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Patton takes POWRi Micros victory at SIR, ready to race for $10,000 in 66 Mike Phillips Memorial grand finale

Patton takes POWRi Micros victory at SIR, ready to race for $10,000 in 66 Mike Phillips Memorial grand finale

MARION, Ill. (June 24, 2011)—Jacob Patton drove to the third POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature victory of his career Friday in the opening round of the 66 Mike Phillips Memorial at Southern Illinois Raceway.

“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career. I’m still shaking if that’s any indication,” Patton said 20 minutes after the race. “Words can’t describe it. Excited just doesn’t do it.”

Patton’s victory, his first in POWRi this season, secured a top-six starting position for Saturday’s Phillips Memorial grand finale, a 40-lap race that will pay $10,000 to the winner. It’s the largest winner’s share in a Micro Sprint race in the United States this year.

“It takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders not to have to run the heats and qualifiers,” Patton said.

There were 113 entries and, following 14 heats and six qualifiers, 24 starters for the 30-lap feature. Patton, of Bethalto, Ill., finished second in his heat and won his qualifier to start on the outside of the front row. Jeremy Camp, of Blue Mound, Ill., started on the pole.

Patton, running on the inside, led the opening nine laps before catching a group of lapped cars in Turn One. Camp went around Patton on the outside to take the lead on the 10th lap.

Camp, the 2010 POWRi Micros champion, made unavoidable wheel-to-wheel contract with Jordan Campbell on the 15th lap, flipping and hitting the wall in Turn Two. Campbell, of Bloomington, Ill., spun in front of Camp. Neither driver was injured.

Patton regained the lead and held it for a 16-lap green-flag run to the finish.

“We were fast at the beginning, but began to slow down and Jeremy got past,” Patton said. “Actually, that’s what did it. I was able to follow his line and use it to keep the lead after Jeremy went out.”

Trent Beckinger, of Evansville, Ind., finished second and Scott Sawyer, of Broken Arrow, Okla., was third.

Beckinger drove regularly on SIR’s 1/8th-mile track from 2006 through 2009. He came into the Phillips as the POWRi points leader this season, the only driver with two victories.

“We were set up for the bottom and we were super quick at the beginning,” Beckinger said. “The track changed. I stuck with the bottom and changed how I drove the bottom. It was a good learning experience. We didn’t win, but it was still a heck of a night.

“I’ve been nervous the past couple of days because we had such high hopes coming here. This really calmed the nerves down for tomorrow (Saturday).”

Sawyer, owner of the company of the same name that builds Micro Sprint chassis, including Beckinger’s, started 11th.

“I didn’t think we had a good shot starting so far back,” Sawyer said. “The car was good and the top (line) came in. I dialed the shocks in and the track got slick and our cars seem to like slick. It locks us into the final.”

Ryan Guyett, of Springfield, Ill., was fourth, Andrew Felker, of Carl Junction, Mo., was fifth and Christopher Bell, of Norman, Okla., was sixth. Along with Patton, Beckinger and Sawyer, they’re headed straight to Saturday’s feature with a guaranteed starting spot of sixth or better. There will be a trophy dash to determine the front three rows of the grid.

Every other driver has to start over, over 100 competing for the remaining 18 positions in the feature.

POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series results: 1. Jacob Patton, 2. Trent Beckinger, 3. Scott Sawyer, 4. Ryan Guyett, 5. Andrw Felker, 6. Christopher Bell, 7. Trent Wilson, 8. Tyson Hall, 9. Tyler DeVault, 10. Ryan Smith, 11. Dereck King, 12. Steven Shevester, 13. Frank Flud, 14. Jeff Halligan, 15. Travis Senter, 16. Dyan Kadous, 17. J.B. Gilbert, 18. Natasha Cox, 19. Rick Odum, 20. Jordan Campbell, 21. Matt Ponder, 22. Jeremy Camp, 23. Brandon Hahn, 24. Rick King.

For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.

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