By Dick Jordan
“Indiana Midget Week” is next on tap for the Mopar USAC National Midget Series, with races at Gas City, Putnamville, Bloomington, Lawrenceburg and Kokomo between June 8 and 12.
Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. will lead the series to the five-race spectacular after winning Saturday night’s 66th “Night Before the 500” classic at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Ind.
Hagen earned a check for $20,000 for his winning drive at Indianapolis. Sidelined for several months by a back injury suffered in a late-2010 Sprint race, Hagen passed early leader Bryan Clauson on lap 16 and led the rest of the way in his Liberty Village/McGladrey & Pullen Spike/Esslinger Ford.
The $20,000 paycheck included a $15,000 contribution from the estate of the late Midget Racing historian Crocky Wright. Hagen was trailed at the checkered flag by Alex Bowman, Levi Roberts, Tracy Hines and Kyle Larson. Larson was the night’s fastest qualifier.
MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINT STANDINGS
1-Darren Hagen-235; 2-Bobby East-232; 3-Bryan Clauson-209; 4-Zach Daum-174; 5-Tracy Hines-173; 6-Levi Roberts-163; 7-Jerry Coons Jr.-161; 8-Kyle Larson-158; 9-Brad Kuhn-146; 10-Tanner Swanson-138.