POWRi - Loyet Wins Fourth Midget Feature Of 2011
MACON, Sept. 25, 2011: Brad Loyet drove to his fourth feature victory of the season and increased his lead in the championship Saturday in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series at Macon Speedway.
Loyet has a 70-point advantage over Nick Knepper, who finished sixth at Macon, going into the season finale next Saturday (Oct. 1) at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill. In POWRi’s scoring system, each position in the feature from one through 20 is separated by 10 points.
Loyet is attempting to win two championships in 2011 and his team took a calculated gamble in deciding to race at Macon. The 23-year-old from Sunset Hills, Mo., extended his lead to 230 points in the Speedway Motors American Sprint Car Series Warrior Region on Friday night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo. The ASCS Warriors ran Saturday at Wheatland and has one more event, Oct. 7 at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo.
If Loyet Motorsports hadn’t made the trek across Missouri and part of Illinois to Macon, he would likely have had a 100-point deficit in POWRi Midgets.
“We made the call to come to Macon,” Loyet said. “We’re trying to win two championships. Hopefully, we locked up one championship (ASCS Warrior) tonight (depending upon results in Wheatland) and we gained some points here. We had to capitalize on it. If you win a race, nobody can score more points than you.”
Loyet started from sixth position in his Vacuworx Spike-Esslinger and steadily climbed, passing Derrick Myers for the lead with a slide job exiting Turn Four on the 14th of 30 laps on the 1/5th-mile track.
“I tried to be patient because of the points race,” Loyet said. “I didn’t want to throw it into a slide job and get into trouble.”
Loyet led the final 17 laps, interrupted by one caution.
“I put it into cruise control and ran a good pace,” Loyet said.
Daniel Adler of Columbia, Ill., finished second, his best of the season. He started in 14th position in the Ted Kirkpatrick-owned 401k Edward Jones Stealth-Essingler.
“It feels fantastic,” Adler said. “It wasn’t’ what I was expecting starting deep in the field. A hole opened up and I shot to the bottom and it stuck. It worked out.”
Brett Anderson of Belleville, Ill., finished third in his first race since July 29. He’d been out because of an engine failure and budget problems that prevented rebuilding it. Anderson was driving a different car, owned by Willie Campbell.
“It was a good finish for us,” Anderson said. “We’ll take third.”
Knepper had a rough night. His Spike-Esslinger lost its brakes at the start of his heat and he finished sixth, forcing him into the semi. Knepper won the semi, but started from 17th position.
The 24-year-old from Belleville, Ill., kept his title hopes alive by finishing sixth in the feature.
“He did a great job to get from 17th to sixth,” father and crew chief Steve Knepper said.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. Brad Loyet, 2. Daniel Adler, 3. Brett Anderson, 4. Donnie Lehmann, 5. Tim Siner, 6. Nick Knepper, 7. Chett Gehrke, 8. Dave Camfield Jr., 9. Austin Brown, 10. Chris Bell, 11. Tyler Robbins, 12. Colten Cottle, 13. Kyle Neal, 14. Rich Camfield, 15. Taylor Ferms, 16. Ryan Blakeman, 17. Derek Rossio, 18. Derrick Myers, 19. Andrew Felker, 20. Jeff Felcher, 21. Gavin Galbraith, 22. Jake Blackhurst.