BELLEVILLE, ILL. (September 13, 2019) – Friday’s finish to the 20-lap POWRi Engler Machine & Tool Outlaw Micro League main event at Belle-Clair Speedway was a thriller to say the least. Coming out on top of a three-way war for the top spot, Luke Verardi outlasted Frank Galusha and Joe B. Miller to score his much-anticipated first-career win with the series.
Starting from the pole position after a sixth-to-second heat race gave him Bell Helmets High Point Man honors, Luke Verardi quickly jumped into the lead as the feature went green. With championship contender and noted Belle-Clair dominator, Joe B. Miller, to his outside, the task was far from easy early on.
Miller continually hounded Verardi and chased him into thick lap traffic throughout the second half while sixth-starting Frank Galusha came into play. Going three wide for the lead on lap 15, Verardi, Galusha and Miller brought the crowd to their feet as the show was only just getting started.
Galusha secured the point the next go-round and was on a short leash with four laps left and Miller and Verardi trailing closely. However, the entire landscape of the night soon changed down the backstretch on lap 16. Entering turn three hot on the heels of a lap car, Galusha’s No. 12 had too much steam and went barreling into the back of the backmarker, sending him around and upside down.
Innocently collected in the mess was Miller, who for the second week in a row suffered major championship implications in the worst way possible. Tangled up in the melee, Miller and Galusha came to a rest atop turn three while the caution flew and Verardi resumed command out front.
From there, Verardi was calm, cool and collected as he survived the final four laps and took the checkered flag to score his first-career victory with the POWRi Engler Machine & Tool Outlaw Micro League.
Trailing Verardi to the stripe was POWRi Micro points leader Gunner Ramey in second, Chad Elliott in third with his No. 65E, Kurt Westerfield in fourth and Jacob Patton in fifth.
Tomorrow, the POWRi Engler Machine & Tool Outlaw Micros encounter the “Mighty Macon” Speedway alongside the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midgets. Pill draw is from 3:30pm to 5:15pm followed by drivers meeting at 5:30pm with hot laps at 6:00pm and racing to follow. If you can’t make it, you can watch the entire program LIVE on www.speedshifttv.com.
For more information on POWRi Racing, you can visit www.powri.com online, like POWRi on Facebook, or follow @POWRi_Racing on Twitter and Instagram.
Advanced Racing Suspensions Heat One (8 Laps):
1. 12-Frank Galusha, Lincoln, NE (1); 2. 28-Luke Verardi, Taylorville, IL (6); 3. 08C-Allen Cope, Fenton, MO (2); 4. 3RX-Kurt Hermann, Ewing, IL (3); 5. 8B-Mickey Bullock, Wadesville, IN (8); 6. 1-Bryant Wiedeman, Colby, KS (7); 7. 3-Ricky Anderson, Caseyville, IL (4); 8. 27-Devin Feger, East Peoria, IL (5).
Lightning Wings Heat Two (8 Laps):
1. 97X-Joe B. Miller, Millersville, MO (2); 2. 12C-Jacob Patton, Bethalto, IL (1); 3. 14G-Gunner Ramey, Sedalia, MO (3); 4. 4C-Rob Cook (6); 5. 97-Scotty Milan, Fort Collins, CO (8); 6. 3J-Jordan Howell, Columbia, MO (7); 7. 76-James Koenigstein, Belleville, IL (4); 8. 14J-Gary Jones (5).
Schure Built Suspensions Heat Three (8 Laps):
1. 42B-Andy Bishop, Harrisburg, IL (1); 2. 14H-Harley Hollan, Tulsa, OK (4); 3. 8-Gunner Bowden, Muskogee, OK (3); 4. 8W-Breanna Wirth, Waterloo, IL (2); 5. 44T-Trevin Littleton, Jacksonville, IL (7); 6. 82X-Jaxon Bishop, Toney, AL (5); 7. 15F-Kyle Foutch (6); 8. 15-Jeremy Izard (8).
Driven Midwest Heat Four (8 Laps):
1. 65E-Chad Elliott, Cottage Hills, IL (2); 2. 949-Dustin Clary, Marine, IL (4); 3. 1H-Cailin Hunt, Dalton City, IL (1); 4. 14-Kurt Westerfield (5); 5. 82-Gabe Veradi, Taylorville, IL (3); 6. 6-Christopher Townsend, La Porte, TX (6); 7. 12S-Adyn Schmidt, Hobstot, IN (7).
MPI Innovations B-Main (10 Laps / 6 Transfer):
1. 44T-Trevin Littleton (1); 2. 1-Bryant Wiedeman (4); 3. 8W-Breanna Wirth (3); 4. 3RX-Kurt Hermann (2); 5. 3J-Jordan Howell (5); 6. 6-Christopher Townsend (7); 7. 82-Gabe Veradi (6); 8. 82X-Jaxon Bishop (8); 9. 12S-Adyn Schmidt (9); 10. 76-James Koenigstein (12); 11. 15-Jeremy Izard (13); 12. 15F-Kyle Foutch (10); 13. 27-Devin Feger (14); 14. 3-Ricky Anderson. (11); 15. 14J-Gary Jones (15).
POWRi Engler Machine & Tool Outlaw Micro League Main Event (20 Laps):
1. 28-Luke Verardi (1); 2. 14G-Gunner Ramey (12); 3. 65E-Chad Elliott (3); 4. 14-Kurt Westerfield (15); 5. 12C-Jacob Patton (8); 6. 14H-Harley Hollan (4); 7. 08C-Allen Cope (14); 8. 949-Dustin Clary (5); 9. 6-Christopher Townsend (22); 10. 1H-Cailin Hunt (16); 11. 8W-Breanna Wirth (19); 12. 8-Gunner Bowden (13); 13. 44T-Trevin Littleton (17); 14. 97-Scotty Milan (11); 15. 3J-Jordan Howell (21); 16. 1-Bryant Wiedeman (18); 17. 3RX-Kurt Hermann (20); 18. 12-Frank Galusha (6); 19. 97X-Joe B. Miller (2); 20. 8B-Mickey Bullock (10); 21. 42B-Andy Bishop (7); 22. 4C-Rob Cook (9).
Photo Credit – Speed Demon Productions