Felker and Benson Take Wins at Belle-Clair

Andrew Felker - Connor Hamilton photo
Andrew Felker – Connor Hamilton photo

Belleville, IL – Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Missouri overtook Zach Daum in the final laps of the Lucas Oil POWRi National Midget Series feature event to earn his sixth-career victory with the series, on a two-in-a-row victory streak after his win last week at Macon Speedway. Nathan Benson of Concordia, Missouri utilized lap traffic to pick off Slater Helt for his second Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series victory of 2016, his 17th victory with the series.

In typical thrilling Belle-Vegas fashion, Felker would come from eighth, as Christopher Bell and Austin Brown shared the front row for the start of the 30 lap feature.
At the drop of the green, Bell would take the lead with Zach Daum in tow. Struggling to keep the front wheels on the ground, Daum worked overtime to reel in Bell. The gap between the two drivers would shorten as Bell quickly closed in on lap traffic and the caution flew for Holly Shelton spun at the bottom of turn two.

With 13 laps in the books, Bell would quickly use the two lap cars between himself and Daum to create a large gap between first and second place, all the while as Felker worked his way into the top three. Working lap traffic, Bell would hit misfortune as he found himself upside down exiting turn four, diminishing his chances for victory. He would be alright and would restart at the tail end of the field.

Zach Daum would inherit the lead with 19 laps down, followed by Andrew Felker and the veteran driver Terry Babb of Decatur, Illinois. Coming back to green flag racing, Daum would quickly distance himself from Felker, until Garrett Aitken took a wild ride down the front stretch bringing out the second red of the evening. Dereck King was also involved. Both drivers would be alright, but the damage to their machines was extensive enough to put an end to their evenings. Returning to green, Felker’s Stanton SR-11-powered BOSS Chassis would begin to smoke, but that was not enough to deter the head of steam that Felker had as he took the lead on lap 23 from Daum. Terry Babb would bring home the third position, while Bryan Clauson was fourth. Tucker Klaasmeyer rounded out the top five.

“We’re out of sponsorship,” said Andrew Felker. “We have to win just to keep showing up. I think this shows how much work we put in over the off season. We have a good package here.”
“Turn one killed us tonight,” explained Zach Daum. “I kept hitting that hole and we just couldn’t find a way to get through it. It cost us the race.”

“I had Bryan Clauson all over me. I’ve got to thank him for running me clean. He gave me room every time. Coming off four that one time, he could have crashed me. That’s what you want when you run with a good racecar driver.”

In Speedway Motors POWRi 600cc Outlaw Micro Series competition, Nathan Benson would have to wait patiently for the lap traffic in order to steal the win away from Slater Helt. On the initial start of the 20 lap main event, Helt would power into the lead only to have the red flag appear for Breanna Wirth who took a tumble down the front stretch. She would be alright, but done for the night. With one lap in the books, Helt would get a solid restart and put distance between himself and Benson, while Joe B. Miller worked his way to third. As Helt closed in on lap traffic, a blanket could be thrown over the top three as they all diced their way through the field. Looking for just the right moment, Benson would wait until Helt was pinned behind a lap car to make his move to the front, taking the lead on lap 14. With 17 laps down, Shelby Bosie would bring out the caution as his machine sat in turns one and two. Coming back to green, a three lap shootout would ensue until the yellow flew a final time for Zeb Wise spun in turns three and four. Coming back to green for the final lap, Benson would take the win, followed by Helt and Joe B. Miller. Ayrton Gennetten would bring home fourth, followed by Tyler Vantoll.

“We came out of the box quick with this thing,” explained Nathan Benson. “All I want to talk about is Dave Byers; the guy that’s up and down the road with me. His dad passed away last weekend and this is for him. I wasn’t even going to come today. I thought it was going to rain out.”

“I really wanted to get the win tonight, but nice job to Nathan,” stated Slater Helt. “He was on it. If we could have got by lap traffic a little quicker there in the beginning, we might have been alright. But, it happens.”

“Congrats to Nathan and Slater,” said Joe B. Miller. “We’re just going to have to step it up a bit. We’re behind the ball now, but we’ll pick it up here in the next couple of weeks and show them what we’ve got.”

Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 71W – CHRISTOPHER BELL, Heat 2: 63 – BRYAN CLAUSON, Heat 3: 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER, Heat 4: 7 – AUSTIN BROWN, Heat 5: 5D – ZACH DAUM

Semi-Feature Winners: 67 – TANNER THORSON, 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON
Great Clips Feature Winner: 11A – ANDREW FELKER

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 11A – ANDREW FELKER 2. 5D – ZACH DAUM 3. 88 – TERRY BABB 4. 63 – BRYAN CLAUSON 5. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 6. 7 – AUSTIN BROWN 7. 67 – TANNER THORSON 8. 97 – SPENCER BAYSTON 9. 71K – CARSON MACEDO 10. 71W – CHRISTOPHER BELL 11. 71 – RYAN ROBINSON 12. 5X – JUSTIN PECK 13. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 14. 50 – DANIEL ADLER 15. 22 – ANDY MALPOCKER 16. 5C – COLTEN COTTLE 17. 67K – HOLLY SHELTON 18. 1K – BRAYTON LYNCH 19. 32 – GARRETT AITKEN 20. 91 – DERECK KING 21. 9K – KYLE SCHUETT 22. 55 – NICK KNEPPER 23. 41 – AUSTIN PROCK


Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 9S – AUSTIN STEWART, Heat 2: 33M – RYAN MUELLER, Heat 3: 2B – NATHAN BENSON, Heat 4: 3B – SHELBY BOSIE, Heat 5: 6A – AIDEN ROOSEVANS

Semi-Feature Winners: 30T – TYLER VANTOLL, 99 – ALEC LONG
Great Clips Feature Winner: 2B – NATHAN BENSON

POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series Feature Results (20 laps): 1. 2B – NATHAN BENSON 2. 22S – SLATER HELT 3. 51B – JOE B MILLER 4. 3 – AYRTON GENNETTEN 5. 30T – TYLER VANTOLL 6. 79J – JACOB PATTON 7. 33M – RYAN MUELLER 8. 6A – AIDEN ROOSEVANS 9. N2 – NIC HARRIS 10. 12C – CARLEE GRESS 11. 3B – SHELBY BOSIE 12. 08C – ALLEN COPE 13. 65E – CHAD ELLIOTT 14. 21 – TY HULSEY 15. 42 – ANDY BISHOP 16. 77W – JOEY WIRTH 17. 99 – ALEC LONG 18. 16 – GARRETT BRITTON 19. 01 – ZEB WISE 20. 16R – DANIEL ROBINSON 21. 9W – NICK WORLEY 22. 8W – BREANNA WIRTH 23. 9S – AUSTIN STEWART

For more information, visit www.powri.com.
Derek Schuett
POWRi Media

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