Belleville, IL – When the dust settled, Tucker Klaasmeyer notched two career-firsts in the same night at Belle-Clair Speedway. Adding his name to the lengthy list of Knepper Memorial victors, Klaasmeyer claimed his first-career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League win and the 27th Annual Arnie Knepper Memorial.
Starting outside row two, Klaasmeyer immediately jumped into the second position behind Andrew Felker on the initial lap. In what was a marathon of cautions, Klaasmeyer eventually picked off Felker on the restart following the red flag on lap nine. Enduring pressure from teammates Logan Seavey and Ryan Robinson, Klaasmeyer felt Seavey’s pressure mid-way. Challenging for the lead on 20, Seavey almost had the lead going into lap 22, only to be caught up with lap car and Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Sam Johnson, ending his bid for the lead.
In the final laps, Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammate Ryan Robinson closely followed Klaasmeyer as Andrew Felker applied pressure from the third position. Joe B. Miller charged from the 11th starting position to fourth, while Grady Chandler came from deep in the field at the 18th starting position to close out the top five.
“It took me way too long to get this,” commented Tucker Klaasmeyer. “A lot of nights we came close. A lot of hard work has gone into it and to finally pull it off feels amazing. I really think a lot of it was confidence and these guys have a lot of confidence in the team and they put good racecars together so that’s helped a lot.”
“The track was super tricky tonight,” stated Ryan Robinson. “There were holes all over the place. It was just treacherous. I tried to find my way around there, but wasn’t quite as good as Tucker. But, tomorrow’s a different night, a lot bigger track. Really looking forward to I-55 tomorrow.”
“I got out of the car pretty full tonight; I got fed a bunch of right rears,” Andrew Felker said. “We definitely weren’t our best. We kind of survived. Got stuffed plenty of times and let them wreck themselves plenty of times. Overall, we’ll take a third place finish for the night. To end up on the podium, that gets us good momentum and headed in the right direction.”
Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 71 – RYAN ROBINSON, Heat 2: 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER, Heat 3: 9K – KYLE SCHUETT, Heat 4: 39BC – ZEB WISE, Heat 5: 71K – TANNER CARRICK
Toyota Semi Feature Winners: 76E – KYLE CRACKER, 00 – GRADY CHANDLER
Mesilla Valley Transportation Feature Winner: 1. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 27 – TUCKER KLAASMEYER 2. 71 – RYAN ROBINSON 3. 7F – ANDREW FELKER 4. 51B – JOE B MILLER 5. 00 – GRADY CHANDLER 6. 39BC – ZEB WISE 7. 67K – HOLLY SHELTON 8. 67 – LOGAN SEAVEY 9. 76E – KYLE CRACKER 10. 5D – ZACH DAUM 11. 3N – JAKE NEUMAN 12. 91 – TYLER NELSON 13. 28M – ACE MCCARTHY 14. 71K – TANNER CARRICK 15. 72 – SAM JOHNSON 16. 57D – DANIEL ROBINSON 17. 7 – AUSTIN BROWN 18. 77 – PAYTON PIERCE 19. 21KS – KARTER SARFF 20. 16C – DAVID CAMFIELD JR 21. 32 – TREY MARCHAM 22. 9K – KYLE SCHUETT
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