-October 1st-Belleville, Illinois
Brad Loyet finished 13th driving with a flat tire to take his second straight championship Saturday in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Loyet finished 30 points ahead of Nick Knepper, 3,170-3,140. The 23-year-old from Sunset Hills, Mo., entered the event with a 70-point advantage, seven finishing positions in the feature. Knepper of Belleville, Ill., shaved 40 points by finishing ninth. Loyet started the 30-lap feature on the 1/5th-mile track from 10th position, the outside of the fifth row. Knepper began from 13th, the inside of the seventh row.
On the fourth lap, Andrew Felker spun in front of Loyet’s Weld Racing wheel equipped Vacuworx Spike-Essingler. “I ran into Felker’s car and flattened the right front tire,” Loyet said. “I thought, ‘Congrats, Nick Knepper.’ But the car was OK. It was kind of unpredictable. If I went into a turn the wrong way, it was push across the race track.” Loyet became the first driver to win three POWRi Midget championships. He’s also headed for the title in the Speedway Motors American Sprint Car Series Warrior Region in its season-finale at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., on Oct. 7. Loyet can clinch by starting the heat race.
“It just feels good to get two championships in two types of cars in one year,” Loyet said. “It’s a testament to our team and the cars they prepare.”