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08/07 2016

“RR-AZ Alum Chad” Boat Sails To Belleville Nationals Glory   BY  Brian Gapinski

Chad Boat celebrates after winning the Belleville Midget Nationals Saturday night at the Belleville High Banks. (Don Holbrook Photo)

Chad Boat celebrates after winning the Belleville Midget Nationals Saturday night at the Belleville High Banks. (Don Holbrook Photo)

BELLEVILLE, Kan. – Chad Boat captured the 39th annual Belleville Midget Nationals Saturday night at the Belleville High Banks.

The race was sanctioned by the USAC National Midget Series.

Boat joins his father Billy Boat as the only father-son Belleville Nationals champions. Billy won the 1995 Nationals Championship race and two preliminary night features at the track.

Tanner Thorson jumped into the lead at the start, with Bryan Clauson passing five cars in the first two laps. One lap later defending champion Clauson moved into third place. On lap 12 Clauson passed Thorson for the lead.

Clauson leading the event on lap 13 and made contact with a lapped car and the guard rail entering turn four and flipped hard, landing in the path of Ryan Greth who struck the car at full speed.

Clauson was airlifted to a hospital in Lincoln, Neb., for further evolution of undisclosed injuries (click here for updates on his condition). Greth escaped injury.

Boat assumed the lead on the restart. At the midway point Boat led Brady Bacon by 2.6 seconds, with third place Thorson trailing Bacon by two seconds. The caution appeared for a stalled car on lap 24. During the caution Bacon pitted to change a tire, rejoining the field at the tail. Boat performed an excellent restart and led Spencer Bayston by one second, with ten laps remaining.

Boat held off Bayston running with lapped traffic during the final five laps. Boat who drove the Tucker-Boat Motorsports owned Spike/Toyota No. 84 finished .96 of a second ahead of Bayston. Jerry Coons, Jr., Bacon, Carson Macedo, Thorson, Holly Shelton, Ryan Robinson, Isaac Chapple and Jeff Stasa.

“To win this event is unreal this is one of the five most prestigious midget events on everyone’s win list, and to join my dad makes this an unforgettable night,” said Boat, who drove the Tucker-Boat Motorsports owned Spike/Toyota No. 84.

The victory was his third this week after capturing Tuesday night’s USAC event at Fairbury, Neb, and Friday’s Belleville preliminary event.