Klaasmeyer Captures First National Midget Feature Win; Toyotas Sweep POWRi Podium At Belle-Clair

Tucker Klaasmeyer earned his first national midget feature victory, with Ryan Robinson finishing second and Andrew Felker third as Toyota drivers swept the podium in an action-filled POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Knepper Memorial at the Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill., Friday night. Toyota-powered entries have now won 10 of the 12 national midget feature races run in 2018.
Klaasmeyer became the sixth different Toyota driver to reach the winner’s circle in a national event this season, but it didn’t come easy in a virtual slider-fest that turned heated at times.
Starting from the pole, Felker took the lead at the green flag with Klaasmeyer quickly moving into second and eventually started to challenge for the lead, as the two exchanged slider after slider with Felker maintaining the point position. It was a similar sight behind them as Robinson closed in on third-place Austin Brown.
After a caution, the battle resumed on lap 10 with Klaasmeyer once again challenging for the top spot and eventually throwing another slider with the two making contact and Klaasmeyer taking over the lead and Robinson moving into second as Felker was shuffled back to third and a hard-charging Logan Seavey climbed to fourth after starting 14th.
Another caution waived at the midway point of the race and Seavey took advantage, going low to take over third-place from Felker and quickly set his sights on teammate Robinson for second.  Seavey executed a huge slider to take over second and then began to close on the leader as Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyotas occupied the top three positions. Seavey attempted to pull off a slider for the lead, but Klaasmeyer wasn’t giving an inch and held on to the top spot. As the leaders began to fight their way through lapped traffic, the complexion of the race would quickly change as Klaasmeyer and Sam Johnson made contact, with Seavey then collected his young teammate Johnson in turn four, resulting in another caution. Seavey would re-fire, but from the tail end of the field.
Klaasmeyer led the field back to green with eight laps remaining and maintained a comfortable lead over Robinson as the battle for third heated up with Tanner Carrick making a move for third on Felker with the two trading sliders as they banged together through the corners. Carrick would eventually get caught up in a five-car pile-up, resulting in the final caution of the night with four laps remaining.
At that point, it was all Klaasmeyer as he pulled away to earn his first national win, with Robinson comfortably in second, followed by Felker in third. They were joined in the top 10 by four more Toyota-powered entries with Holly Shelton placing seventh, Seavey recovering for eighth, Kyle Craker in ninth and Zach Daum in tenth.
Robinson continues to lead the POWRi championship race after 5 of 37 races, but Klaasmeyer closed the gap to just 70 points, with Daum holding down the third spot and Felker in fourth.
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League heads to Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri, Saturday night.
Place
Belle-Clair Friday Toyota Feature Results
1st
Tucker Klaasmeyer
2nd
Ryan Robinson
3rd
Andrew Felker
7th
Holly Shelton
8th
Logan Seavey
9th
Kyle Craker
10th
Zach Daum
14th
Tanner Carrick
15th
Sam Johnson
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Standings1- Robinson-1380; 2- Klaasmeyer-1310;3- Daum-1240; 4- Felker-990;5- Neuman-910;6-Seavey-810; 7-Saff-780; 8- Miller-750; 8t- Shelton-750; 10-Moore-670
Toyota Racing PR

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