Daum wins Pepsi Nationals

Kuhn, Ecker & Paderta claim Badger championships

By Bryan Gapinski, Sun Prairie, Wis., Sep. 1---Zach Daum finished off a perfect weekend winning the Pepsi Midget Nationals 50-lap feature Sunday Night at Angell Park Speedway. The event was co-sanctioned by the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget and Stark Automotive Group-Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series. The feature win was in second in two days at the track.
Brad Kuhn claimed his fourth career Badger Midget Drivers Championship, while Kuhn's car owner Bill Ecker emerged with a slim eight-point cushion capturing Badger Midget Car Owners Championship. Matt Paderta finished seventeen points ahead of two-time series champion Chad Bogar, winning the Badger 600 Micro Series Title.
Dalton Armstrong took the lead at the start of the event, third place running Parker Price-Miller stalled on Lap 5 bringing out the caution. Miller restarted at the tail and quickly moved back into contention over the next fifteen laps.
Armstrong crossed the start/finish line on Lap 7 as the leader, immediately slowed, retiring from the event, giving the lead to Darren Hagen on the restart. Hagen pulled away from the field, and began lapping slower cars on Lap 15.
Four laps later Hagen's straightaway lead was erased when Danny Stratton, came to a stop on the track. Kuhn pitted during the caution to change a right rear tire. Both Kuhn and Stratton rejoined the race. Hagen held a 2.3 second lead at the midway point over Billy Balog, Daum, Price-Miller and Caleb Armstrong. At Lap 30 Hagen's advantage over Daum was again a straighaway.
With Hagen running in heavy lapped traffic, Caleb Armstrong's hope of a repeat victory in the event ended as he flipped in Turn 3 on Lap 34. Hagen pulled away from the field on the restart, but flipped entering Turn 3.
Daum inherited the lead on the restart followed by Price-Miller and Balog. Two laps later Tyler Thomas flipped bringing out another red flag. On the restart Kuhn was in sixth place, but began improving his position rapidly passing two cars on the restart, and was in third place on Lap 42, and took over second one lap later.
Meanwhile Daum driving the Dan Daum owned Eagle/Toyota No. 5 went unchallegned over the remainder of the event scoring a 5.88 second victory over Kuhn, Balog, Jake Blackhurst, and Andrew Felker.
" Its great to pull out the Car Owner title for Bill Ecker and Amy Reisdorf, its been a great season driving for them I really wanted to get the win here tonight" commented Kuhn afterwards. This is a big race to win, and to win three feature this year at Angell Park is so satisfying" said Daum who collected $4,000 for the victory.

Kuhn's teammate Daniel Robinson won the 11th annual 6-lap Dave Schulenberg Memorial Dash, collecting a $500 first prize from a $2,500 purse.


Cars Present: 22 Feature Lap Leaders: D. Armstrong 1-7, Hagen 8-34, Daum 35-50
* C. Armstrong flipped on Lap 34, Hagen flipped on Lap 34 (restart), Thomas flipped on Lap 36 of feature, no injuries.

 

Pepsi Nationals Notes:
---Zach Daum's only other Pepsi Nationals start came in 2009, when he finished in 23rd position.
----The win marked the fourth straight Pepsi Nationals victory for engine manufacturer Toyota.
----Bill Ecker used five different drivers: Kuhn, Thomas Meseruall, Casey Shuman, Daniel Robinson and Mike Spencer in Badger competition in the No. 57 car to win the Car Owners Championship.
---Ecker also finished second in last year's event, with Meseruall.
----For the second straight year Dalton Armstrong led the opening lap of the event.
----Eleventh place finishing Kurt Mayhew competed in the first Pepsi Nationals in 1982.
----Six drivers were competing in their first ever Pepsi Midget Nationals, with Balog turning in the best feature finish.

QUAL HT 1   A FEAT
1 7C C.ARMSTRONG 14.691 1 FELKER     1 DAUM
2 9P MILLER 14.697 2 R.RAY     2 KUHN
3 2L BALOG 14.740 3 MOTSINGER     3 BALOG
4 5 HAGEN 14.863 4 WALTERS     4 BLACKHURST
5 7A D.ARMSTRONG 14.942 5 BALOG     5 FELKER
6 11A FELKER 14.951 HT 2     6 STRATTON
7 5D DAUM 14.983 1 THOMAS     7 MILLER
8 2 STRATTON 15.017 2 AITKEN     8 D.RAY
9 2M MOTSINGER 15.045 3 MILLER     9 MOTSINGER
10 57 KUHN 15.147 4 D.ARMSTRONG     10 WAELTI
11 32 AITKEN 15.169 5 STRATTON     11 MAYHEW
12 57E ROBINSON 15.196 HT 3       12 WEISENSEL
13 1H D.RAY 15.231 1 KUHN     13 WEISENSEL
14 11R THOMAS 15.236 2 DAUM     14 THOMAS
15 1 HATTON 15.294 3 HAGEN      15 HAGEN
16 25 BLACKHURST 15.300 4 BLACKHURST     16 C.ARMSTRONG
17 51 WAELTI 15.306 5 C.ARMSTRONG    17 D.ARMSTRONG
18 3R R.RAY 15.381 DASH       18 AITKEN
19 20 WEISENSEL 15.443 1 ROBISON     19 ROBINSON
20 21K MAYHEW 15.633 2 STRATTON        
21 5W WALTERS 15.764 3 FELKER        
22 6A GOUGH 19.904 4 HATTON        
        5 DAUM        
        6 KUHN