Zach Daum wins 1st in POWRi Midgets at Macon

POWRi logo 2011

powri 2011From Tim Tuttle

Macon, IL — (May 12, 2012) — Zach Daum drove to his first victory in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Alex Harris claimed his first triumph in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series Saturday at Macon Speedway.

“It’s nice to get one,” Daum said. “I’ve won in USAC (Midgets), SMRS (Southern Midget Racing Series) and now POWRi and Badget. I’ve won in every (Midwestern) Midget series.”

Daum’s triumph Saturday also counted as a victory in the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series, which co-sanctioned the event.

Daum led all 30 laps on the one-fifth mile track. The 21-year-old from Pocohontas, Ill., started on the outside of the front row and had to fend off an aggressive mid-race attack by Bubba Altig of Mechanicsburg, Ill.

Altig started fourth and moved into second on the fourth lap. He managed to stay close enough to Daum following a restart on the ninth lap to try a series of slide jobs attempting to pass. It got tricky for Daum trying to maintain the lead when they got into lapped traffic.

“I had to be careful in the traffic and I wanted him (Altig) to either clear me or come up short,” Daum said. “I didn’t want to get wrecked. He got into me pretty good one time in Turns One and Two.”

Altig’s challenge ended on the on the 25th lap when he spun trying a slide job in Turns One and Two. He finished 12th.

Gehrke, of Broken Arrow, Okla., was nearly taken out by Altig’s spin but made it through to finish second. Daniel Robinson of Wayne City., Ill., tapped Gehrke from behind in the same incident, but kept going to take third.

“I thought I was going to get wadded up,” Gehrke said. “When Bubba (Altig) spun, Daniel ran over me, hit my airbox. I stayed on the gas a little and Daniel came off me. I got through, but I’m not sure how.

“Considering the way we started (from pole), second isn’t bad. We were terrible and I was getting passed. I did some shock adjustments that worked and figured it out and we got going pretty good in the middle part of the race.”

Robinson started sixth, jumped up to third on the first lap and never ran lower than fourth.

“Chett was sideways trying to get around Bubba and I got into him,” Robinson said. “The engine in my car died and I was fortunate that it started back up when I rolled down the hill (from Turn Two). If it hadn’t, I would have had to gone to the back.

“The track got tight and I was bound for the fence a couple of times. I’m happy to finish third.”

Harris, of Atwood, Ill., started sixth and passed Zach Hampton of Clayton, Ind., for the lead midway through the 20-lap race.

“It’s not too bad,” Harris said of his first POWRi victory.

Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Mo., finished second and Justin Peck of Monrovia, Ind., was third.

“We went from (starting) 11th to second, it’s a good points night and we’ll take it,” Miller said.

The 13-year-old Peck started 18th to take his best POWRi finish.

“I passed seven cars on the start,” Peck said. “I’m definitely happy, especially starting 18th. I owe it to my crew chief (dad Steve Peck).”

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series results (30 laps): 1. Zach Daum, 2. Chett Gehrke, 3. Daniel Robinson, 4. Davey Ray, 5. Andrew Felker, 6. Austin Brown; 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Jake Blackhurst, 9. Brett Anderson, 10. Cameron Hagin, 11. Colten Cottle, 12. Bubba Altig, 13. Dereck King, 14. Chris Bell, 15. John Campbell, 16. Rich Camfield, 17. Jake Neuman, 18. Tyler Robbins, 19. Derrick Myers, 20. Derek Rossio, 21. Nick Knepper, 22. Tyler Thomas.

POWRi Speedway Motors 600 Outlaw Micro Series (20 laps): 1. Alex Harris, 2. Joe B. Miller, 3. Justin Peck, 4. Jeremy Camp, 5. Paul Nienhiser, 6. Aaron Andruskevitch, 7. Jacob Patton, 8. Steven Russell, 9. Ethan Fleetwood, 10. Spencer Montgomery, 11. Ryan Frantz, 12. Austin Brown, 13. Carlee Gress, 14. Zach Hampton, 15. Cale Thomas, 16. Parker Price-Miller, 17. John Parker, 18. Jimmy Wells, 19. Trey Datweiler, 20. Andrew Felker, 21. Jason Harms, 22. Derek Schuett.