POWRi To Sanction World Midget Series
MILLSTADT, Ill. — POWRi Racing will sanction the inaugural POWRi Lucas Oil Midget World Championship, a 16-event competition starting Dec. 26 in New Zealand followed by races in Australia and the United States.
“We’re extremely excited and proud to be involved in establishing a series that will crown the midget world champion driver,” POWRi co-founder Kenny Brown said. “It is recognition that is long overdue.”
POWRi created the Lucas Oil National Midget Series in 2005 and sanctions several more series in the United States. It began sanctioning the New Zealand Midget Super Series and the Australian Speedcar (midgets) Super Series late in 2012 with the goal of forming a world championship.
“We wouldn’t have been able to put this together without the support of our friends in New Zealand and Australia,” Brown said. “Bill Buckley played a very important role in New Zealand and David Lander stepped in to bring Australia into the championship. John Godfrey’s international contacts through his ownership of the Spike chassis also were vital. He brought respect to the project.”
Buckley is director of Western Springs Speedway. His track will host the initial four events, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 4. Lander is the promoter at Australia’s Lucas Oil Lismore Speedway, where the world championship will run Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The Australian events begin at Brisbane Int’l Speedway Jan. 25-26.
Following a hiatus of nearly four months, the final eight events are in the United States. The world championship series resumes May 24-25 at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis., followed by Indiana events at Bloomington Speedway on May 30 and Brownstown Speedway on May 31.
The final four events, also part of POWRi’s Illinois Speed Week, are June 5 at Jacksonville Speedway, June 6 at Lincoln Speedway, June 7 at Macon Speedway and June 8 at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville.
Team USA POWRi Lucas Oil drivers entering the series include Bryan Clauson, Darren Hagen, Chris Bell, Jerry Coons Jr., Andrew Felker, Zach Daum, Rico Abreu and Davey Ray. Australian Midget champion Nathan Smee and six-time New Zealand Midget champion Michael Pickens are also entered.
It will be Clauson’s fourth trip to New Zealand to race.
“It’s pretty neat to have a world championship for midgets,” Clauson said. “Obviously, overseas they are very passionate about midget racing. I’ve been to New Zealand three times and it’s something special to race there, for sure, to see how passionate the fans are. I’ve heard a lot of stories about what it’s like in Australia and am excited to see it for myself.
“Obviously, it’s an exciting time for midget racing and midget drivers. Everybody at POWRi and Bill Buckley have done a lot to improve the sport and this (world championship) is a huge step in making midget racing more prominent. We’re excited to be a part of that. We always get a great group of guys racing down there and it’s a lot of fun.”
POWRi Lucas Oil World Midget Championship Schedule
Dec. 26 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Dec. 28 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 1 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 4 Western Springs Speedway New Zealand
Jan. 25-26 Brisbane Int’l Speedway Australia
Jan. 31 Lismore Speedway Australia
Feb. 1 Lismore Speedway Australia
May 24-25 Angell Park Speedway Sun Prairie, Wis.
May 30 Bloomington Speedway Bloomington, Ind.
May 31 Brownstown Speedway Brownstown, Ind.
June 5 Jacksonville Speedway Jacksonville, Ill.
June 6 Lincoln Speedway Lincoln, Ill.
June 7 Macon Speedway Macon, Ill.
June 8 Belle-Clair Speedway Belleville, Ill.