Angell Park, WI - After the dust settled for the 36th Annual Pepsi Nationals at Angell Park Speedway, Zach Daum stood in the Speedway's famed victory lane thankful to have not only tallied off a win, breaking the 2017 dry spell, but also claiming a win at the track that has dealt the driver out of Pocahontas, Illinois so many ups and downs.
Starting on the pole of the 30-lap feature event with the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League alongside the Badger Midget Racing Association, Daum immediately took command at the drop of the green flag over veteran driver, Scott Hatton. With four laps in the books, Daum's lead shrunk as the red flag displayed for the upside down car of Brad Loyet. Returning to green flag conditions, Andrew Felker charged from fourth to second and looked to pressure Daum for the lead, only for Felker's run to lose steam. Closing in on the halfway mark with 14 laps down, Daum closed in on lap traffic, only to have his battle with the lappers cut short as the yellow flew on lap 16 for Aaron Schuck off turn two.
Returning to racing, Daum immediately was challenged by Ryan Robinson, forfeiting his lead on lap 17 and falling back to the third position. Four laps later, the caution flew for the Cody Weisensel and Robbie Ray's tangled machines off turn four. With the field lined back up, Daum was able to regain his composure and make his way back to the front, charging past Tanner Thorson and Ryan Robinson in the final four laps to victory.
"We've been right there for most of the year; we kind of sucked there during SPEED Week and struggled," commented Zach Daum. "I thought I was doing alright and then they got to move around a little bit running second and third and when I saw we had nine to go, I stuck my car up a little bit to roll the bottom and got technical. I kind of like it when it gets technical. I'm super excited to win at Sun Prairie. I love this place. I'm now four and two. I've won four here and I've left here in an ambulance twice. We're still winning and we're going to keep at it."
"Just made some mistakes there at the end and it ended up costing us the race, which sucks," said Ryan Robinson. "We're going to go out next weekend in Grain Valley and hopefully get a win there. I want to thank all the fans for coming out, this is one of my favorite events all year."
"The guys gave me an awesome car and I really don't know what to say," stated Tanner Thorson. "Congratulations to Zach. He's obviously one of the best around and I love racing with him. That's pretty clean racing and that's what we come here for. I wish we could have gotten it done for this team, but we'll try again next year. This is probably one of my more favorite tracks on the list and I love coming here. I got my first win in a midget here, so it's always special to come back here."
Speedway Motors Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 1 - SCOTT HATTON, Heat 2: 57X - CASEY SHUMAN, Heat 3: 97 - SPENCER BAYSTON, Heat 4: 71 - RYAN ROBINSON
Toyota Semi Feature Winner: 05 - BRAD LOYET, 27 - TUCKER KLAASMEYER
Mesilla Valley Transportation Feature Winner: 5D - ZACH DAUM
POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 5D - ZACH DAUM 2. 71 - RYAN ROBINSON 3. 67 - TANNER THORSON 4. 97 - SPENCER BAYSTON 5. 37 - ANDREW FELKER 6. 4A - LOGAN SEAVEY 7. 67K - HOLLY SHELTON 8. 9K - KYLE SCHUETT 9. 7 - AUSTIN BROWN 10. 3N - JAKE NEUMAN 11. 57 - GAGE WALKER 12. 27 - TUCKER KLAASMEYER 13. 37X - TERRY BABB 14. 6A - AIDAN ROOSEVANS 15. 53 - AARON SCHUCK 16. 57X - CASEY SHUMAN 17. 3 - ROBBIE RAY 18. 2B - ZACH BODEN 19. 1 - SCOTT HATTON 20. 20 - CODY WEISENSEL 21. 53Z - JEFF ZELINSKI 22. 05 - BRAD LOYET 23. 3B - SHELBY BOSIE 24. 71K - TANNER CARRICK