Behind the Wheel
Kings Without Wings
Felker holds off Adler for win in POWRi Midgets, Thomas breaks through with 1st victory in POWRi Micros at Macon
MACON, Ill. (June 8, 2013)—Andrew Felker finished one car length in front of Daniel Adler to win the feature in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Cale Thomas drove to his first victory in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series in the third round of POWRi’s Speed Week on Saturday at Macon Speedway.
Felker took the lead on the 25th of 30 laps when Jerry Coons Jr. did a 360-degree spin exiting turn four on the one-fifth mile track. Coons had led the opening 24 laps in the RW Motorsports’ Beast-Fontana.
It was the first POWRi victory of the season and third of his career for the 20-year-old from Carl Junction, Mo., the series’ champion in 2012.
Felker started fifth in his Fontana-powered Spike and climbed quickly into third behind Coons and Zach Daum. Felker slid past Daum in turns three and four following a ninth-lap restart and began chasing Coons.
“I started reeling in Jerry for a while, kept the pressure on and forced him into a mistake and got by him,” Felker said. “I was a couple of car lengths behind and had enough room to turn right and miss him. I was driving as hard as I could to put the pressure on him. I couldn’t’ believe it when he spun. I was fired up. It’s not every day you’re racing that Jerry makes a mistake and I wanted to capitalize on it with a victory. It feels real good.”
Adler had to advance to the feature by winning one of the semis and started 20th in his Stealth-Essingler.
“When it’s there, I like to run the bottom and it was there and I ran it until the top took rubber,” Adler said.
Adler’s decision moved him up and it also paid dividends in keep him out of trouble. Daum and Tyler Thomas were racing hard for third on the outside when they made contact in turn two and fifth-running Michael Pickens couldn’t avoid them. They ended up in a cluster against the wall and had to go to the back of the field for the restart on the 14th lap.
Adler was third for the restart and he stayed close to Felker to the checkered flag. The 24-year-old from Columbia, Ill., also had to keep the Keith Kunz Motorsports’ Toyota-powered Bullets of Chris Bell and Rico Abreu behind him for the final 17 laps, which included the final restart with six laps to go.
Adler’s second place was the best of his career in POWRi Midgets. He’s driven in the series since it began in 2005, but he’s been a part-timer in most of them. Macon was his 97th feature and fourth this year.
“I was right on Andrew’s bumper at the checkered flag,” Adler said. “With an event that had 55 entries and the level of competition it had and we’re a low-budget, part-time team, this is a win for us.”
Bell of Norman, Okla., finished third, Abreu of Rutherford, Calif., was fourth and Brad Mosen of New Zealand was fifth.
Bell lined up fourth on the grid, but had to go to the back of the 23-car field after an opening lap mishap.
Thomas started on pole and led all 20 laps in his Sawyer-Suzuki. The 15-year-old from Fairland, Ind., had been second in POWRi’s previous race at Macon this season.
“It feels great,” Thomas said. “The car was fast. I got track position by winning my heat and I was flying on top.”
Dereck King of Vienna, Ill., was second and Nic Harris of Atlanta, Ill., was third.
POWRi’s Speed Week concludes today (Sunday) at Vermilion County Speedway in Danville, Ill.
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. Andrew Felker, 2. Daniel Adler, 3. Chris Bell, 4. Rico Abreu, 5. Brad Mosen, 6. Tanner Thorson, 7. Parker Price Miller, 8. Casey Shuman, 9. Darren Hagen, 10 Jake Blackhurst, 11. Zach Daum, 12. Brad Kuhn, 13. Jake Neuman, 14. Alex Bright, 15. Ryan Criswell, 16. Michael Pickens, 17. Davey Ray, 18. Tyler Thomas, 19. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Tyler Robbins, 21. Dereck King, 22. Devon Huff, 23. Shane Cockrum.
POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature results (20 laps): 1. Cale Thomas, 2. Dereck King, 3. Nic Harris, 4. James Morris, 5. Jason Harms, 6. Nathan Benson, 7. Jake Neuman, 8. Corey Nelson, 9. Trey Datweiler, 10. Shelby Bosie, 11. John Plotner, 12. Max Pozsgai, 13. Jeremy Camp, 14. Joe B. Miller, 15. Jeremy Zumwalt, 16. Jimmy Miller, 17. Ayrton Gennetten, 18. Derek Schuett, 19, Tyler Duff, 20. Aaron Andruskevitch, 21. Garrett Duff, 22. Devin Feger.
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