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 Press Release

Ballou Bags Second Straight Sprint Bandits TNT Win in Lakeside Prelim
by Lonnie Wheatley
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (August 17, 2007) – California's Robert Ballou snared his second O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless feature win in as many nights and earned the pole position for Saturday night's $10,000 to win Ron Shuman Classic by topping Friday's 25-lap preliminary feature at Lakeside Speedway.

Ballou powered by Brady Short for the lead on the eighth round and led the rest of the way to secure his third career Sprint Bandits TNT feature win in front of Short, 16th-starter Tim Kaeding and Jesse Hockett, each of whom are also locked into the front two rows of Saturday's Third Annual Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing finale.

Ballou survived a hole in a radiator hose over the final rounds to post the win and climbed to within four points of Tim Kaeding in the Sprint Bandiits TNT Midwest Swing points chase. "I kept watching the temperature and it was alright so I kept going. We'll have to look the engine over tonight though to make sure it's alright."

After surviving a pair of flips earlier in the week, Damion Gardner earned the pole position for the feature with Short alongside and Ballou inside the second row.

The initial start of the feature was waved off when South Dakota's Bret Mellenberndt slid too high entering turn one and flipped after contact with the wall. Mellenberndt was uninjured.

Gardner gunned into the lead on the restart with Ballou and Short chasing until the caution flew after three laps for Gary Taylor, who tagged the turn four wall with Matt Rossi also suffering front end damage in the scramble behind Taylor.

Short motored past Ballou for second on the restart and took the point from Gardner on the sixth round. Short's lead was brief however, as Ballou raced in front the next time around to take command for keeps aboard the Don Ott-powered MPHG Promotions No. 81 Maxim.

Ballou gradually opened up a straightaway lead over Gardner by the 20th round. But Gardner's week of bad luck continued as a cut left rear tire brought him to a stop on the backstretch on the 21st lap. Gardner rejoined the chase at the tail.

Ballou took off once again on the restart and took the checkered flag with a half straightaway's worth of breathing room over Short in Scott Benic's Lucas Oil Products No. 2b.

After struggling in his heat race, current Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing points leader Tim Kaeding raced from seventh to third in his qualifying race to earn the 16th starting position in the feature.

Kaeding advanced ten positions by the time the caution flew after seven laps for debris in turn three, raced past Neil Shepherd for fifth by the tenth round and moved to fourth when misfortune struck Gardner.

Kaeding picked off Jesse Hockett in the final rounds to claim third, with defending TNT Midwest Swing champion Hockett settling for the fourth and final lock-in position.

Shepherd raced from eleventh to round out the top five, with Hunter Schuerenberg charging from 14th to sixth. Mat Neely climbed from 13th to seventh in front of 12th-starter Don Droud, Jr., with Gardner racing back through the field to claim ninth. Casey Shuman came from 17th to complete the top ten.

Gardner, Ballou, Mike Leslie and Short topped heat race action for the 35-car field, with Hockett, Schuerenberg, Dustin Morgan and Neely winning qualifying races. 

Making his Sprint Bandits TNT debut, Ohio teen Ricky Williams held off Cory Kruseman to win the 12-lap "B" Main then climbed from 19th to eleventh in the feature.

The Third Annual O'Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing wraps up with Saturday night's $10,000 to win Ron Shuman Classic at Lakeside Speedway.

O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless Lakeside Speedway Friday Results:

Heat Races:

First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 71-Damion Gardner, 2. 21-Michael Trimble, 3. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 4. 75-Jesse Hockett, 5. 11d-Dustin Morgan, 6. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg, 7. 10k-Tim Kaeding, 8. 55-Tony Everhart. DNS: 65-Chris Parkinson.

Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 81-Robert Ballou, 2. 92-Gary Taylor, 3. 30-Chad Boat, 4. 2J-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 71m-Jesse Mack, 6. 02-Matt Rossi, 7. 21L-Mike Lefholz, 8. 36L-Joe Larkin, Jr., 9. 12b-Mike Boyer.

Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 76-Mike Leslie, 2. 4n-Neil Shepherd, 3. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 4. 21k-Cory Kruseman, 5. 4-Casey Shuman, 6. 15-R.J. Johnson, 7. 17n-Mat Neely, 8. 9x-Kevin Battles, 9. 5ma-Mallory Armfield.

Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 2b-Brady Short, 2. 11w-Ricky Williams, 3. 20-Ron Lefholz, 4. 29w-Cole Whitt, 5. 44-Phillip Heavelow, 6. 75g-Rob Hockett, 7. 7c-Chris Morgan, 8. 92J-J.R. Topper.

Qualifying Races – Top 18 in Combined Passing Points from Heats & Qualifiers to "A" Feature; Balance to "B" Main

First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 71-Damion Gardner, 3. 71m-Jesse Mack, 4. 92-Gary Taylor, 5. 21-Michael Trimble, 6. 20-Ron Lefholz, 7. 55-Tony Everhart, 8. 75g-Rob Hockett, 9. 12b-Mike Boyer.

Second Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. 2b-Brady Short, 3. 10k-Tim Kaeding, 4. 4-Casey Shuman, 5. 4n-Neil Shepherd, 6. 11w-Ricky Williams, 7. 36L-Joe Larkin, Jr. 8. 21k-Cory Kruseman. DNS: 5ma-Mallory Armfield. 

Third Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 11d-Dustin Morgan, 2. 29w-Cole Whitt, 3. 81-Robert Ballou, 4. 2J-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 21L-Mike Lefholz, 6. 65-Chris Parkinson, 7. 15-R.J. Johnson, 8. 9x-Kevin Battles, 9. 30-Chad Boat.

Fourth Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 17n-Mat Neely, 2. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr. 3. 81-Robert Ballou, 4. 02-Matt Rossi, 5. 76-Mike Leslie, 6. 92J-J.R. Topper, 7. 44-Phillip Heavelow. DNS: 7c-Chris Morgan.

"B" Main – Top 4 Advance to "A" Main

"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 11w-Ricky Williams, 2. 21k-Cory Kruseman, 3. 30-Chad Boat, 4. 02-Matt Rossi, 5. 15-R.J. Johnson, 6. 20-Ron Lefholz, 7. 21k-Mike Lefholz, 8. 55-Tony Everhart, 9. 36L-Roy Larkin, Jr., 10. 75g-Rob Hockett, 11. 12b-Mike Boyer, 12. 9x-Kevin Battles, 13. 65-Chris Parkinson, 14. 92J-J.R. Topper. DNS: 44-Phillip Heavelow, 7c-Chris Morgan, 5ma-Mallory Armfield. 

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Lakeside Speedway Friday "A” Main

“A” Main (25 Laps): 1. 81-Robert Ballou, 2. 2b-Brady Short, 3. 10k-Tim Kaeding, 4. 75-Jesse Hockett, 5. 4n-Neil Shepherd, 6. 10T-Hunter Schuerenberg, 7. 17n-Mat Neely, 8. 2J-Don Droud, Jr., 9. 71-Damion Gardner, 10. 4-Casey Shuman, 11. 11w-Ricky Williams, 12. 21-Michael Trimble, 13. 29w-Cole Whitt, 14. 30-Chad Boat, 15. 71m-Jesse Mack, 16. 76-Mike Leslie, 17. 21k-Cory Kruseman, 18. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 19. 92-Gary Taylor, 20. 02-Matt Rossi, 21. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 22. 11d-Dustin Morgan.

Lap Leaders: Damion Gardner 1-6, Brady Short 7, Robert Ballou 8-25.

O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing Points (Top 25 Through Four of Five Rounds): 1. Tim Kaeding 580, 2. Robert Ballou 576, 3. Jesse Hockett 542, 4. Cole Whitt 530, 5. Brady Short 524, 6. Neil Shepherd 512, 7. Casey Shuman 504, 8. Cory Kruseman 500, 9. Michael Trimble 480, 10. Mat Neely 474, 11. Damion Gardner 472, 12. Charles Davis, Jr. 449, 13. Bud Kaeding 428, 14. Chad Boat 419, 15. (tie) Dave Darland and Hunter Schuerenberg 418, 17. Chris Windom 416, 18. R.J. Johnson 412, 19. Don Droud, Jr. 394, 20. (tie) Mike Leslie and Jesse Mack 384, 22. Jerry Coons, Jr. 380, 23. (tie) Bret Mellenberndt and Matt Rossi 370, 25. Dustin Morgan 364. 






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