PC: 357 Studios
DuQuoin, Illinois (3/6/2021)... The Midwest Winter Nationals at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds never disappoints. Saturday night was no different, with national Midgets taking the track and two classes running for more than a thousand dollars the racing was one point.
Almost one year to the day (355 to be exact), Aiden Purdue made his first National Midget start at DuQuoin with the USAC Nationals Midgets. Purdue, started on the pole in the McCreery Motorsports No. 57D on Saturday night at the Duquoin State Fairgrounds.
After a caution for Donnie Gentry, Purdue checked out, running away from the field with ease. Making his way into second though was Purdue's car owner, Daniel Robinson in the No. 57K. Robinson stepped out of the No. 57D a little over a year ago and picked Purdue to drive the car for the foreseeable future.
With the green flag in the air and halfway comes and goes, Robinson gave Purdue everything he wanted; trying up high and down low, looking for any gap to shoot to the top spot. The sixteen-year-old from Clinton, Illinois, fended off everything Daniel threw at him.
Aiden Purdue led flag to flag and took home his first career Midget win, along with $2,000. Daniel Robinson gained ten spots to finish second, Tulsa, OK native Chris Andrews finished third, Sean Robbins fourth, and Tyler Nelson rounded out the top 5. 2020 POWRi National Midget Champ, Jake Neuman finished a disappointing 11th place.
Feature Results (25 Laps):
1. (57D) Aiden Purdue, 2. (57K) Daniel Robinson, 3. (95) Chris Andrews, 4. (53) Sean Robbins, 5. (88) Tyler Nelson, 6. (49) Joe B Miller, 7. (17) Adam Johnson, 8. (51R) Will Armitage, 9. (9E) Caden Englehart, 10. (4) Robert Dalby, 11. (3N) Jake Neuman, 12. (91) Chett Gehrke, 13. (72) Sam Johnson, 14. (2MD) Jeffery Champagne, 15. (15) RJ Corson, 16. (15M) Shane Morgan, 17. (51) Donnie Gentry, 18. (00) John Heitzman, 19. (56) Garrett Thomas, 20. (127) James Picardi, 21. (56X) Mark Chisholm, DNS- Andy Baugh
Alex Burgener started on the pole with some of the best micro drivers in the area behind him. Burgener decided to go the shortest way around, hugging the bottom all the way around the track.
Kole Kirkman and Daniel Robinson battled hard for second, all while staying on the heels of Burgener.
The top two started to separate themselves from Robinson as the laps winded down. Burgener stayed glued to the bottom while Kirkman tried to make the top and middle work.
Kirkman found no luck anywhere on the track. "The Burglar" Alex Burgener goes home $1,000 richer, winning the Outlaw Non-Wing A-Main. Daniel Robinson held on to third, while Darin Naida gained 12 positions for a top 5.
Feature Results (25 Laps):
1. (96) Alex Burgener, 2. (7TX) Cole Kirkman, 3. (22) Daniel Robinson, 4. (19M) Tres Mehler, 5. (28) Darin Naida, 6. (27H) Brandon Shaw, 7. (5T) Tyler McClerren, 8. (5) Alex Banales, 9. (95) Jimmy Wellsm 10. (122) Lane Warner, 11. (57) Camerson Sorrels, 12. (5R) Sean Robbins, 13. (25B) Chevy Boyer, 14. (55) Charlie Hecj, 15. (57V) Matt Veatch, 16. (8B) Mickey Bullock, 17. (101) Tobias Midkiff, 18. (2TK) Todd Kirkman, 19. (7G) George Hertter, 20. (11) Alex Midkiff, 21. (18F) Steve Finn
Darin Naida got a great jump on pole-sitter Lane Warner at the drop of the green flag. He took the lead in the first corner and would lead lap number one.
Daniel Robinson started 5th and quickly made his way into second just three laps in. Entering the weekend, Robinson was seen as a favorite after he went four for six on feature wins at the Midwest Winter Nationals.
By halfway, Naida had started in on lap traffic but still held a healthy lead over Daniel Robinson. But a caution for Gray Ledbetter with 8 to go gave Robinson and Brandon Shaw a chance to strike at Naida for the lead.
Naida would go for three for three on good restarts and drive away from the rest of the field to collect the A-Class feature win. Daniel Robinson crossed the line second and Brandon Shaw third to fill up the podium.
Feature Results (20 Laps):
1. (7N) Darin Naida, 2. (22) Daniel Robinson, 3. (27H) Brandon Shaw, 4. (122) Lane Warner, 5. (25B) Chevy Boyer, 6. (25R0 Nathan Rector, 7. (38M) Koert Mehler, 8. (55) Shane Heck, 9. (16W) Hunter Walker, 10. (44) Gunner Shroyer, 11. (1) Gray Ledbetter, 12. (18F) Steve Finn, 13. (59) Damon Heck, 14. (33T) Trevor Hertter, 15. (82H) Hunter Pruitt, 16. (11K) Kylee Griffits, 17. (10) Kole Kirkman
Billy Lieb was set to start fourth, but due to the original front row starters not getting a clean start, he and Collin Shain were moved up to row one. Lieb faced no challenges in the early going until a caution came out for Kameron Sneed.
Restarting second allowed Hunter Pruitt in the right position to make a move for the win. As the laps winded down, he was all over Lieb's tail tank. With just four to go, he got to the inside of Lieb and made contact. The end result did not favor Pruitt, he got turned around while Lieb drove away with no harm done to his No. 88.
Lieb then faced no issues for the final three laps and won the Restrictor feature. Damon Heck finished second, and Hunter Pruitt rebounded to finish third.
Feature Results (15 Laps):
1. (88) Billy Lieb, 2. (59) Damon Heck, 3. (82H) Hunter Pruitt, 4. (87) Collin Shain, 5. (24) Kameron Sneed, 6. (6) Clayton Apple
Eli Holden of Princeton, Indiana, started on the pole and drove a marvelous feature. Holden led all fifteen to take the win. JJ Williams finished second, and Aiden Robinson places third.
Feature Results (15 Laps):
1. (5E) Eli Holden, 2. (8J) JJ Williams, 3. (57R) Aiden Robinson, 4. (18) Jackson Lieb, 5. (21J) Jayden Hiller