KALISPELL, Montana — Drivers from across the United States and Canada have begun submitting registrations for the 21st Annual Coors Light Montana 200 presented by Kalispell Toyota. With 10 days to go in an offer for discount entry pricing, 50 drivers have made plans to be at the biggest late model event in the Western United States.
Set for July 14-16, the event is the largest professional sporting event in the Flathead Valley with thousands of race fans descending on the greater Kalispell area over a four-day period.
Leading the pre-entry charge is four-time and defending champion, Gary Lewis. In search of his fifth straight Montana 200 title, the race will mark Lewis’ first start of 2011 and comes in a brand new Victory Circle chassis.
In a talent-rich field, other drivers that standout on the pre-entry list include past Montana 200 champions Mark Owens, Cory Wolfe and Jeff Jefferson, three-time and defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Eric Holmes, three-time NASCAR Northwest Series champion Pete Harding along with last season’s Cold Smoke Fast Time Award winner, Mike Longton.
Defending Kalispell Toyota Late Model Series champion, Bodie Morton, looks to continue his strong 2011 season with a starting spot in the July 16 finale. Other local drivers that appear on the pre-entry list include 2011 KTLMS Rookie of the Year, Ryan Wells along with Billy Salmonsen, Wrango West and Agni Howell.
Fans in search of the top talent in late model racing will also see California’s Eric Schmidt’s name on the pre-entry list, Calgary’s 2010 ARCA West champion Brian Levant (who won the June 18 Prelude to the 200 at Montana Raceway Park) along with 2010 Colorado National Speedway late model champion, Ronnie Hults.
Continuing a family tradition of late model racing in the Pacific Northwest, Jesse Little, son of past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Chad Little, has pre-entered for the Montana 200. The race will mark the third generation star’s first career start in the Pacific Northwest.
One of the biggest names to enter the race thus far is Chris Eggleston, the winner of the famed North Wilkesboro Speedway’s “The Race” which paid $75,000 to the winner. A native of Erie, Colo., Eggleston has experience in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, is a past champion of the ASA North Series, made starts on the PASS Late Model Series and has earned championships at Colorado National Speedway.
The Coors Light Montana 200 presented by Kalispell Toyota offers a minimum of $15,000 to the winner with $1,000 paid to a driver who completes a lap in the finale. A $5,000 bonus program is available to the driver who sets fast time, wins the A-Trophy Dash, claims victory in the Fast Heat and wins the 200 itself.
For the first time in the race’s history the Last Chance Qualifying race will provide a payout as well.
Drivers who have yet to pre-enter the race can obtain a registration packet through the track’s website. Entries filed prior to July 9 receive a $50 discount. To learn more log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com
Two-day tickets are offered for purchase through the track’s website and are available at the track offices beginning July 11.
Montana 200 week kicks off July 14 with the State Farm Insurance FanFest which provides a free dinner to those in attendance and an on-track autograph session with this year’s drivers. Qualifying is set for 7 p.m. on July 15 followed by trophy dashes, heat racing and transfer mains. The Montana 200 Saturday schedule features the Last Chance Qualifier, opening ceremonies and a sprint race for those drivers who do not secure a position in the A-Main. A 24-car field is set to take the finale’s green flag at 9 p.m. MST on July 16.
Pre-Entries as of 6/27/2011
03 Jesse Little Sherills Ford, NC
05 Eric Schmidt Roseville, CA
1 Agni Howell Kalispell, MT
5 Ryan Wells Hingham, MT
6 Chris Skelton Calgary, AB
7 Mark Sundberg Seattle, WA
8 Kevin Goe Troy, MT
9 Kelly Mann Monroe, WA
10 Owen Riddle Naches, WA
11 Chad Clampitt Havre, MT
12 Giles Thornton Whitefish, MT
12o Dan Obrist Portland, OR
15 Forrest Bauer Frenchtown, MT
16 Blake Williams Spokane Valley, WA
17 Trevor Emond Leduc, AB
18 Eric Holmes Escalon, CA
20 Jay Sauls Puyallup, WA
20h Todd Havens Spokane, WA
21 Jared Vorse Olympia, WA
22 Chris Eggelston Erie, CO
22g Jonathon Gomez Twin Falls, ID
24 Cameron Hayley Calgary, AB
31 Jason Fraser Snohomish, WA
36 Wrango West Kalispell, MT
36m David Miller Coquille, OR
37 Mike Longton, Moxee, WA
38 Grant Brown Red Deer, AB
39 Pete Harding Surrey, BC
41 Junior Roddy Gualala, CA
42 Jeff Jefferson Naches, WA
42h Ronnie Hults Centennial, CO
44 Mark Owens Kalispell, MT
49 Brian Levant Calgary, AB
51 Erick Hargraves Yakima, WA
54 Mike Obrist Portland, OR
55 Billy Salmonsen Kalispell, MT
64 Garret Evans Ardenvoir, WA
69 Brandon Riehl Boring, OR
73 Gary Lewis Snohomish, WA
75 Troy Schweigert Kalispell, MT
76 Amanda MacDonald Ephrata, WA
76j Brian Johnson Jr. Machesney Park, IL
77 Bodie Morton Kalispell, MT
77v Greg Vangool Riverside Estates, SK
83 Braeden Havens Spokane, WA
88 Cory Wolfe Ronan, MT
93 David Garber Spokane, WA
96 Jake Bisset Freeman, WA
97 Jason Jefferson Naches, WA
99 Shane Mitchell East Wenatchee, WA