Belleville, IL. (08/07/2020) Twenty-eight POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets would file into the pits of Federated Auto Parts I-55 Speedway on Friday night for the thirty-lap feature of the first night of the annual Ironman 55. With much anticipation and fanfare, competitors would take to the finely tuned racing surface for an onslaught of side-by-side racing with drivers all up on the wheel trying to get everything they possibly could out of their respective rides. When the final flags where shown, it would be Spencer Bayston crossing the checkers first in a hard-fought battle with Tristin Thomas.
Early action for the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League would see the two-time event winner Rico Abreu #67 set the fastest time of speed in the hot-lap sessions with a 12.900 second lap time. Shannon McQueen #7 would gain her first-ever career National Midget League heat race victory in the first of four heat's as Clinton Boyles #98 logged the win in the second heat. Kaylee Bryson #71K would show quickness in the third heat by gaining the victory with Trey Gropp #00 earning the win in the final heat race.
High Point Qualifier Tristin Thomas #26 would earn a pole starting spot for the thirty-lap feature with twenty-four other competitors breathing down his neck as the field was launched into green flag racing with heat race winner #7 Shannon McQueen starting outside row one. As the drivers would fire off for the initial start, red flag conditions would appear on the track as Shelby Bosie #3b would take a wild roll-over in turn three. Bosie would walk away from the wreck under his own power and unhurt but was unable to rejoin the field.
After the drivers were re-stacked for an original double-file restart, Tristin Thomas would fly out to an early lead gapping the field by several car-lengths as competitors raced side-by-side for almost every position. Leading by nearly an entire straightaway Thomas would waste no time catching the back end of the field, lapping cars almost at will as Shannon McQueen, Trey Gropp, and Spencer Bayston all battled for the runner-up position. McQueen would catch a competitor's tire causing her car to tip over down the back-stretch and bringing out the second caution of the feature on lap 18, McQueen would attempt to rejoin the field but was unable to tag her car to the rear of the field after assistance from the safety team. Noah Gass #08 would also suffer mechanical issues during the caution taking him from the competition.
Back to green flag racing on lap 18 with Tristin out front Bayston in second and Gropp running third, the top three drivers would try to separate themselves. Thomas would hold an inside line to perfection as Bayston would take it topside battling for the lead. With the laps winding down and great action throughout the pack, a third caution would appear on lap 27 as Emilio Hoover #21k found himself facing the wrong way on the exit of turn four, setting the stage for a green-white-checkered flag finish with Tristin Thomas, Spencer Bayston, Trey Gropp, Rico Abreu #67, and Thomas Meseraull #7x all inside the top five.
On the final green flag laps, Spencer Bayston #19az would get past Tristin Thomas #26 using a great move in the first couple corners and holding off the hard-fought effort of Thomas. Bayston would celebrate in victory lane claiming his eleventh career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League feature win. Tristin Thomas #26 would place second in a remarkably close race of the ages leading the first 27 laps of the feature. Trey Gropp #00 would be in the hunt for the front for the entirety of the feature rounding out the podium placing as Rico Abreu #67 placed fourth and Thomas Meseraull #7x finished fifth.
Quick time in practice session #1: #21 Zach Daum 13.480
Quick time in practice session #2: #71k Kaylee Bryson 13.167
Quick time in practice session #3: #67 Rico Abreu 12.900 (Fastest Overall Time)
Auto Meter Heat 1 Winner: #7 Shannon McQueen
KSE Racing Products Heat 2 Winner: #98 Clinton Boyles
Advanced Racing Suspensions Heat 3 Winner: #71k Kaylee Bryson
Schoenfeld Headers Heat 4 Winner: #00 Trey Gropp
Rod End Supply Semi-Feature Winner: #08 Noah Gass
PAC Schroeder Torsion Bars High Point: #26 Tristin Thomas
TRD Hard Charger: #21ks Tucker Klaasmeyer +9 (18th-9th)
Lucas Oil Feature Winner: #19az Spencer Bayston
Feature Results from the Ironman 55 at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway Night #1 with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League:
1. 19az - Spencer Bayston 2. 26 - Tristan Thomas 3. 00 - Trey Gropp 4. 67 - Rico Abreu 5. 7x - Thomas Meseraull 6. 3n - Jake Neuman 7. 21 - Zach Daum 8. 98 - Clinton Boyles 9. 21ks - Tucker Klaasmeyer 10. 71k - Kaylee Bryson 11. 28 - Ace McCarthy 12. 56d - Mitchell Davis 13. 49 - Joe B Miller 14. 9 - Brenham Crouch 15. 97 - Austin O'Dell 16. 50 - Daniel Adler 17. 21k - Emilio Hoover 18. 2h - Luke Howard 19. 35 - Tyler Robbins 20. 19a - Hayden Reinbold 21. 27 - Austin Wood 22. 53 - Sean Robbins 23. 7 - Shannon McQueen 24. 08 - Noah Gass 25. 3b - Shelby Bosie
The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League will be back in action at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Missouri for night two of the Ironman 55 on Saturday, August 8th for a complete new program and more outstanding racing action.
Pits Gates Open - 2:00 PM
Driver Registration - 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Drivers Meeting - 6:00 PM
Hot Laps - 6:30 PM
Fans unable to attend this always-epic event, you can watch LIVE on DIRTVision. Subscribers with the "Sprint Car Fast Pass" will have access to both nights, but single-day and weekend packages will also be available for purchase at www.dirtvision.com.
Follow along for more information such as race recaps, updates, full results, and press releases online at www.powri.com, or on Twitter & Instagram at @POWRi_Racing or on Facebook at POWRi. POWRi League rules, contingencies, forms, and payouts can be found under the info tab at the top of the POWRi website.
Photo Credit: Speed Demon