10:48 AM 11/7/08
Race Count This Year: 5
Race Count Last Year: 49
"Hines leads fast-closing East in NMDOTY points"
Five drivers have shot at championship in final race
Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 7----After 221 races over eleven months, the 2008 National Midget Driver of the Year Championship presented by Chevrolet & Ford Racing will be decided in one 98-lap race. A record five drivers remain mathematically in the hunt for the championship. The final event will be the 68th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix on Nov. 27 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
By virtue of his victory in Copper Classic at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 6, Bobby East has closed to within 86 points of leader Tracy Hines, with a maximum of 160 points available at Irwindale. Both drivers are past NMDOTY Champions. Two-time champion Brad Kuhn, Cole Whitt, and Brad Loyet also remain in contention for the champion but will need finishes of first or second place combine with an unfavorable finish by Hines to secure the title. Hines will also will try to hold off Cole Whitt to secure the Mopar USAC National Midget Series title, Hines leads Whitt by 17 points in his quest to win all three USAC National Series Championships.
Tony Stewart Racing#21 holds a slim 49-point lead over Terry Klatt's #4 entry in the car owner points, heading into the event. Keith Kunz#71, Loyet Motorsports#05, and Kasey Kahne's #49 are within striking distance. USAC Western Midget Car Series Champion Nic Faas has clinched the Design 500 Rookie of the Year honors. For the second straight year Spike has won the National Midget Manufacturers Championship for chassis builders while Ford-Esslinger has clinched their fourth straight championship for engine manufacturers.
Six of the past nine years the NMDOTY Championship has been determined at the final event of the season, in those six years the driver leading the points heading into the finale has won all six! The top ten drivers, car owners, and other award winners will receive their point fund checks and trophies in the annual ceremony held during the final night of the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals on Jan. 17, 2009.
Driver: 1. Tracy Hines 1314; 2. Bobby East 128; 3. Brad Kuhn 1207; 4. Cole Whitt 1182; 5. Brad Loyet 1176; 6. Jerry Coons Jr. 1157; 7. Brad Sweet 1149;8. Brady Bacon 1052; 9. Dave Darland 1014; 10. Levi Jones 878;11. Mike Hess 877; 12. Davey Ray 845; 13. Darren Hagen 829; 14. Dakoda Armstrong 708; 15. Kody Swanson 659.
Car Owner: 1. Tony Stewart#21, 1177; 2. Terry Klatt#4, 1128; 3. Keith Kunz#71, 1104; 4. Loyet Motorsports#05, 1099; 5. Kasey Kahne#49, 1055; 6. Nine Racing#9, 958; 7. Kasey Kahne#99, 870; 8. Tanya Mentgen#07, 823; 9. Wilke-PAK#11, 799; 10. Tony Stewart#20 771.