BELLEVILLE, Ill. – After a valiant effort in 2017 with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League, Tucker Klaasmeyer came up one spot short in the final championship standings.
Determined to make 2018 his year, the Kansas native set with one goal in mind: to win the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League championship.
Consider that mission accomplished.
In 2018, the hot shoe out of Paola, Kan., set out on the tour with Keith Kunz Curb-Agajanian Motorsports and headed to the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League season opener in Ocala, Fla., at the inaugural Sunshine State Midget Challenge. While a podium and sixth place finish were nothing too exciting for Klaasmeyer, they were all part of the plan to build a foundation of solid finishes and go after the championship.
“Going into the season, with a new team I was a little nervous on how it would go,” said Klaasmeyer. “Once we got to Florida, that relieved all my fears. The track was a little tricky, but I had good equipment under me. We showed up with the same equipment week in and week out and started getting some wins. That eased a lot of my concerns and then we built on that success for the championship from there.”
A couple months later Klaasmeyer found himself in victory lane at Belle-Clair Speedway. Capturing his first of six victories with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League this year, that win was particularly special because it was his first with the series. Klaasmeyer backed up the performance the next night at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 with another victory.
“It’s one thing to run for points, as you don’t necessarily have to win every race to run for points, but I needed those for myself,” said Klaasmeyer. “Once I got the first win, I was able to focus more on driving and getting strong finishes. To get those first two wins and then keep them going throughout the year was pretty special.”
In all, Klaasmeyer had six wins throughout the season with a staggering 18 top-five finishes in 29 features. With a 590-point advantage over teammate Ryan Robinson, Klaasmeyer was able to not only earn his first POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League championship, but also the first for Keith Kunz Curb-Agajanian Motorsports.
“Ryan and I, we never had any tension,” said Klaasmeyer. “We actually became good friends. It sucks when you’re competing with your teammates, as you root for their success, too, but at the end of the day, you have to get it done for yourself.
“To be a champion is pretty special,” Klaasmeyer added. “It takes a lot of time and work form the guys at the shop. There’re not very many firsts for Keith anymore, so to get him his first POWRi National Championship is pretty special. Between Logan and I sweeping the top midget championships, that’s a testament to what they do and what they accomplish as a team.”