LINCOLN, Ill. – official release — POWRi photo — Christopher Bell led all thirty laps of the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature en route to claiming his 11th victory of the 2014 season at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night.
Pole-sitter Bell led the field to green, setting the pace for the field at the drop of the first flag. With Bell’s Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports’ Toyota-powered Bullet comfortably out front, Zach Daum, who started fifth, set out to change that as he quickly worked his Toyota-powered Eagle into the second position. As Daum set his sights on Bell, Mike Hess would spin bringing out the first caution of the evening, collecting Terry Babb and Seth Motsinger.
With 5 laps completed, Hess’ caution would bunch the field back up giving Daum a shot at Bell. When Bell led the field back to green flag racing, he would jump right back to the top side of the race track with Daum in tow, only for racing to be slowed due to Dalton Camfield spinning out in turns one and two.
As Bell led the field back to green with Daum in tow, the caution would fly for the stopped car of Dave Camfield, Jr. On the restart with 8 laps in the books, Bell would jump right back to the top side as Daum dove to the bottom side while the battle heated up. As Daum tried to set up Bell, Bryan Clauson would make a move against Darren Hagen for third. After passing Hagen for third, Clauson would try to slide Daum in turns one and two, but was unable to make it stick and lost his momentum as Hagen appeared to gain back lost ground.
Just as Christopher Bell entered lap traffic, Mike Hess would spin in turns one and two bunching the field back up. With 20 laps in the books, Bell led the field back to green with pressure from Daum while Daum was pressured from Clauson. With Daum reeling in Bell and right as he appeared to be in striking distance, the red would come out for the first time in the feature event as Kyle Schuett would catch the outside wall, landing upside down in turns one and two. Schuett would be alright, but damage sustained to the car would be enough to force him to the pits for the remainder of the event.
With 25 laps down, when Bell led the field back to green the closeness of the top four made it easy to capitalize on any mistake Bell made. But as the final laps ran out, Daum and Clauson were unable to get within striking distance. Following Bell to the checkered flag was Zach Daum in second and Bryan Clauson in third. Coming in fourth was Darren Hagen and rounding out the top five was Spencer Bayston.
“It’s definitely been a magnificent year,” said a victorious Christopher Bell. “I couldn’t do it without Keith Kunz Motorsports and the whole Toyota crew. It’s a dream come true to be able to drive this number 71 car.”
Daum finished second and officially clinched the 2014 POWRi Lucas Oil national Midget Series championship.
“We’ve been making gains,” stated Daum. “We’ve gotten a little bit better on this thing all year and we worked hard on it. We’re happy with the way it’s going. At least there was only one Keith Kunz car ahead of us tonight. That’s better than most.”
“We tried to outsmart them on tire selection, but it didn’t quite work out for us,” explained third place finisher Bryan Clauson. “We were pretty good, just took me too long to find the racetrack and then it rubbered up. We’ve had a heck of a year so far. It feels good to be disappointed with a third, I guess. It was one of those nights we definitely didn’t have the best car; the 71 did. I felt like we were kind of even with the five car.”
RESULTS: Lincoln Speedway; October 10, 2014
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 71 – Chris Bell 2. 5D – Zach Daum 3. 63 – Bryan Clauson 4. 56 – Darren Hagen 5. 39 – Spencer Bayston 6. 67 – Tanner Thorson 7. 11A – Andrew Felker 8. 9P – Parker Price-Miller 9. 11R – Ryan Criswell 10. 57D – Daniel Robinson 11. 22 – Andy Malpocker 12. 7 – Austin Brown 13. 97 – Rico Abreu 14. 7X – Gage Walker 15. 6B – Andy Baugh 16. 82H – Mike Hess 17. 31 – Kyle Schuett 18. 87R – Dalton Camfield 19. 86S – David Camfield Jr 20. 86C – Dave Camfield 21. 2 – Seth Motsinger 22. 88 – Terry Babb