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Thomas and Miller steal the final night of Illinois SPEED Week


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Thomas and Miller Steal the Final Night of Illinois SPEED Week

Belleville, IL. (June 8, 2015) - Tyler Thomas of Owasso, Oklahoma streaked to his first POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series victory of the 2015 season for the thrilling fourth and final night of Illinois SPEED Week presented by Toyota at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Illinois. Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Missouri earned his first POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series victory in 2015, holding off several challenges and cautions.

It took Tyler Thomas until the final night of Illinois SPEED Week to snag a victory, as the Owasso, Oklahoma native had previously started on the pole at both Quincy Raceways and Jacksonville Speedway. Leading the field to green for the Illinois SPEED Week finale, the Bryan Thomas-owned Esslinger-powered #91T Spike Chassis shared the front row with Tanner Thorson of Minden, Nevada. Coming to the stripe, Thomas would barely edge Thorson for the lead of lap one, only for Thorson to slide Thomas in typical Belle Vegas fashion entering turn number one. As Thorson worked away from Thomas, Tyler Robbins of Collinsville, Illinois would come to an abrupt stop and collect Kyle Schuett of Philo, Illinois. Robbins would be done for the evening, but Schuett's Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis would re-fire and tag the tail of the field.

With seven laps down, Thorson would show the way until the red flag flew for Chett Gehrke who jumped the cushion in turns three and four before flipping and collecting Kyle Schuett. Gehrke would be alright, but done for the remainder of the event. With 10 down, Thorson's lead would be short lived as the field returned to green. Diving to the bottom of turn one, Thomas would throw a slide job on Thorson that would stick coming off turn two. Thorson would attempt to return the favor entering turn three, but the slider wouldn't even faze Thomas. While Thomas focused on placing ground between himself and Thorson, lap traffic would be lurking around the corner.

On lap 19, the red flag would fly as Ryan Robinson would do a 360 on the back stretch collecting fellow Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate and then second place runner Tanner Thorson, sending Thorson into the wall and flipping. Thorson would be alright, but done for the remainder of the event.

Leading the field back to green, Tyler Thomas would lay chase from Abreu as he started working away from the field and towards lap traffic, all the while as Andrew Felker battled his way to towards the top three. Felker would officially take position from Andy Malpocker coming to the stripe on the last lap. Coming in fourth was Andy Malpocker and rounding out the top five was Bryan Clauson.

"We haven't touched the racecar since Thursday night," said Tyler Thomas. "It has been on a rail. First of all, I want to thank my dad, he's behind all the setup on this car and had it rolling all weekend. I just can't say enough about everyone involved. Hopefully we can be back in victory lane soon."

"We just got beat by a great car," explained Rico Abreu. "Tyler and his dad have been working on that thing and they're getting it fast. They're starting to click and definitely the car to beat every night. If not, he's always in the hunt, so congratulations to them. We just got to get our car a little better. This track is really tricky. It's a fun one to come to."

"I can't thank my dad and sponsors enough," stated Andrew Felker. "The car was on a rail that last ten laps, just fought my way back too early and got back to eighth there. At the end it was just who could hit the wall the hardest it felt like. I'm pretty sure I hit the wall two or three times the last lap to get to third. I can't thank all my sponsors enough for giving me this opportunity. Hats off to the track prep. It's not every day that you can run the fence like that."

Joe B. Miller of Millersville, Missouri took the 20 lap POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro feature after starting outside the front row to Andrew Peters. Gaining the early advantage, Miller would hold off Peters until Nathan Benson would overtake Luke Verardi for third and set his sights on second. A late race caution allowed Benson to get past Verardi and close in, but the laps ran out as Miller earned his first POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series victory of 2015. Second went to Nathan Benson, while Andrew Peters took third. Fourth went to Luke Verardi, a career best finish for the Taylorville, Illinois native and, Frank Galusha rounded out the top five.

"I love running with Andrew," said Joe B. Miller. "We always race really hard together. Jason Cooper came tonight and helped me on tires. Chad's been busting his butt all week and Jamie and I have been on the road since Thursday."

"We just started too far back these last two nights, but hats off to Joe B., he ran a heck of a race," stated Nathan Benson. "Thanks to Dave Byers, who helped us all week. He couldn't be here tonight, so my wife and boy filled in. We were scrambling, but we had the car pretty good there at the end."

"We did a lot better than we did yesterday," said Andrew Peters. "I got to thank my dad, Brad, and all my sponsors. If it wasn't for them, we couldn't do it."

Ford Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 5D - Brock Maskovich, Heat 2: 63 - Bryan Clauson, Heat 3: 67 - Tanner Thorson, Heat 4: 56 - Alex Bright, Heat 5: 97K - Rico Abreu, Heat 6: 17 - Darren Hagen

Great Clips Qualifier Winners: Qualifier 1: 91T - Tyler Thomas, Qualifier 2: 67 - Tanner Thorson

Toyota Feature Winner: 91T - Tyler Thomas

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 91T - Tyler Thomas 2. 97K - Rico Abreu 3. 11A - Andrew Felker 4. 22 - Andy Malpocker 5. 63 - Bryan Clauson 6. 56 - Alex Bright 7. 71 - Christopher Bell 8. 91 - Dereck King 9. 17 - Darren Hagen 10. 39 - Spencer Bayston 11. 55 - Jerry Coons Jr 12. 27 - Tucker Klaasmeyer 13. 7 - Austin Brown 14. 50 - Daniel Adler 15. 9K - Kyle Schuett 16. 67 - Tanner Thorson 17. 73 - Jason McDougal 18. 97 - Ryan Robinson 19. 12 - JB Gilbert 20. 5D - Brock Maskovich 21. 11C - Chett Gehrke 22. 35T - Tyler Robbins 23. 25M - Derrick Myers

Ford Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 22S - Slater Helt, Heat 2: 42 - Andy Bishop, Heat 3: 21 - Aaron Andruskevitch, Heat 4: 8H - Matt Howard , Heat 5: 12 - Frank Galusha, Heat 6: 51B - Joe B Miller

Great Clips Qualifier Winners: Qualifier 1: 94 - Andrew Peters, Qualifier 2: 51B - Joe B Miller, Qualifier 3: 12 - Frank Galusha

Toyota Feature Winner: 51B - Joe B Miller

POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series Feature Results (20 laps): 1. 51B - Joe B Miller 2. 2B - Nathan Benson 3. 94 - Andrew Peters 4. 28 - Luke Verardi 5. 12 - Frank Galusha 6. 73 - Jason McDougal 7. 77W - Joey Wirth 8. 7C - Chris Cochran 9. 31 - Dylan Kadous 10. 8H - Matt Howard 11. 3 - Ayrton Gennetten 12. 45 - Lucas Pejakovich 13. 8V - Gabe Verardi 14. 37H - Nicholas Howard 15. 30T - Tyler Vantoll 16. 12C - Carlee Gress 17. 98P - Miles Paulus 18. 8 - Josh Marcham 19. 3B - Shelby Bosie 20. 14X - Christian Ray 21. 118 - Scott Evans 22. 14 - Kurt Westerfield 23. 21 - Aaron Andruskevitch

For more information, visit www.powri.com.

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