It started out as a challenge and turned into the biggest event in the world for Midgets. The Belleville Midget Nationals started at the Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kan., after some racers involved in a 1977 challenge race kicked around the idea among themselves. High interest was shown in the track by the drivers during the Rocky Mountain Midget vs. St. Louis Midget Challenge race. With the interest in the track by the drivers and a lack of a true national race for Midgets, the Belleville Midget Nationals was born when AIMS Promoter Mitch Miller brought it to life by sanctioning the Belleville Midget Nationals in 1978.
The first Belleville Midget Nationals held in 1978 turned out to be the beginning of an event that the Fair Amusements Board had hoped for with big names, fast cars and a lot of action. Some of the big names that were on hand for this premier event were Stan Fox, Larry Patton, Randy Roberts, Casey Slocum, Mike Gregg, Ron ‘Sleepy’ Tripp, Bob Wente, Gary Patterson, Jeff Heywood, Bruce Field and eventual champion, Eddie Jackson. Mitch Miller promoted the Midget Nationals for the first 17 years before USAC came in on the 1996 Midget Nationals. USAC is currently the sanctioning body of the Midget Nationals.As the nation’s most prestigious event of the year for Midgets, America’s top owners and drivers trek to Kansas each year for the historic event. The Belleville Midget Nationals is a one-of-a-kind event that brings the best equipment and best drivers to the nation’s richest Midget race in the country.
Belleville Midget Nationals Champions:
Showing year won, car number, driver (age), hometown, car owner/engine/chassis:
1978 - 49 Eddie Jackson (47), Denver, Colo., Harry Conklin/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1979 - 97 Stan Fox (27), Janesville, Wis., Sherman Pickrell/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1980 - 1 Stan Fox (28), Janesville, Wis., Steve Lewis/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1981 - 1 Mike Gregg (37), Ft. Collins, Colo., Hank Hersch/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1982 - 81 Dave Manes (37), Tucson, Ariz., Dave Manes/Dino/Stewart.
1983 - 71 Johnny Parsons Jr. (39), Van Nuys, Calif., Ron Weeks/Cosworth/Challenger.
1984 - 48 Mark Passerrelli (29), Phoenix, Ariz., Tony Passerrelli/Arias/Rich.
1985 - 67 Ron ‘Sleepy’ Tripp (32), Costa Mesa, Calif., George Zarounian/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1986 - 84 Tommy White (26), Anaheim, Calif., Bobby White/Volkswagen/Edmunds.
1987 - 67 Ron ‘Sleepy’ Tripp (34), Costa Mesa, Calif., George Zarounian/Cosworth/Edmunds
1988- 55 Steve Knepper (27), Belleville, Ill
1989 - 71 Chuck Gurney (40), Livermore, Calif., Larry Howard/Arias/Ellis.
1990 - 4 Jeff Gordon (19), Pittsboro, Ind., Rollie Helmling/Pontiac/Beast.
1991 - 67 Jack Hewitt (39), Troy, Ohio, George & Gary Zarounian/Arias/Beast.
1992 - 47 Lealand McSpadden (46), Tempe, Ariz., Andy Bondio/Barnes/Bondio.
1993 - 1 Page Jones (21), Rolling Hills, Calif., Keith & Rusty Kunz/Fontana/Stealth.
1994 - 1 Kevin Doty (32), Milan, Ill., Keith & Rusty Kunz/Fontana/Stealth.
1995 - 15 Billy Boat (29), Phoenix, Ariz., John Lawson/Gaerte/Stealth.
1996 - 24 Robby Flock (32), Murietta, Calif., Carol Hart/Gaerte/Stealth.
1997 - 71 Jason Leffler (22), Long Beach, Calif., Pete Willoughby/Gaerte/Stealth.
1998 - 15 Steve Knepper (37), Belleville, Ill., John Lawson/Gaerte/Stealth.
1999 - 9 Dave Darland (33), Lincoln, Ind., Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast.
2000 - 9 Kasey Kahne (20), Enumclaw, Wash., Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast.
2001 - 19 Kasey Kahne (21), Enumclaw, Wash., Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast.
2002 - 9 Dave Darland (35), Lincoln, Ind., Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast.
2003 - 29 Josh Wise (20), Riverside, Calif., Dino Tomassi/Mopar/Beast.
2004 - 9 Bobby East (19), Brownsburg, Ind., Steve Lewis/Ford/Beast.
2005 - 25 Jerry Coons Jr. (33), Tucson, Ariz., Bob Trafford/Esslinger/Spike.
2006 - 20 Josh Wise (23), Riverside, Calif., Tony Stewart/Mopar/Spike.
2007 - 11 Jerry Coons Jr. (35), Tucson, Ariz., Wilke-Pak/Mopar/Spike.
2008 - 49 Brad Sweet (22), Grass Valley, Calif., Kasey Kahne Racing/Mopar/Spike.
2009 - 39 Bryan Clauson (20), Noblesville, Ind., Corey Tucker/Esslinger/Spike.
2010 - 39 Bryan Clauson (21), Noblesville, Ind., Corey Tucker/Esslinger/Spike.
2011 - 67 Kyle Larson (19), Elk Grove, Calif., Keith Kunz/ Toyota/Bullet
2012 - 63 Jerry Coons Jr. (40) Tucson, Arizona, Joe Dooling/ Ford Esslinger/Spike
2013 - 71 Chris Bell (19) Norman Oklahoma, Kunz/ Curb-Aqajaniane
2014- Rico Abreu