From Tim Tuttle
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (May 13, 2011)—Brad Loyet drove to his second straight victory in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series on Friday at Belle-Clair Speedway.
“I don’t know how many wins we’ve had here in the past four years, but it seems like every time we show up, we pick up a victory,” Loyet said. “I really love this place.”
Loyet, of Sunset Hills, Mo., started on the front row alongside Dereck King, of Vienna, Ill., and passed him on the inside line exiting Turn 2 on the third lap on the 1/5th-mile track. The 24-year-old driver of the Vacuworx Spike-Esslingler held off King for the remainder of the 30-lap feature.
The victory was the 54th of Loyet’s career in Midgets in all series and competitons. He was the POWRi Midget champion in 2010 and 2007.
Loyet kept his car so tight exiting Turn Two early in the race that his left-front wheel, raised as he made the turn, appeared to ride on top on the inside wall.
“I nipped it a couple of times,” Loyet said. “We’ve gotten some new shocks from Penske and we’re hooked up pretty much everywhere. We’ve never had a set like these before. My rear wheels were lifting the front out of the turns.”
After Loyet found himself in lapping cars, he went to the outside.
“The inside line was still quicker, but I had to go outside to get around the traffic,” Loyet said.
King chased Loyet hard to the checkered flag.
“I was gaining on Brad a little at the end, but we ran out of laps,” King said. “We’ve been fast all year. We’ve been in the top-five four races in a row.”
King’s second equaled his best finish in a POWRi Midget race.
“We’ve run second five times and still not gotten a win,” he said. “We’ve been so close so many times.”
Nick Knepper, of Belleville, Ill., finished third, his fourth straight top-four in the four POWRi Midget races this season.
“It’s getting kind of old,” Knepper said. “I’d like to get a win. It’s not fun. Running up front is good for paying the bills, but it’s not where we want to be.”
Andrew Felker, of Carl Junction, Mo., finished fourth and Tim Siner, of Dupo, Ill., was fifth.
Aaron Andruskevitch, of Riverton, Ill., captured his first victory in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Andruskevitch said. “A lot of hard work went into this (win) in the winter and the beginning of the season. “
The 30-year-old Andruskevitch passed King, a three-time POWRi Micro champion, exiting Turn Four on the 17th of 20 laps using the middle of the track.
“We battled for a while when I was running third (behind King and J.B. Gilbert), I made some adjustments under caution,” Andruskevitch said. “I had tried running high and low and couldn’t get anything going. I had run the middle earlier in the evening and went back to it and it worked.”
King finished second for the second time Friday.
“Aaron was a little faster than me and was good in the middle,” King said.”
Gilbertl, of Charleston, Ill., edged Jeremy Camp, of Blue Mound, Mo., by a foot for third.
The POWRi Midgets and 600cc Outlaw Micros race tonight at Macon (Ill.) Speedway. It’s the fifth event for the Midgets and second for the Micros in 2011.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series results: 1. Brad Loyet, 2. Dereck King, 3. Nick Knepper, 4. Andrew Felker, 5. Tim Siner, 6. Rich Camfield, 7. Chett Gehrke, 8. Shane Cockrum, 9. Dave Camfield Jr., 10. Darren Kingston, 11. Tony Roney, 12. Derrick Myers, 13. Gavin Galbraith, 14. Kyle Neal, 15. Kenny Brown, 16. Jake Blackhurst, 17. Jimmy Glenn, 18. Derek Rossio, 7. Austin Brown, 20. Tyler Robbins, 21. Brett Anderson, 22. Daniel Adler.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series results: 1. Aaron Andruskevitch, 2. Dereck King, 3. J.B. Gilbert, 4. Jeremy Camp, 5. Natasha Cox, 6. Trent Beckinger, 7. Matt Ponder, 8. Paul Nienhiser, 9. Andrew Felker, 10. Ryan Guyett, 11. Kurt Westerfield, 12. Brad McDaniel 13. Jacob Patton, 14. Jake Neuman, 15. Mike Hudson, 16. Tyler Robbins, 17. Joe B. Miller, 18. Jordan Campbell, 19. Jimmy Wells, 20. Austin Brown, 21. Kara King, 22. Carlee Gress.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.