Clauson Cops Lincoln Midget Honors

The POWRi midgets prepare for the green flag Friday night at Lincoln Speedway in Illinois. (Phil Rider photo)
The POWRi midgets prepare for the green flag Friday night at Lincoln Speedway in Illinois. (Phil Rider photo)

LINCOLN, Ill. — Bryan Clauson edged Casey Shuman by less than a foot to win the feature in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Trent Beckinger passed Joe B. Miller on the final lap to take the feature in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series at quarter-mile Lincoln Speedway Friday.

The midgets were co-sanctioned by Badger.

Clauson overtook Shuman in the final few feet to reach the finish .119 of a second in front.

“It wasn’t much, inches,” Clauson said. “He had me right to the line and my momentum carried me past.”

The 23-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., started 12th and, finding his Spike-Essingler going nowhere running the inside, went outside one-third of the way through the 30-lap race.

“It was just too tight on the bottom,” Clauson said. “I pulled out after 10 laps and committed to the top. We had the high line to ourselves.”

Clauson passed Zach Daum for the lead on the 23rd lap and held it through three restarts in the final six laps.

Shuman lined up second, followed by Jerry Coons Jr. and Rico Abreu for the final restart with three laps to go.

Shuman on the inside, Coons in the middle and Clauson on the outside ran three-wide for much of the remaining laps and Abreu surged toward the front in the last two turns. They were separated by a car length exiting turn four headed for the checkered flag.

“I was convinced I had won, but the transponder (electronic scoring) said no,” Shuman said. “You can kind of look and see and I saw a nose (behind). I was set up to run the top, but the track got better and better on the bottom.”

Abreu passed Coons to take third. Andrew Felker finished fifth.

Daum started third, but blasted past pole sitter Shuman on the inside to take the lead at the start and held it for 22 laps. Daum pulled away in the early stints, but red flags and restarts on the 15th, 18th, 20th and 24th laps allowed the field to close up behind him.

It was Clauson’s 15th career POWRi Midget victory, third on the all-time list.

Beckinger passed Miller in traffic in turn one on the 20th and final lap for his second Outlaw Micro win of the season and seventh of his career.

“Joe B. had the race wrapped up and the lapped cars played right into our hand,” Beckinger said. “He got stuck behind some lapped cars going into turn one and moved out of the groove by a foot or two and went up the track.”

The 21-year old was the POWRi Outlaw Micro champion in 2011, but has run a limited schedule due to work commitments this season. He’s finished in the top three in all five of his starts.

The finish:

Bryan Clauson, Casey Shuman, Rico Abreu, Jerry Coons Jr., Andrew Felker, Bubba Altig, Daniel Robinson, Colten Cottle, Jake Blackhurst, Andy Malpocker, Dillon Welch, Brad Kuhn, Brett Anderson, Tim Siner, Zach Daum, Garrett Aitken, Austin Brown, Ryan Criswell, Shane Hollingsworth, Tyler Thomas, David Budres, Tyler Robbins.