By Tim Tuttle
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (June 18, 2013)—The 11th annual Sue Thiel Memorial on Sunday (June 23) at Angell Park Speedway brings together the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series, Honda USAC National Midget Series and the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series, arguably the nation’s top three Midget organizations, for their first of four tri-sanctioned events this year.
It promises to be quite a show with many of the best Midget drivers in the USA expected. Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Mo., is the POWRi and Badger championship leader and also ranks third in the USAC points. Chris Bell of Norman, Okla., is on top of the USAC points over Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind., 286-261. Felker has 222.
The 20-year-old Felker embarked this season with an ambitious schedule to run for both the POWRi and Badger championships and to fit in as many USAC national events as possible. He holds a 1,120-840 advantage over Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Ill., in POWRi’s seven events and a 491-448 lead over Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind.., in Badger’s eight, five co-sanctioned with POWRi.
Felker, the 2012 POWRi national champion, has four top-four finishes and seven top-10s in POWRi and a win and three second places included in six top-10s in Badger. His victory was in the most recent POWRi/Badger feature at Macon (lll.) Speedway on June 8, the finale of the three-event POWRi Speed Week. It was Felker’s first POWRi/Badger win of the season.
“It feels really good,” Felker said following the Macon Speed Week event. “This week is setting the tone for the season, so far, so good. It will be a big boost in points in POWRi and Badger.”
Felker also finished second at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway and ninth at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway during Speed Week. He followed it with a consistently solid USAC Indiana Midget Week, making the feature in all five events and posting finishes of fourth at Gas City I-69 Speedway, seventh at Lincoln Park in Putnamville, eighth at Lawrenceburg, 11th at Kokomo and 17th at Bloomington. They were the opening five events of the USAC season.
Daum also had a strong Indiana Midget Week, winning his second USAC feature at Lawrenceburg, finishing fifth at Kokomo and 10th at Gas City and eighth in the points. He’s had three top-fives in the seven POWRi features and, with a fourth at Angell Park in a stand-alone Badger event on May 19, is third in the Badger championship with 330 points.
Bell’s roots in Midgets are in POWRi and his first feature win came at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., on May 17 in a POWRi event. He was third at Lincoln and Macon and fourth at Jacksonville in Speed Week events. Bell had victories at Lincoln Park and Kokomo, was second at Bloomington and third at Gas City in USAC’s Midget Week.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after seven of 31) events: 1. Andrew Felker 1,120, 2. Zach Daum 840, 3. Tyler Thomas 760, 4. Jake Blackhurst 710, 5. Brad Kuhn 590, 6. Austin Brown 485, 7. Terry Babb 385, 8. Shane Cockrum 300, 9. Justin Peck 300, 10. Tyler Robbins 290.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature winners: Jacksonville, Ill.—Shane Cockrum; Belleville, Ill.—Chris Bell; Macon, Ill.—Brady Bacon; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Michael Pickens; Jacksonville, Ill.—Kyle Larson; Lincoln, Ill.—Michael Pickens; Macon, Ill.—Andrew Felker.
For more information, go to www.POWRi.com.