BELLEVILLE, ILL. (May 10, 2019) – Leading from start-to-finish, Austin Brown of nearby Millstadt, Illinois was the hometown hero on Friday night as he dominated Belle-Clair Speedway for an impressive triumph in the 28th annual “Knepper Memorial.” The wire-to-wire score aboard his BOSS Chassis, Toyota Racing No. 17 marked the fifth-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory for Brown.
Earning the pole position via a strong sixth-to-first heat race win, Brown took the green flag for the 30-lapper with 16-year old Cannon McIntosh of Bixby, Oklahoma to his outside in the Dave Mac Motorsports, Spike/Toyota No. 08. Brown immediately shot to the lead as McIntosh fell back and three-time POWRi Midgets champion, Zach Daum, moved into second aboard his Daum Motorsports, Eagle/Toyota No. 5D.
With lap traffic looming, Daum and Tucker Klaasmeyer, the defending Knepper Memorial winner, were hot on the heels of Brown and ready to challenge. However, a lap 11 caution bunched the field back up and allowed Brown to sneak away while a frenzy ensued behind him with Daum, Klaasmeyer, McIntosh, and Carrick all squaring off.
Brown continued to pace the field while the battle raged for second with multiple position swaps between Daum and McIntosh. A red flag for top-ten running Tyler Thomas on lap 24 followed by a three-car tangle on the final lap between Tucker Klaasmeyer, Logan Seavey and Tanner Carrick shuffled the line up in the late stages.
On the final green-white-checkered restart, Brown quickly pulled away while Daum and McIntosh’s battle reached the boiling point. As Brown came out of turn four to take the double checkered flags, Daum and McIntosh collided and tangled at the apex, both halting to a stop and bringing a chaotic conclusion to the 30-lapper.
Nonetheless, it was Austin Brown’s night, as the native of nearby Millstadt, Illinois picked up his fifth-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League victory in dominating fashion. As he climbed atop the BOSS/Toyota No. 17 following his wire-to-wire run, a standing ovation and roaring applause greeted the new winner of the “Knepper Memorial.”
Escaping the wreckage of the final corner and leaving with a career-best second-place finish was California’s Jesse Colwell aboard the Keith Kunz Motorsports, KKM Giveback Classic, Bullet/Toyota No. 71. Rounding out the podium with another career-best finish was Oklahoma’s Ace McCarthy, who hauled from 17th-to-third in the Jim Neuman Racing, Two-Eight Drilling No. 28.
Finishing fourth-from-16th was Oklahoma’s Kaylee Bryson in the Dave Mac Motorsports, Spike/Toyota No. 11B and taking fifth-from-21st was Jake Neuman of New Berlin, Illinois in his No. 3N entry. Closing out the top ten at Belle-Clair was Nick Hoffman making his POWRi debut in sixth, rookie Daison Pursley claiming a solid seventh, Nick Knepper nabbing an eighth, Presley Truedson charging to ninth, and Chance Morton moving from 23rd-to-tenth.
Tomorrow night, the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League marches on to the “Mighty” Macon Speedway in Macon, Illinois. Joined by the POWRi Engler Machine & Tool Outlaw Micros, the gates are slated to open at 1:00 PM with driver registration from 3:00 PM to 5:15 PM followed by hot laps at 6:00 PM. Fans catch watch LIVE on www.speedshifttv.com!
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Smith Titanium Heat One (8 Laps):
1. 9-Daison Pursley, Locust Grove, OK (1); 2. 71-Jesse Colwell, Red Bluff, CA (4); 3. 11B-Kaylee Bryson, Muskogee, OK (3); 4. 97K-Jesse Love, Redwood City, CA (7); 5. 7M-Chance Morton, Coweta, OK (5); 6. 1T-Thomas Chandler (2); 7. 50-Daniel Adler, St. Louis, MO (6).
Keizer Wheels Heat Two (8 Laps):
1. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer, Paola, KS (2); 2. 21KS-Nick Hoffman, Mooresville, NC (4); 3. 67K-Holley Hollan, Broken Arrow, OK (3); 4. 103-Broc Hunnell, Eolia, MO (5); 5. 30T-Tyler Vantoll, Belleville, IL (6); 6. 5H-Ryan Mueller, Wildwood, MO (7); 7. 3N-Jake Neuman, New Berlin, IL (1).
Saldana Racing Products Heat Three (8 Laps):
1. 08-Cannon McIntosh, Bixby, OK (5); 2. 11-Daniel Robinson, Ewing, IL (2); 3. 97A-Austin O’Dell, Rochester, IL (3); 4. 22-Andy Malpocker, St. Charles, MO (7); 5. 8M-Kade Morton, Coweta, OK (4); 6. 35-Tyler Robbins, Collinsville, IL (1); 7. 17C-Devin Camfield, Decatur, IL (6).
Rod End Supply Heat Four (8 Laps):
1. 71K-Tanner Carrick, Lincoln, CA (2); 2. 67-Logan Seavey, Sutter, CA (3); 3. 5D-Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL (7); 4. 55-Nick Knepper, Belleville, IL (6); 5. 28-Ace McCarthy, Tahlequah, OK (4); 6. 16C-Dave Camfield Jr. (1); 7. 20G-Noah Gass, Mounds, OK (5).
Racing Electronics Heat Five (8 Laps):
1. 17-Austin Brown, Millstadt, IL (6); 2. 91T-Tyler Thomas, Collinsville, OK (3); 3. 3B-Shelby Bosie, Sherman, IL (4); 4. 5T-Presley Truedson, Kennedy, MN (1); 5. 5-Danny Frye III, St. Peters, MO (5); 6. 86C-Dalton Camfield, Decatur, IL (2).
Toyota Racing B-Main (12 Laps):
1. 28-Ace McCarthy (9); 2. 67K-Holley Hollan (1); 3. 5T-Presley Truedson (5); 4. 30T-Tyler Vantoll (4); 5. 3N-Jake Neuman (18); 6. 20G-Noah Gass (17); 7. 35-Tyler Robbins (13); 8. 50-Daniel Adler (15); 9. 5-Danny Frye III (7); 10. 17C-Devin Camfield (16); 11. 1T-Thomas Chandler (11); 12. 5H-Ryan Mueller (10); 13. 103-Broc Hunnell (3); 14. 16C-Dave Camfield Jr. (14); 15. 86C-Dalton Camfield (12); 16. 97A-Austin O’Dell (2); 17. 7M-Chance Morton (6); 18. 8M-Kade Morton (8).
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Main Event (30 Laps):
1. 17-Austin Brown (1); 2. 71-Jesse Colwell (6); 3. 28-Ace McCarthy (17); 4. 11B-Kaylee Bryson (16); 5. 3N-Jake Neuman (21); 6. 21KS-Nick Hoffman (7); 7. 9-Daison Pursley (8); 8. 55-Nick Knepper (15); 9. 5T-Presley Truedson (19); 10. 7M-Chance Morton (23); 11. 67K-Holley Hollan (18); 12. 27-Tucker Klaasmeyer (4); 13. 71K-Tanner Carrick (5); 14. 67-Logan Seavey (9); 15. 5D-Zach Daum (3); 16. 08-Cannon McIntosh (2); 17. 91T-Tyler Thomas (10); 18. 3B-Shelby Bosie (14); 19. 97K-Jesse Love (11); 20. 11-Daniel Robinson (13); 21. 22-Andy Malpocker (12); 22. 30T-Tyler Vantoll (20); 23. 20G-Noah Gass (22).
Lap Leader(s): Brown 1-30.
Hard Charger(s): Neuman +16