Daum Wins 2nd Race Of Season In POWRi Midgets At Valley Speedway

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (July 27, 2013)-Zach Daum finished six car lengths in
front of championship rival Andrew Felker to take his second feature victory
of the season Saturday in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series at
Valley Speedway.

Daum led the final 20 laps in his Toyota-powered Eagle on the fast
one-third mile track. The 22-year-old from Pocahontas, Ill., dueled with Felker’s
Spike-Fontana early in the 30-lap race. Felker passed Daum for the lead on
lap 10 and Daum regained it on the next lap and steadily stretched his
advantage. It was Daum’s third career victory in POWRi Midgets.

Garrett Aitken of Paris, Ill., finished a career-best third and rookie
Parker Price-Miller of Kokomo, Ind., was a season-best fourth. Tyler Thomas of
Collinsville, Okla., was caught up in a five-car accident on the start
that brought out a red flag and climbed from the back to finish fifth.

“I feel like we had a shot to win all three races this weekend,” Daum
said. “I know we had fast cars in all three. It was a matter of putting a
whole race together.”

Daum led six laps early Thursday at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach,
Ill., before the left-front shock had a spacer fall off and his handling
deteriorated. He finished second to Terry Babb. Friday at US 36 Raceway in
Cameron, Mo., Daum led laps 16 to 22, but encountered a mechanical problem
with the fueling system and was forced to drop out. He finished ninth.

“We led laps in all three races,” Daum said. “I’m glad we were able to
finish tonight.”

Daum started on the inside of the second row. Price-Miller was pole and
Felker on the outside of the front row.

Price-Miller held the lead for the opening three laps before Daum passed
him. Felker moved into second on the sixth lap and they began to race hard,
going side-by-side into some turns.

“I wanted to be consistent and didn’t want to miss the bottom,” Daum
said. “But when you’re not behind someone, you can’t go searching around for
better grip.”

Daum was hugging the inside. Felker had a strong run a couple of lanes up
the track and passed him for the lead exiting turn four.

“Andrew showed me it was tacky above me,” Daum said. “I moved up a lane
and the grip was there to get the lead back. (Turns) one and two were a
crapshoot, very slick, but three and four were pretty tacky the whole race.”

Felker’s second place brought brightness into what had been a gloomy
weekend. The 20-year-old from Carl Junction, Mo., wasn’t able to start the
features at Tri-City and US 36 because of rear end problems that surfaced as he
was pushed to the grid.

“After the way this weekend went, I’m happy to finish second,” Felker
said. “I was happy to start the A main. We’d finished 22 of 24 features this
year in the top 10 with no DNFs before the weekend. You know it isn’t going
to go on forever like that in racing.”

Aitken was running second for a green-white-checkered finish at US 36 when
his Fontana engine began sputtering from a lack of fuel flow and he
finished seventh. The 17-year-old started 10th at Valley and, running the far
outside, was up to third by the 22nd lap.

“I needed one more restart,” Aitken said.

Aitken didn’t get it. The final 11 laps were run under green.

“Third is awesome,” Aitken said. “We had some bad luck in the first two
races this weekend, but third tonight made all the late nights working to
finish our new Spike (which made its debut in the three races) worth it.”

Daum trailed Felker by 340 points entering the three-race weekend and cut
the deficit to 80 with 16 of 30 races remaining on the schedule.

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. Zach
Daum, 2. Andrew Felker, 3. Garrett Aitken, 4. Parker Price-Miller, 5. Tyler
Thomas, 6. Jake Blackhurst, 7. Austin Brown, 8. Daniel Adler, 9. Alex
Sewell, 10. Seth Motsinger, 11. Chad Frewaldt, 12. Pat Schudy, 13. Chett
Gehrke, 14. Todd McVay, 15. Colten Cottle, 16. Cody Ledger, 18. Brian Reick.
Lap leaders: Price-Miller 1-3, Daum 4-9, Felker 10, Daum 11-30.

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