By Dick Jordan
The 5th DuPont “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach, Ill. unfolds this weekend at the 3/8-mile dirt oval located just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
Three nights of intense Midget racing featuring stars and cars of the Honda United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Series and Powri will offer more than $70,000 in prize money and valuable points toward both series championships. Preliminary events are Thursday and Friday (25-lap features) and the 40-lap finale is Saturday.
Christopher Bell of Norman, Okla. enters the weekend with a 74-point margin over Bryan Clauson with 180 points available in the three nights of racing. Tracy Hines trails Clauson by just two points.
Clauson has posted a remarkable 17 USAC wins in various USAC racing series this year, while Bell has led the Honda USAC National Midget series with four wins.
Kyle Larson won last year’s “Gold Crown” title, while previous champions have been Darren Hagen, Levi Jones and Jerry Coons Jr.
2013 HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Christopher Bell-737, 2-Bryan Clauson-663, 3-Tracy Hines-661, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-612, 5-Darren Hagen-589, 6-Rico Abreu-536, 7-Andrew Felker-531, 8-Zach Daum-491, 9-Tanner Thorson-469, 10-Brad Kuhn-416.