Darland & Klatt Atop NMDOTY Points At Mid-Season
by Bryan Gapinski
Milwaukee, Wis., July 2----USAC Triple Crown Champion Dave Darland is the mid-season point leader in the National Midget Driver of the Year Championship presented by Chevrolet & Ford Racing. Darland holds a narrow lead over three former NMDOTY champions Bobby East (2004), Jerry Coons Jr. (2007), and Tracy Hines (2001). A total of 104 events have been run with 481 drivers scoring points in the chase for the K & N Filters Cup.
Darland's point lead is boosted by three victories at New Richmond, Wis., Kokomo, Ind., and LaCrosse, Wis. East, winner of the Night before the 500 Midget Classic trails Darland by 57 markers. Coons, Hines, and Brad Loyet complete the top five. Loyet and Josh Ford are the winningest drivers with four feature victories each. Only three times in the previous nine seasons has the driver leading at mid-season point on July 1, failed to win the championship.
Terry Klatt who fields the Beast/Ford-Esslinger#4 for East finds himself atop the car owner points, with two enteries from the Nine Racing stable, Tony Stewart and Keith Kunz completing the top five. Darland and Klatt will each receive a $250 bonus from Chevrolet and Ford Racing during the annual point fund distribution and awards ceremony at the Chili Bowl Nationals on Saturday Night January 17, 2009.
Ford-Esslinger aiming for a fourth straight Manufactures Championship for engine manufacturers hold a large lead over Mopar and Fontana. In the chassis manufactures category Spike holds a 48-point advantage over Beast.
Canada's Alison MacLeod finds herself leading the Design 500 Racewear Rookie of the Year points. MacLeod, a feature winner this season, leads current USAC Western Midget Car Series point leader Nic Faas by 14-points. Winners of a combine five feature victories: Shane Hmeil, Robby Jossett, and Mark Atkinson complete the top five. Further information including a complete 2008 schedule for all series, points, race results, news, and a weekly updated midget racing history page can be found at: www.nmdoty.com.
Driver Points: 1. Dave Darland 645; 2. Bobby East 588; 3. Jerry Coons Jr. 577; 4. Tracy Hines 519; 5. Brad Loyet 422; 6. Kody Swanson 408; 7. Brad Sweet 379; 8. Cole Whitt 375; 9. Mike Hess 372; 10. Brady Bacon 358.
Car Owner Points: 1. Terry Klatt#4, 536; 2. Nine Racing#9, 461; 3. Tony Stewart#21, 447; 4. Nine Racing#19, 385; 5. Keith Kunz#67, 364; 6. Kasey Kahne#49, 349; 7. Keith Kunz#71, 341; 8. Wilke-PAK#11, 330; 9. Han Lein#2, 288; 10. Loyet Motorsports#05, 286.
Chassis: 1. Spike 202; 2. Beast 154; 3. Stealth 116; 4. Eagle 29; 5. Buzzard 28.
Engine: 1. Ford-Esslinger 282; 2. Mopar 109; 3. Fontana 69; 4. Gaerte 57; 5. Toyota 47.
Design 500 Racewear Rookie of the Year: 1. Alison MacLeod 137; 2. Nic Faas 123; 3. Shane Hmeil 105; 4. Robby Jossett 105; 5. Mark Atkinson 95.