BELLEVILLE, Ill. – official series release — POWRi photo —
Spencer Bayston earned his second-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature victory on Sunday night, outlasting several cautions and a red flag period to become the winner of the 24th annual Arnie Knepper Memorial at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Starting on the pole for the second night in a row, Darren Hagen would lead the field to green, sharing the front row with Bayston. Narrowly holding off Bayston, Hagen would lead the first circuit, as Nick Knepper moved into third.
With four laps down, Tucker Klaasmeyer would get sideways exiting turn four, collecting Kyle Schuett and bringing out the caution. Both drivers, also leading candidates for POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Rookie of the Year, would restart at the tail of the field.
Hagen would lead the field back to green, but this time with Bayston applying pressure for the lead. On lap seven, Bayston would officially take over the top position. As Hagen and Knepper looked to be moving closer towards Bayston, Kyle Schuett would bring out the caution — his Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis sitting in the middle of turns three and four.
Coming back to green with nine laps in the books, Bayston’s Priority Aviation/Esslinger-powered Spike would power off leaving Hagen scrambling to keep up.
Catching lap traffic quickly, Bayston would do everything possible to keep Hagen at bay, trying to quickly dispatch of the lap cars to put as much real estate as possible between himself and the second place runner. On lap 16, Zach Daum would take the third position away from Nick Knepper. One lap later, the red would come out as Austin Prock got upside down off turn four. The young gun climbed out under his own power.
After placing Prock’s machine on the business end of the wrecker, Bayston would show the field back to green with 17 laps down. Charging hard, Bayston would again hit lap traffic on lap 23 and work to create room between himself and Hagen. With 27 laps in the books Daum’s Toyota-powered Eagle would finally snag second, only for the caution to fly as Gage Walker sat spun off turn two.
Restarting in third behind Bayston and Hagen, Daum would again mount his charge for second, stealing the position from the Riverside, Calif. driver. Hagen would cross in third, while Nick Knepper brought home fourth and Jake Neuman rounded out the top five.
“It’s a big difference from the big Belleville we’ve been running the past couple of days,” stated Bayston. “But I love the bullrings. It’s definitely one of my favorite tracks. I’m just glad we were able to pick up the win.”
In supporting action, Joe B. Miller utilized lap traffic to overtake Chris Cochran and win the 20 lap POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature event, his 16th career series win.
“Me and Chris [Cochran, polesitter] were racing pretty hard there, I just tried to watch the lap traffic in front of him,” Miller said. “I tried the bottom early and it worked well, so I stuck it back down there and with the tire hot, it worked really well.”
“I wish we could run all the races, but it’s fun coming out in the micro and being competitive.”
RESULTS: POWRi Racing; Belle-Clair Speedway; August 2, 2015
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 39 – Spencer Bayston 2. 5D – Zach Daum 3. 17 – Darren Hagen 4. 55 – Nick Knepper 5. 3N – Jake Neuman 6. 7 – Austin Brown 7. 5X – Justin Peck 8. 57D – Daniel Robinson 9. 50 – Daniel Adler 10. 15 – Tim Siner 11. 1T – Tony Roney 12. 11A – Andrew Felker 13. 39C – Payton Pierce 14. 27 – Tucker Klaasmeyer 15. 9K – Kyle Schuett 16. 7X – Gage Walker 17. 62 – Jacob Davis 18. 7S – Wade Seiler 19. 35 – Chris Baue 20. 57 – Colten Cottle 21. 41 – Austin Prock 22. 4A – Ted Kirkpatrick 23. 35T – Tyler Robbins 24. 5H – Peter Palazzolo
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series Feature Results (20 laps): 1. 51B – Joe B. Miller 2. 3 – Ayrton Gennetten 3. 28 – Luke Verardi 4. 21 – Aaron Andruskevitch 5. 8H – Matt Howard 6. 14 – Kurt Westerfield 7. 30T – Tyler VanToll 8. 99 – Alec Long 9. 2B – Nathan Benson 10. 45 – Lucas Pejakovitch 11. 3B – Shelby Bosie 12. 46 – Zac Tylor 13. 9 – Austin Stewart 14. 77W – Joey Wirth 15. 27 – Tucker Klaasmeyer 16. 37H – Nick Howard 17. 4C – Rob Cook 18. 08C – Allen Cope 19. 42 – Andy Bishop 20. 88G – Garrett Husley 21. 22P – John Potter 22. 7C – Chris Cochran 23. 22S – Slater Helt
CREDIT: POWRi Racing