By Tim Tuttle
MACON, Ill. (July 20, 2011)—The POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series-sanctioned Macon Micro Nationals, with 33 starters lining up in 11 rows of three and paying $2,000 to win, and the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets will race Saturday night (July 23) at Macon Speedway.
“The Macon Nationals are one of the crown jewels on our schedule,” Joe B. Miller said. “It’s tight and fast racing at Macon and pretty exciting with 33 cars on the track.”
Miller should be one of the contenders. He’s fourth in the POWRi Micro points with six top-five and nine top-10 feature finishes in 12 events. The 20-year-old from Millersville, Mo., won the prestigious 600 Nationals at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., last September, earning $3,500.
Trent Beckinger’s 1,930 points leads the POWRi championship. The 20-year-old from Evansville, Ind., has two victories, four seconds, two third, a fourth, a sixth and an eighth in 11 features. Dereck King, of Vienna, Ill., is second in the points with 1,620. He has one win, two seconds, a third, two fifths, a seventh and an eighth in 10 features. Andrew Felker has climbed to third, 50 points behind King, with two wins, two seconds, a fourth and a seven in the last seven features.
The POWRi Midget championship chase tightened up in the two-event swing to Wisconsin last weekend, with Brad Loyet taking 220 points off Nick Knepper’s lead. Knepper, of Belleville, Ill., has a 1,870-1,550 advantage over Loyet halfway into the season.
Loyet, of Sunset Hills, Mo., finished second at Wilmot Raceway on Saturday and fifth at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie on Sunday. Knepper was ninth at Wilmot and 18th at Angell Park, his worst two finishes in the 12 features this season.
Loyet, the 2010 and 2007 POWRi Midget champion, is running for two championships in two series. He’s the points leader in the American Sprint Car Series Warrior division. Loyet has missed one event with a schedule conflict and will have one more. POWRi’s rules allow him to drop two events in determining his final points.
“I definitely think I have a shot at the championship,” Loyet said. “I made up 220 points in two races last weekend. Nick had some bad luck Sunday (losing his brakes) and that helped, but I’ve had some bad luck too.
“It was a pretty good weekend for us. We probably should have won Saturday. I made a couple of mistakes and we ran OK on Sunday. We won our (ASCS) Sprint Car race Friday at U.S. 36 Raceway (in Cameron, Mo.).”
Loyet enjoys racing on Macon’s 1/5th-mile track.
“I love the place,” he said. “It’s a lot like Belle-Clair (Speedway in Belleville, Ill.). I have won a lot of races at Macon.”
Loyet has a series-leading three victories this season and three second places, but has only two other top-10s, a fifth and a seventh in 11 features. Knepper has one win, two seconds, three thirds, a fourth, a fifth for a total of nine top-fives in 12 features, plus an eighth and a ninth.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 12 of 25 events): 1. Nick Knepper 1,870, 2. Brad Loyet 1,550, 3. Andrew Felker 1,270, 4. Brad Kuhn 1,230, 5. Chett Gehrke 1,185, 6. Brett Anderson 1,110, 7. Austin Brown 1,000, 8. Tim Siner 995, 9. Tyler Robbins 785, 10. Dereck King 740.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series 2011 race winners: Du Quoin, Ill.–Tony Roney; Grain Valley, Mo.–Brett Anderson; Wheatland, Mo.–Brad Loyet; Belleville, Ill.–Brad Loyet; Brownstown, Ill.–Michael Pickens; Peoria, Ill.–Michael Pickens; West Plains, Mo.–Tyler Thomas; Springfield, Mo.–Brad Loyet; Belleville, Ill.—Nick Knepper; Belleville, Ill.—Brad Kuhn; Wilmot, Wis.—Brad Kuhn; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Jerry Coons Jr.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series top-10 points standings (after 12 of 22 events: 1. Trent Beckinger 1,960, 2. Dereck King 1,620, 3. Andrew Felker 1,570 4 Joe B. Miller 1,510, 5. Jacob Patton 1,275, 6. J.B. Gilbert 1,045, 7. (tie) Ryan Guyett,. Jordan Campbell 985, 9. Kara King 875, 10. Paul Nienhiser 845.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series 2011 race winners: Du Quoin, Ill.–Ryan Langston; Belleville, Ill.–Aaron Andruskevitch; Wayne County, Ill.–Dereck King; Brownstown, Ill.–Trent Beckinger; Peoria, Ill.-Andrew Felker; West Plains, Mo.–Triston Tidmore; Springfield, Mo.–Trent Beckinger; Lincoln, Ill.—Mike Hudson; Marion, Ill.—Jacob Patton; Marion, Ill.—Christopher Bell; Belleville, Ill.—Kara King; Belleville, Ill.—Andrew Felker.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.