By Tim Tuttle
Andrew Felker, of Carl Junction, Mo., will try to build on his promising start in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series in home-state events Friday (April 29) at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley and Saturday (April 30) at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland.
Felker finished fifth in the season-opening POWRi National Midget feature on March 26 at the Southern Illinois Center’s Mini Magic Mile in Du Quoin.
“It’s a really good start,” Felker said. “It’s good to get off on the right foot and, hopefully, we can continue with success on through the season.”
Felker has never raced at Valley Speedway’s 1/3-mile track and is looking forward to the Thunder in the Valley presented by Blue Springs Ford.
“I know people who have raced there and heard pretty good stories about it being a pretty good, racy track,” he said.
Felker’s only event at Lucas Oil Raceway’s 3/8-mile track was in the Tour ’N Topless Lucas Oil Sprint Cars in 2008.
“It was my second race ever in a Sprint Car and I ran sixth,” Felker said. “It’s the nicest dirt track in the country and it’s great we’re going there. The racing surface is good. It’s fast early and tends to slick off and lends itself to side-by-side action.”
It’s a home track for Felker, located about 75 miles from Carl Junction.
“It’s definitely closer than all the other POWRi races and it will be nice to get to race close to home for once,” Felker said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of fans out there cheering us on in the Missouri Mid-State Midget Nationals.”
Felker, 18, was seventh in the POWRi Midgets championship in 2010. He also was second last year in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series, which isn’t racing at Valley Speedway or Lucas Oil Raceway.
“I’m still learning, figuring out this Midget program,” Felker said. “Hopefully, we can battle for some wins and keep improving in 2011.”
Felker has two runner-up finishes in the POWRi Midgets, at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., in 2010 and at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, in 2009. He’s won multiple races in the 600cc Micros.
With last weekend’s events at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway and Macon (Ill.) Speedway cancelled by rain, Valley Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway will be the second and third, respectively, races on the schedule. Tony Roney, of Herculaneum, Mo., won his first race in the POWRi Midgets at Du Quoin. Roney is not running for the championship and not eligible for points. Nick Knepper, of Belleville, Ill., finished second to Roney and leads Tim Siner, of Dupo, Ill., 190-180.
The Southern Open Wheel Series National Midgets will join POWRi at Valley Speedway and Lucas Oil Speedway.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top 10: 1. Nick Knepper 190, 2. Tim Siner 180, 3. Dereck King 170, 4. Andrew Felker 160, 5. Brad Kuhn 120, 6. Shane Cockrum 100, 7. Rich Camfield 90, 8. Tyler Robbins 70, 9.. Zach Daum 60, 10. Dave Darland 30. .