By Dick Jordan
Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. hopes to continue his streak of success at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. Thursday when the USAC Mopar National Midget series returns to the .686-mile paved oval as part of the track’s “Kroger Speed Fest.” The race is part of a USAC “doubleheader” also showcasing the “J.D. Byrider 100” Silver Crown event.
Clauson brings a 38-point lead over defending USAC Mopar National Midget Champion Brad Kuhn to ORP where the past three starts have resulted in a win and two seconds. Kuhn, on the other hand, has a ninth, 10th and a fourth in the past four starts, the fourth coming in this year’s “Night Before the 500” classic.
Tanner Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. won the “Night Before the 500” in May but is not among the series “top-10” point leaders going into Thursday’s race.
Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. might be worth keeping an eye on Thursday. He’s just two wins shy of Mike Bliss and Dave Steele on ORP’s all-time USAC winners list and he’s just one point behind Kuhn in third in the standings. A seasonal title would make Hines USAC’s sixth “Triple Crown Champion.”
USAC MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Bryan Clauson-910, 2-Brad Kuhn-872, 3-Tracy Hines-871, 4-Brad Sweet-800, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-789, 6-Darren Hagen-785, 7-Dave Darland-784, 8-Bobby East-604, 9-Zach Daum-594, 10-Henry Clarke-565.