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Felker, Daum bring POWRi Midget championship fight to Belle-Clair for Arnie Knepper Memorial
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (Aug. 6, 2013)—Andrew Felker and Zach Daum are locked in a two-driver battle for the championship at midseason in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series going into the 22nd annual Arnie Knepper Memorial on Sunday (Aug. 11) at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Felker owns an 80-point lead over Daum, 2,310-2,230, with 14 of 30 events remaining on the schedule. Jake Blackhurst and Tyler Thomas are tied for third with 1,625. Under the POWRi points structure, which awards 200 points for winning the feature down to 10 for 20th through last and five points to drivers that run the semi-feature and don’t advance, Felker and Daum could miss the next three features and still be ahead of Blackhurst and Thomas.
Felker has advanced to the feature in 48 straight POWRi National Midget events over the past three seasons. The 20-year-old from Carl Junction, Mo., has eight top-fives including one win and six more top-10s this year. Daum drove a partial POWRi season in 2012, running 13 features, and in 16 this year has two wins, six additional top-fives and three more top-10s.
They’re not taking anything for granted, but the champion for 2013 seems likely to be Felker or Daum.
“When Zach made his deal with Toyota to run for the POWRi championship, we know it would be a dog fight with him,” Felker said. “There are a lot of guys who can win races, but Zach and I are pretty consistent and that’s what wins championships.”
Felker had two victories, nine top-fives and 17 top-10s in 29 races in taking his first POWRi championship in 2012. He’s on a pace to better those numbers this season in his Fontana-powered Spike.
Daum took his first POWRi triumph a year ago. The 22-year-old from Pocahontas, Ill., had seven top-fives and nine top-10s in 13 features. If he maintains the same level of consistency in the second half of the season, he’d double those numbers. Daum drives a Toyota-powered Eagle.
“That’s fun, what the championship needs to be about,” Daum said. “Andrew has been very consistent. He’s been running good and we’ve been running good. I hope all the bad luck is out of the way for both of us and it comes down to who can win the most races and have the best finishes.”
Daum chopped 260 points off Felker’s lead in the last three events. Felker had rear end problems in two and didn’t start either feature, but bounced back to finish second at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., on July 27. Daum won at Valley, finished second at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill., on July 25 and was ninth at US 36 in Cameron, Mo., on July 26.
The POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micros Series are also part of the Arnie Knepper Memorial.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 16 of 30 events): 1. Andrew Felker 2,310, 2. Zach Daum 2,230, 3. (tie) Jake Blackhurst 1,625, Tyler Thomas 1,625, 5. Austin Brown 1,515, 6. Brad Kuhn 1,430, 7. Parker Price-Miller 1,125, 8. Garrett Aitken 1,110, 9. Terry Babb 830, 10. Colten Cottle 735.
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; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Rico Abreu; Bloomington, Ind.—Zach Daum; Belleville, Ill.—Darren Hagen; Belleville, Ill.—Bryan Clauson; Wilmot, Wis.—Brad Kuhn; Sun Prairie, Wis.—Darren Hagen; Pontoon Beach Ill.—Terry Babb; Cameron, Mo.—Austin Brown; Grain Valley, Mo.—Zach Daum.
For more information, go to www.POWRi.com.