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Drama and Excitement Build As The 2006 KISS Series Is Ready To Open

May 8, 2006 - With the first event of the 2006 King of Indiana Sprint Series (KISS) unloading at I-69/Gas City Speedway this week, the stage has been set for another dramatic sprint car thrill ride.

Shane Cottle and Jon Stanbrough, the 2004 King, are topping the early season sprint car headlines in the Hoosier State and either could be in line to capture this year's KISS title. With three races in the books at Gas City, Cottle is undefeated, including wheeling Monte Edison's machine to his first USAC feature victory, on April 28. Cottle also owns a feature victory at Kokomo Speedway. At the same time, Stanbrough has won four times, twice each at Bloomington and at Lawrenceburg, including a USAC feature at the 'Burg. He is driving a sprint car fielded by the Fox brothers, Brad and Steve. 2001 King Dickie Gaines has also won twice at Bloomington, but is sidelined for several months because of injuries suffered at Eldora.

2005 King Of Indiana Sprint Series champion Justin Marvel is also on top of his game as the opener approaches. Over the winter, Marvel joined the R&B Racing/Truckers 24-Hour Service/Jockish Flowers sprint car team, where he is paired with Mat Neely. Marvel scored his first USAC feature victory in Saturday's national sprint car event at Canandaigua Speedway in New York. Marvel said that he expects the team to be at all of the KISS events that don't conflict with USAC sprint car events on dirt tracks.

Last year's finale exemplified the drama that accompanies the KISS championship. Marvel trailed Dave Darland by just four points coming into the final evening program, at the Terre Haute Action Track. Then, at the start of the first heat race, Darland was pinched against the frontstretch wall and flipped hard. The car was a mess and the Walker crew unloaded a second machine from the top of their hauler. After a handful of laps to warm the engine, Darland won the C-main from the tail and the Semi from deep in the field. But even though he charged from 17th to 10th in the main event, Marvel's seventh place finish secured the title.

"Dave Darland has been my hero, there's no doubt about it," Marvel said later. "He's beaten my dad a bunch of times and my dad beat him. To be able to beat him for the championship of the King of Indiana is awesome. There's no words to describe it. I was more disappointed of him flipping than anything because I wanted to know that I beat him fair and square. So when they got the second car out, I thought, 'Good for them I want them to be out there.' We're not a team that has a second car, so I had to keep my tires underneath me. And that's what we did."

SCHEDULE. The first four KISS races are packed into the next three weekends. KISS opens at the award winning I-69 Speedway in Gas City, on Friday, May 12. The next Friday, May 19, the KISS racers will take the green on the wicked fast Bloomington Speedway quarter mile. The next evening, Saturday, May 20, they push off at Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway. Lawrenceburg Speedway hosts the KISS racers on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 27. After a couple weeks to catch their breath, the KISS racers will start their final leg with a big Sunday show at Kokomo Speedway on June 18th. The title battle will begin to come into sharp focus at Paragon Speedway on Saturday, June 24. Then racers will kick off their Independence Day weekend with the KISS grand finale at the Terre Haute Action Track and the crowning of a new (or repeat) King of Indiana Sprints on July 1.

2006 King Of Indiana Sprint Series Schedule Gas City I-69Speedway Friday, May 12 Bloomington Speedway Friday, May 19 Lincoln Park Speedway Saturday, May 20 Lawrenceburg Speedway Saturday, May 27 Kokomo Speedway Sunday, June 18 Paragon Speedway Saturday, June 24 Terre Haute Action Track Saturday, July 1

THE PURSE. The total KISS purse for 2006 again exceeds $80,000. Each of the seven features will pay $2,500-to win. As in previous years, the teams will forgo qualifying and draw for heat race starting spots. As we started last year, the top two finishers in each heat will re-draw for their feature starting spots. Each feature pays $250 to start, while B-Main competitors will take home a minimum of $50.

POINT FUND. The point fund will pay $1,400 to the King Of Indiana Sprint Series champion following the July 1st finale Terre Haute Action Track. Additionally, the point fund pays the top five in the standings, with second place receiving $1000, while third receives $700, fourth $600 and fifth $500.

SPONSORS. Elliottbrand Web Designs, in Westport, IN, created the KISS website, which provides a highly functional and effective tool that places the King Of Indiana Sprint Series within arms length of racing fans around town and around the world. Visit them at www.Elliottbrand.com.