By Tim Tuttle
MACON, Ill. (Aug. 18, 2012)—Bryan Clauson drove to his second straight victory and 16th of his career in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Joe B. Miller won his first of the season in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series in ninth annual Dana Godfrey Memorial features Saturday at Macon Speedway.
The Midgets were co-sanctioned by Badger.
It’s the third time Clauson has had back-to-back triumphs in POWRi National Midgets on the same weekend. The 23-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., also did it in 2009 and 2010. Clauson won Friday at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway.
Clauson held off Jerry Coons Jr. by a car length in the 30-lap feature on the one-fifth mile Macon track.
Coons stayed within striking distance following a restart with eight laps to go, chasing Clauson on the outside. On the final lap in turns three and four, Coons made his move, trying to slide past Clauson. Clauson was able to avoid a crash by braking and turning and out-ran the veteran from Tucson, Ariz., to the checkered flag.
“We almost lost it on the last lap,” Clauson said. “It was a big move by Jerry.”
“He deserved to win,” Coons said.
Clauson had started 10th, but climbed to third behind Nick Knepper and Rico Abreu by the fourth lap. Knepper had overtaken Abreu for the lead on the second lap.
Knepper, using the inside line, stayed in front until the ninth lap, when Clauson went past him on the outside. Coons, running the outside, moved into the lead on the 11th lap. Knepper switched to the top and ran third the rest of the way.
Knepper of Belleville, Ill., is running a partial POWRi schedule due to work commitments this season. His third place equaled his season best in seven starts.
“I wasn’t going to leave the bottom until I got passed on the top and when Clauson and Coons passed me, I moved up,” Knepper said. “The bottom got worse and the top came in a little. They had better cars than I did. It’s not bad for a part-time racer in this type of competition.”
Miller started on pole and led all 20 laps. The 21-year-old from Millersville, Mo., was the championship points leader coming into the weekend, but his sixth second place of the season on Friday at Lincoln was frustrating.
Miller’s victory was the fifth of his POWRi career. He described it as “relief and joy.”
“’Finally, I got a win,” he said immediately after climbing out of his Hyper-Kawasaki. “It feels good.”
Trent Beckinger of Evansville, Ind., finished second and 14-year-old Cale Thomas of Fairland, Ind., was third.
“Joe B. didn’t make any mistakes on the bottom and I had to go to the top,” Beckinger said. “It was the only way to try to pass him.”
“My car was good on the bottom and I wanted to make him try to go around me on the top,” Miller said.
POWRi’s National Midgets race tonight (Sunday) at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. The event is co-sanctioned by Badger and USAC.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Jerry Coons Jr., 3. Nick Knepper, 4. Casey Shuman, 5. Brett Anderson, 6. Levi Jones, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Derrick Myers, 9. Brad Kuhn,, 10. Tyler Thomas, 11. Jake Blackhurst, 12. Colten Cottle, 13. Tony Roney, 14. Scott Hatton, 15. Andrew Felker, 16. Austin Brown, 17. Daniel Robinson, 18. Justin Grosz, 19. Daniel Adler, 20. Cameron Hagin, 21. Thomas Meseraull, 22. Rico Abreu, 23. Bubba Altig.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature results (20): 1. Joe B. Miller, 2. Trent Beckinger, 3. Cale Thomas, 4. Spencer Montgomery, 5. Aaron Andruskevitch, 6. Alex Harris, 7. Derek Schuett, 8. Todd Kirkman, 9. Steven Russell, 10. Nic Harris, 11. Jacob Patton, 12. Joe Faloon, 13. Heath Ross, 14. Justin Peck, 15. Jake Neuman, 16. Corey Nelson, 17. Kyle Schuett, 18. Evan Weyant, 19. Jason Harms, 20. Nathan Benson, 21. Derek LeMaster, 22. Max Pozsgai.
For more information, go to www.POWRi.com.