LINCOLN, Ill. — Chett Gehrke won a hard fought battle with Zach Daum to take his first career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature win at Lincoln Speedway.
The event at Lincoln Speedway was co-sanctioned by POWRi and the Badger Midget Series.
Polesitter Parker Price-Miller, the 2013 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Rookie of the Year, led the field to green with Gehrke on the outside of the front row. The Kokomo, Ind., native took the lead on the initial restart, but Darren Kingston would spin in turn one, bringing out the first caution and resulting in a complete restart.
When Price-Miller would bring the field to green again, his Kami Ronk owned, Toyota-powered Spike would power to the front and lead the first seven laps closely followed by Darren Hagen.
On lap eight, Hagen would power past Price-Miller and into the lead in the Five-Six, Inc., Great Clips-sponsored, Esslinger-powered Beast. On lap 14, the under-powered car of Colten Cottle would slow to a stop in turn four, bunching the field back up, giving Zach Daum and Tyler Thomas an opportunity to steal the lead from Hagen. On the restart Daum would sneak past Hagen on the bottom and into the lead, leaving Hagen, Tyler Thomas, and Chett Gehrke to battle for second.
As Gehrke quickly dispatched Thomas and Hagen for second, he was soon reeling in Daum for the lead. As Daum and Gehrke battled for the lead, Andrew Felker brought out the third caution of the evening as the RAB Racing, Fontana-powered Spike would spin around and come to rest in turn four.
With 19 laps in the book, Gehrke would lead the field back to the green and as quickly as Gehrke took the lead from Daum, Daum would reclaim the lead from Gehrke on the bottom as Austin Brown would move the No. 7 Toyota-powered Boss Chassis into the third position. On lap 24, Gehrke would be too tough for Daum to hold off and he would reclaim the lead on the top in turns three and four.
As Gehrke did his best to pull away from Daum, Jacob Patton looped it in the middle of turns three and four, bringing out the fourth and final caution of the evening. When the field took the green, Daum would be unable to reclaim the lead from Gehrke as Chett Gehrke would lead the field to the checkered flag in the Skip and Diana Matteson-owned, Fontana-powered Spike, followed closely by Daum’s Toyota-powered Eagle in second, and Darren Hagen in third. Coming in fourth was Brown, and rounding out the top-five for a career-best finish was Spencer Bayston.
“It’s been a long time coming. I didn’t know if it was ever going to happen,” explained Gehrke. “I run fourth for quite a while and didn’t think it was going to happen. I tried just about every line there was and finally made the top work in three and four.”
Chett Gehrke, Zach Daum, Darren Haghen, Austin Brown, Spencer Bayston, Parker Price-Miller, Terry Babb, Nick Knepper, Garrett Aitken, Jake Blackhurst, Joe B. Miller, Shane Hollingsworth, Jake Neuman, Robbie Ray, Jacob Patton, Isaac Chapple, Ryan Chriswell, Seth Motsinger, Darren Kingston, Tyler Thomas, Andrew Felker, Colten Cottle.