispell track’s late model series on his off weekends in preparation for this year’s 200.
One driver that fans will want to keep their eyes on is Spokane native, Blake Williams. The current Rookie of the Year points leader on the Appleway Chevrolet Parts Center ICAR Series is out to become the youngest qualifier for the Montana 200. At 15 years of age, Williams is one of two Spokane drivers (Braeden Havens) attempting to lower Wrango West’s mark.
West, a Kalispell native, was 17 years old when he set the record in 2008.
Drivers interested in saving on their registration to the 2010 Montana 200 can download an entry blank from the track’s website. Information including securing of car numbers, pit space, rules, purse, tires and payment methods are included in the packet. Completed registrations can be mailed or faxed back to Montana Raceway Park but must be postmarked or received via a fax by midnight July 5 to take advantage of the discounted entry price.
Activities for the 20th Annual Montana 200 get underway July 10 with the running of the Pro Build 100 for the MRP Super Stocks followed by the State Farm Insurance Fanfest on Thursday, July 15 beginning at 5 p.m. The State Farm Fanfest includes a free dinner for fans and race teams, an on-track autograph session, live music and other highlights.
Qualifying for the Montana 200 begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 16. Once the fastest 12 drivers are locked in, a 25-lap Fast 12 Heat to set their starting positions is run followed by a 40-lap consolation race to determine starting positions 13-18. Positions 19-24 will be set on Saturday, July 17 in a 40-lap Last Chance Qualifiers race.
The 20th Annual Coors Light Montana 200 presented by Kalispell Toyota, Fun Beverage and Bee Broadcasting takes the green flag at 9 p.m. MST on July 17.
Returning for its second consecutive summer will be a live broadcast of the Montana 200 on Montana Country 106.3 The Bear with live audio available on the track’s website at no charge. Paul Bartholomew and Doug Pace will anchor the evening’s coverage with Reed Tobol and Steve Mortland covering pit row.
For more information regarding the 20th Annual Coors Light Montana 200 log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com or call (406) 257-RACE (7223). For up to date information be sure to text MTRACE to 91011.
REGISTERED DRIVERS FOR THE 2010 MONTANA 200 INCLUDE:
04 Rusty Webb Deer Park, Wash.
05 Eric Schmidt Roseville, Calif.
0 Brent Harris Wenatchee, Wash.
1 Agni Howell Kalispell, Mont.
3 Shelby Thompson Mead, Wash.
5 Ryan Wells Hingham, Mont.
5x Chris Hart Terrace Heights, Wash.
6 Chris Skelton Calgary, AB
7 Mark Sundberg Seattle, Wash.
9 Kelly Mann Monroe, Wash.
10 Owen Riddle Naches, Wash.
11 Chad Clampitt Havre, Mont.
11x John Nesmith Meridian, Mont.
12 Dan Obrist Portland, Ore.
14 Kevin Richards Newman Lake, Wash.
16 Blake Williams Spokane, Wash.
20 Jay Sauls Puyallup, Wash.
25 Kirk Hennefer Missoula, Mont.
27 Tim Elliott Creston, BC
31 Jason Fraser Snohomish, Wash.
33 Bob Delorme Calgary, Mont.
36 Wrango West Kalispell, Mont.
36x Joey Tanner Portland, Ore.
37 Mike Longton Moxee, Wash.
38 Grant Brown Red Deer, AB
42 Jeff Jefferson Naches, Wash.
42x Ronnie Hults Centennial, Colo.
44 Mark Owens Kalispell, Mont.
49 Brian Levant Calgary, AB
51 Erick Hargraves Yakima, Wash.
53 Alex Lessor Kalispell, Mont.
54 Mike Obrist Portland, Ore.
55 Billy Salmonsen Kalispell, Mont.
73 Gary Lewis Snohomish, Wash.
75 Troy Schweigert Kalispell, Mont.
76 Amanda MacDonald Ephrata, Wash.
77 Bodie Morton, Kalispell, Mont.
83 Braeden Havens Spokane, Wash.
88 Cory Wolfe Ronan, Mont.
89 Chuck Dills Ellensburg, Wash.
93 David Garber Spokane, Wash.
99 Shane Mitchell East Wenatchee, Wash.