By Tim Tuttle
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series leader Nick Knepper holds an 80-point lead over Brad Loyet going into the eighth annual Dana Godfrey Memorial on Friday (Aug. 19) at Macon (Ill.) Speedway.
POWRi’s Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series also race on Friday at Macon and both series are at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway on Saturday (Aug. 20). Trent Beckinger has a 520-point lead over Andrew Felker for the championship in the Micros.
Macon and Lincoln are the start of the stretch run for POWRi, which has six events scheduled to run in the Midgets and Micros. Knepper, a 24-year-old from Belleville, Ill., has led the points the entire season. He has 11 top-fives in 17 events including a hometown win at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville on July 1. Knepper was third in the previous POWRi Midget race this season at Macon on July 23, trailing Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind., and Brett Anderson of Belleville, Ill.
Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind., has won five of the last eight POWRi Midget races to climb into third in the championship, 310 points behind Knepper. Austin Brown, of Millstadt, Ill., has four straight top-seven finishes and has climbed to fourth in the points, 720 behind Knepper.
Kuhn won last year’s Godfrey Memorial, which pays tribute to the late wife of venerable Midget chassis builder John Godfrey. The founder and owner of Spike chassis in Brownsburg, Ind., has been active in POWRi since its inception in 2005 and is one of POWRi’s strongest supporters and partners.
Other previous winners of the Godfrey Memorial have been Mike Hess in 2003, Donnie Lehman in 2004, Tracy Hines in 2005, A.J. Fike in 2007 and Loyet in 2008-09.
Beckinger, a 20-year-old from Evansville, Ind., has 12 top-five finishes including two wins and five runner-ups in 14 events he’s entered. Beckinger’s worst finish is eighth.
Behnd Beckinger, the points are tightly bunched with Felker, of Carl Juncction, Mo., 140 in front of fifth-place Dereck King of Vienna, Ill. Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Mo., is third and Jacob Patton of Bethalto, Ill., is fourth. Patton has a victory and two second places in the previous three features.
Felker won the Building Systems of Illinois Mini Sprint Nationals, which had a 33-car starting field at Macon on July 23.
Mike Hudson of Herron, Ill., won POWRi’s previous feature this season at Lincoln on June 16, with Lincoln’s Max Pozsgai second. The Saturday (Aug. 20) event will be the first for the POWRi Midgets at Lincoln this year.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 17 of 23 events): 1. Nick Knepper 2,410, 2. Brad Loyet 2,330, 3. Brad Kuhn 2,100, 4. Austin Brown 1,690, 5. Brett Anderson 1,480, 6.Chett Gehrke 1,485, 7. (tie) Andrew Felker, Tim Siner 1,470, 9. Tyler Robbins 985, 10. Dereck King 890.
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.; Macon, Ill.—Bryan Clauson; McCool Junction, Neb.—Brad Kuhn; McCool Junction, Neb.—Brad Kuhn; Cameron, Mo.—Kyle Larson; Belleville, Ill.—Brad Kuhn.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series top-10 points standings after 15 of 22 events: 1. Trent Beckinger 2,480, 2. Andrew Felker 1,960, 3. Joe B. Miller 1,860, 4. Jacob Patton 1,855, 5. Dereck King 1,820, 6. J.B. Gilbert 1,425, 7. Jordan Campbell 1,265, 8. Paul Nienhiser 955, 9/ Ryan Guyett 1,125, 10. Kara King 955.
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; Macon, Ill.—Andrew Felker; Washington, Mo.—Jacob Patton; Belleville, Ill.—Joe B. Miller.
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.