BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Danny Stratton won the fifth feature of his career in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series and Travis Senter took his third career victory in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series Friday at Belle-Clair Speedway.
Stratton passed Brett Anderson for the lead on the 27th of 30 laps on the one-fifth mile track and was two car lengths ahead at the checkered flag.
Anderson had a comfortable lead before a caution with six laps remaining.
“Anderson could pull away if he got far enough away from me,” Stratton said. “I just tried to get him off his timing after that restart. We crossed paths (with slide jobs) a couple of times and I got the lead. It’s been a while since I won and even though I don’t race that much any more, it feels good to be back. It was good to get the monkey off my back.
“We’ve been performing well, but we haven’t been able to close the deal.”
Stratton, 32, has finished second at Jacksonville, Ill., and fifth at Cowtown Speedway in Kennedale, Texas, in four starts in POWRi Midgets this season. Belle-Clair was his first POWRi win since July 24, 2007 at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. Stratton hadn’t won a midget race since March, 2010, at Cowtown.
Anderson was running third when leader Bubba Altig and second-running Brad Loyet were caught up in an accident in turn two on the 20th lap, bringing out the first caution. Altig had started on the front row next to pole sitter Loyet and passed him for the lead on the third lap.
Ryan Guyett was hit from behind and hit the wall, flipping him upside down. Altig was running the outside and collided with Guyett’s midget. Altig was forced out of the race with a flat tire. Loyet, a three-time POWRi Midget champion driving in his first event of the season, was able to stop, but had to restart at the back of the field.
Anderson had driven to the inside, missed the wreck and took over the lead. Nick Knepper was second and Stratton, who had started 15th, was third.
Anderson held the lead through two restarts. Stratton passed Knepper on the lap-20 restart for second.
“I lost momentum a little bit when the caution came out,” Anderson said. “We started doing a couple of slide jobs, just back and fourth, and he (Stratton) got ahead. I feel like I gave it away. Second is all right, but without that yellow, I think I would have won.”
Knepper finished third.
Senter made a spectacular pass on the far outside in Turn Four to take the lead from Andrew Felker on the 17th of 20 laps and held it to the checkered flag.
“When he (Felker) got in front of me, it got me mad,” Senter said. “I thought I’d let one slip away from me. I was going to win it or wear it. I made a hole. I never lifted, stood on the gas.”
Senter’s previous two POWRi wins were on consecutive nights in 2007, April 27 at Jacksonville, Ill., and April 28 at Lincoln, Ill.
Danny Stratton, Brett Anderson, Nick Knepper, Andrew Felker, Brad Loyet, Austin Brown, Garrett Aitken, Mario Clouser, Steve Knepper, Tyler Thomas, Tim Siner, Daniel Robinson, Cameron Hagin, Darren Kingston, Jake Neuman, Dillon Welch, Chett Gehrke, Bubba Altig, Ryan Guyett, Dave Camfield Jr., Gavin Galbraith, Derrick Myers.
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