By Brian Walker
BELLEVILLE, ILL. (July 26, 2019) – Assuming the lead on lap eight, Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla. ensued to go the distance and earn his 13th-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory on Friday night at Belle-Clair Speedway. Acing restart after restart and mastering the tricky, thick cushion, Thomas was undeniable as he nabbed the fourth Lil’ Belleville triumph of his career aboard the BT Machine, Spike/Toyota No. 91T.
Bringing the 24-car main event field to life, Cannon McIntosh of Bixby, Okla. and Jake Neuman of New Berlin, Ill. paced the 12-row pack. In standard “Hello Neuman” fashion, Jake ripped the lip around McIntosh and put his Jim Neuman Racing, BRANDT, BOSS/SR-11 No. 3N into command of the early lead.
While Neuman shot to the front, Thomas maneuvered from the outside of row two and rocketed into the second spot with a bold slider on McIntosh. Holding a steady lead early on, Neuman’s night came crashing to an early end on the seventh circuit of the 25-lapper, as his No. 3N suddenly lost power and slowed to a stop on the backstretch.
Unable to fire off, Neuman’s misfortune sent him retiring to the infield while Thomas capitalized and moved his No. 91T to the top of the leaderboard. Building a nice, thick cushion up against the iconic Belle-Clair wooden walls, Thomas, McIntosh and the rest of the field continually adapted to an ever-changing 1/5th-mile surface into the second half of the feature.
Although hampered by a string of several cautions at the mid-race point, Thomas seemed to never waiver, perfecting each restart thrown his way and not allowing McIntosh the opportunity to even dare of a potential bid at the lead.
A green flag run in the closing stages finally allowed Thomas to extend his advantage while McIntosh kept fighting for more traction atop the cushion and the duo ran into lap traffic. While those two ran away from the field, the battle for third was the most thrilling to witness as Jesse Colwell of Red Bluff, Calif. and Sam Johnson of St. Peters, Mo. went slider-for-slider for almost five consecutive laps.
In the end, nobody could match Tyler Thomas on this night, as he controlled the final 18 laps and topped his fourth-career feature at Belle-Clair Speedway, a facility that the Collinsville, Okla. native has found a keen liking for. Driving his family-owned BT Machine, Spike/Toyota No. 91T with dad, Brian Thomas, on the wrenches, Friday’s victory marked his 13th-career win in POWRi National Midget League competition.
Cannon McIntosh, who is night-after-night so close to that elusive first-career win, was the runner-up finisher on Friday scoring a second-place result in the Dave Mac Motorsports, Drive WFX, Spike/Toyota No. 08. Jesse Colwell, the current POWRi National Midget points leader, rounded out the podium in third-place aboard his Keith Kunz-Curb Agajanian Motorsports, JBL Audio, Bullet/Toyota No. 71.
Closing out the top five at Belle-Clair was Sam Johnson with a career-best finish of fourth-place and Ace McCarthy of Tahlequah, Okla. with a solid fifth-place run. Also finishing inside the top ten was Toyota Racing Development Hard Charger, Broc Hunnell, in sixth-from-16th, Daniel Robinson in seventh, Karter Sarff in eighth, Daison Pursley in ninth, and Holley Hollan in tenth.
Cannon McIntosh won AutoMeter heat one, Tyler Thomas topped KSE Racing Products heat two, and Jake Neuman claimed Advanced Racing Suspensions heat three on Friday night at Belle-Clair Speedway. McIntosh was also the PAC Racing Springs High Point Man.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will be right back at it tomorrow night Saturday, July 27 with a trip to Macon Speedway in Macon, Ill. If you can’t attend this thrilling show yourself, you can watch it LIVE on www.speedshifttv.com.
For more information on POWRi Racing, you can visit www.powri.comonline, follow @POWRi_Racing on Twitter and Instagram, or like POWRi on Facebook.
Auto Meter Heat One (8 Laps):
1.08-Cannon McIntosh, Bixby, OK (2); 2. 72-Sam Johnson, St. Peters, MO (1);3. 97K-Jesse Love, Redwood City, CA (3); 4. 50-Daniel Adler, St. Louis, MO (5); 5. 28-Ace McCarthy, Tahlequah, OK (8); 6. 67-Holley Hollan, Broken Arrow, OK (7); 7. 17C-Devin Camfield, Decatur, IL (6); 8. 35-Tyler Robbins, Collinsville, IL (4).
KSE Racing Products Heat Two (8 Laps):
1.91T-Tyler Thomas, Collinsville, OK (1); 2. 11-Daniel Robinson, Ewing, IL (3); 3. 5D-Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL (5); 4. 17-Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL (7); 5. 103-Broc Hunnell, Eolia, MO (4); 6. 55-Nick Knepper, Belleville, IL (8); 7. 86C-Dave Camfield III, Decatur, IL (6); 8. 37-Max Guilford (2).
Advanced Racing Suspensions Heat Three (8 Laps):
1.3N-Jake Neuman, New Berlin, IL (2); 2. 71-Jesse Colwell, Red Bluff, CA (4); 3. 5T-Presley Truedson, Kennedy, MN (1); 4. 37X-Karter Sarff, Mason City, IL (5); 5. 9-Daison Pursley, Locust Grove, OK (8); 6. 56AP-Colten Cottle, Kansas, IL (7); 7. 5H-Ryan Mueller, Wildwood, MO (6); 8. 5-Danny Frye, St. Peters, MO (3).
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Main Event (25 Laps):
1. 91T-Tyler Thomas (4); 2. 08-Cannon McIntosh (1); 3. 71-Jesse Colwell (3); 4. 72-Sam Johnson (8); 5. 28-Ace McCarthy (9); 6. 103-Broc Hunnell (16); 7. 11-Daniel Robinson (5); 8. 37X-Karter Sarff (13); 9. 9-Daison Pursley (10); 10. 67-Holley Hollan (17); 11. 5D-Zach Daum (6); 12. 97K-Jesse Love (11); 13. 5-Danny Frye (23); 14. 86C-Dave Camfield III (20); 15. 5T-Presley Truedson (14); 16. 37-Max Guilford (24); 17. 17C-Devin Camfield (19); 18. 55-Nick Knepper (15); 19. 50-Daniel Adler (12); 20. 5H-Ryan Mueller (21); 21. 35-Tyler Robbins (22); 22. 3N-Jake Neuman (2); 23. 17-Austin Brown (7); 24. 56AP-Colten Cottle (18).
Lap Leader(s); Neuman 1-7, Thomas 8-25.
Hard Charger(s): Hunnell +10.