From Bryan Gapinski, TWC Photo
Belleville,IL. — Brad Loyet won the 30-lap POWRi Speedway Motors/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Racing Series co-sanctioned feature, Friday Night at Belle-Clair Raceway. The event was the first of the two-night Budweiser FanFest celebrating the 75th anniversary of midget auto racing in the greater St.Louis area.
Polesitter Austin Brown jumped into the lead at the start, and quickly paced the first seven circuits around the fast 1/4-mile dirt oval. Brown surrendered to lead to Loyet on lap 8, and eventually faded to a ninth place finish suffering from brake problems.
Loyet continued to set the pace on the cushion, with most of the field running the lower groove. Brandon Waelti ran in second position until four laps remaining when veteran Steve Knepper passed Waelti. Loyet driving the Loyet Motorsports owned Spike/Ford-Esslinger No. 05 finished ahead of Knepper, Daniel Adler, Waelti and Andrew Felker who earlier in the evening claimed victory in the accompanying POWRi Micro Sprint feature.
With his second series feature victory of the season Loyet increased his POWRi Series points lead over Brown. Davey Ray currently holds a 14-point lead over Waelti heading into Saturday Night’s events which will be highlighted by a 75-lap feature.
30-lap feature: 1. Brad Loyet; 2. Steve Knepper; 3. Daniel Adler; 4. Brandon Waelti; 5. Andrew Felker; 6. Zach Daum; 7. Nick Knepper; 8. Mike Hess; 9. Austin Brown; 10. Dereck King; 11. Derrick Myers; 12. Dave Camfield Jr.; 13. Derek Kingston; 14. Matt Fox; 15. Derek Rossio; 16. Davey Ray; 17. Tim Siner; 18.Shane Cockrum19. Darren Hagen; 20. Scott Hatton; 21. Galvin Galbraith; 22. Travis Berryhill.
12-lap Semi feature Winner: Adler.
10-lap Heat Race Winners: Brown, Hagen, Waelti, Myers.
Cars Present: 34 Feature Lap Leaders: Brown 1-7, Loyet 8-30.
Current Badger Midget Series Points: 1. Davey Ray 429; 2. Brandon Waelti 415; 3. Mike Hess 414; 4. Scott Hatton 401; 5. Travis Berryhill 375; 6. Bob Schreffler 330; 7.Courtney Erfurth 267; 8. Brad Loyet 244; 9. Eric Johnson 241; 10. David Gough 231.