With over $50,000 in prize money up for grabs in the 20th Annual Coors Light Montana 200, many of the West Coast's top drivers have begun to register for the three-day event set for July 15-17 at Montana Raceway Park.
Headlining the list is three-time and defending champion, Gary Lewis. The Snohomish, Wash. champion has earned over $36,000 in Montana 200 prize money since 2007 and looks to increase that total at this year's event behind the wheel of The Sign Factory USA Chevrolet.
Attempting to qualify for his first start in the Montana 200 will be two-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, Eric Schmidt. The Roseville, Calif. driver of the Long Engine Systems Chevrolet is one of his state's top late model talents and has won on the SRL Southwest Tour in addition to his NASCAR victories.
Returning to run for a potential second Montana 200 crown is the 1995 race winner, Mark Owens. The Kalispell, Mont. native earned the pole award last season behind the wheel of his Budweiser Chevrolet, led a considerable amount of laps in both 100-lap segements and brought home a hard-fought top-3 finish at the end of a spiritied battle with Lewis and fellow Montana driver, Cory Wolfe.
"The Coors Light Montana 200 is one of the premier late model events on the West Coast. We have been receiving registrations, phone calls and e-mails about this event since we announced the purse and posted the entry form on our website," said general manager and promoter Justin Rody. "To have this kind of response to the race with six weeks before the green flag is amazing and a sign that our fans will see one of the best races in its 20-year history."
Drivers that register by the July 3 early entry deadline will save $60, secure a pit pad, insure that a proper amount of Hoosier Racing Tires are on hand and may secure their car numbers. No duplicate numbers are allowed in the Coors Light Montana 200 and all race tires used during the event must be purchased from the race track.
The 20th Annual Montana 200 will be broadcast live on Montana Country 106.3 The Bear with live audio available on the track's website at no charge.
For more information regarding the 20th Annual Coors Light Montana 200 log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com or call (406) 257-RACE (7223). For up to date information be sure to text MTRACE to 91011.
REGISTERED DRIVERS FOR THE 2010 MONTANA 200 INCLUDE:
05 Eric Schmidt Roseville, Calif.
2 Shelby Thompson Mead, Wash.
6 Chris Skelton Calgary, AB
7 Mark Sundberg Seattle, Wash.
10 Owen Riddle Naches, Wash.
11 Chad Clampitt Havre, Mont.
20 Jay Sauls Puyallup, Wash.
25 Kirk Hennefer Missoula, Mont.
31 Jason Fraser Snohomish, Wash.
36 Wrango West, Kalispell, Mont.
36t Joey Tanner Portland, Ore.
TBD Grant Brown Red Deer, AB
44 Mark Owens Kalispell, Mont.
73 Gary Lewis Snohomish, Wash.
83 Braeden Havens Spokane, Wash.
93 David Garber Spokane, Wash.