The close championship battle between Zach Daum and Andrew Felker in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series resumes Wednesday with the Jason Leffler Memorial at Wayne County (Ill.) Speedway and continues Saturday and Sunday with the 32nd annual Pepsi Midget Nationals at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis.
Daum leads Felker, 2,900-2,780 with 11 events remaining on the 31-race schedule. The Pepsi Nationals are co-sanctioned by the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series. Felker, a 20-year-old from Carl Junction, Mo., is also in the hunt for the Badger title, trailing Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind., by 109 points, 1,256-1,147, going into the final two events of the season. A full program will be run both nights in the Pepsi Nationals, with a 30-lap feature Saturday and a 50-lap feature Sunday that pays $4,000 to the winner. Sunday also includes the 11th annual Dave Schulenberg Memorial Dash.
The Leffler Memorial pays $5,000 to win and is sponsored by Great Clips. It has been organized by Wayne County track owner Doug Stringer to honor Leffler, a long-time friend who died at 37 in a sprint car crash on June 12. Leffler was a former driver in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series and a three-time USAC National Midget champion. Proceeds from the event will go to a fund for his five-year old son, Charlie Dean.
Three-time USAC National Driving champion Bryan Clauson, 2012 Honda USAC National Dirt champion Darren Hagen and 2000 USAC Silver Crown and 2002 USAC Sprint Car champion Tracy Hines have committed to the Leffler Memorial. Clauson of Noblesville, Ind., has three POWRi wins and Hagen two this season.
The 22-year-old Daum of Pocahontas, Ill., has driven his Toyota-powered Eagle to two victories, 11 top-fives and 15 top-10s this season. Felker, the 2012 POWRi National Midget champion, has one win, 11 top-fives and 17 top-10s in his Fontana-powered Spike. Both drivers have qualified for all 20-events this season, but Felker had mechanical problems on the grid in three and did not start.
Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., is third in the championship with 2,045 points. That’s still mathematically within range of Daum and Felker, but the 17-year-old would have to make a jump in performance to challenge. Thomas has five top-fives and 10-top 10s this season.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series top-10 points standings (after 20 of 31 events): 1. Zach Daum 2,900, 2. Andrew Felker 2,780, 3. Tyler Thomas 2,045, 4. Brad Kuhn 1,900, 5. Austin Brown 1,895, 6. Jake Blackhurst 1,875, 7. Garrett Aitken 1,470, 8. Parker Price-Miller 1,465, 9. Terry Babb 1,035, 10. Colten Cottle 930.
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; Belleville, Ill.-Bryan Clauson; Lincoln, Ill.-Rico Abreu; Macon, Ill.-Chris Bell; Sun Prairie, Wis.-Bryan Clauson.
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