BELLEVILLE, Ill. – official series release — POWRi photo —
Tyler Thomas claimed the 11th annual Charlene Meents Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway after a hard fought battle with Zach Daum on Friday night, scoring his sixth career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory.
Meanwhile, Darren Hagen’s podium finish sealed the series championship.
Earning his first-career pole, and in a brand Spike Chassis with Stanton-Fontana power under the hood, Jake Neuman led the field to green with Daum to his outside. As the green flag waved Daum would take point coming off turn two as Neuman struggled to keep the front wheels on the ground. With one lap in the books, a nine car pile up would occur off turn four involving Tanner Thorson, Austin Brown, Justin Peck, Daniel Adler, Dereck King, Kevin Thomas Jr., Eric Fenton, Tim Siner, and Joe B. Miller.
Coming back to green, Thomas would move to the topside and quickly dispatch of Neuman for second. By lap five Thomas was all over Daum for the lead waiting for the right moment to pounce. Entering turn three, Thomas would make his move sliding for the lead only for the caution to fly for Austin Prock and Justin Peck. Resuming racing with nine laps down, Thomas would be all over Daum going down the back stretch and slide for the lead entering turn three, but Daum powered back around, while Hagen took third from Tucker Klaasmeyer.
With 14 laps in the books, the caution would fly as Neuman slowed on the front stretch with a flat left rear tire. On lap 15, Spencer Bayston would move past Klaasmeyer for the fourth position, only for the red flag to fly one lap later as Terry Babb tipped over on the front stretch after contact with Austin Brown.
Coming back to green, Thomas would dive to the bottom of turns three and four, sliding Daum for the lead, but Daum never flinched and drove right around the outside holding onto control. Entering turn one, Thomas would again slide for the lead and briefly take point down the back stretch, only for Daum to retake control coming to the line.
The action would be slowed on lap 20 as Klaasmeyer’s ride slowed on the back stretch. Coming back to green, Thomas would pounce and again slide Daum for the lead entering turn three, but this time the No. 5D machine would be unable to return as Thomas would hold the lead down the front stretch. Try as he might, Daum would be unable to get close enough to Thomas to make a move as Thomas would securely cross the line for the 11th Annual Charlene Meents Memorial victory.
Hagen would come in third, becoming the 2015 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion. Thorson took fourth, while Thomas Jr. rounded out the top five.
“When we first started coming here, I was the B-main bandit,” said Thomas. “I’ve wadded a racecar up here and I never had the best luck here, but man it’s really been a good one for us lately. Three wins since SPEED Week last year here. First of all, I’ve got to thank my dad. He did a really good job setting up the car tonight. It was fun racing with Zach. To race this hard with these guys up here and shake hands about it after the race is pretty awesome.”
“We broke a valve spring or retainer, something in the valve train broke there,” said Daum. “Something was wrong from the get go. Kind of in a hard spot there; you’re leading the thing and you don’t want to pull off. It got to the point where we had to bury the right rear in there to get off and it just wouldn’t pull itself back off. It was a fun little Belleville race; I never thought I’d say that.”
“This team, without these guys this wouldn’t be possible,” said newly crowned 2015 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion Hagen. “All my sponsors, everybody back at the shop, my car owner Austin Brown, my crew Flea and Corey, without their hard work, we wouldn’t have pulled off this championship. It’s really a testament to how good the car is, and how good our chemistry is as a team.”
Joe B. Miller led the final six laps of the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature to claim his fifth victory of the 2015 season.
RESULTS: POWRi Racing; 11th annual Charlene Meents Memorial; Belle-Clair Speedway; October 2, 2015
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series A-Main (30 laps): 1. 91T – Tyler Thomas 2. 5D – Zach Daum 3. 17 – Darren Hagen 4. 67 – Tanner Thorson 5. 39 – Spencer Bayston 6. 71 – Ryan Robinson 7. 67K – Kevin Thomas 8. 22 – Andy Malpocker 9. 91 – Dereck King 10. 9K – Kyle Schuett 11. 88 – Terry Babb 12. 3 – Joe B Miller 13. 15 – Tim Siner 14. 50 – Daniel Adler 15. 27 – Tucker Klaasmeyer 16. 7 – Austin Brown 17. 39C – Payton Pierce 18. 41 – Austin Prock 19. 3N – Jake Neuman 20. 11A – Andrew Felker 21. 5X – Justin Peck 22. 14E – Eric Fenton
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series A-Main (20 laps): 1. 51B – Joe B Miller 2. N2 – Nic Harris 3. 2B – Nathan Benson 4. 23 – Jeremy Camp 5. 77W – Joey Wirth 6. 1 – Dereck King 7. 14 – Kurt Westerfield 8. 3B – Shelby Bosie 9. 21 – Aaron Andruskevitch 10. 3 – Ayrton Gennetten 11. 46 – Zac Taylor 12. 99 – Alec Long 13. 9 – Austin Stewart 14. 42M – Spencer Montgomery 15. 50 – Brian Jones 16. 30T – Tyler Vantoll 17. 42 – Andy Bishop 18. 22S – Slater Helt 19. 27 – Tucker Klaasmeyer 20. 5X – Bobby Bittle 21. 8H – Matt Howard 22. 65E – Chad Elliott 23. 7C – Chris Cochran
CREDIT: POWRi Racing