By Dick Jordan
Three drivers separated by 29 points will battle for the 2011 USAC Mopar National Midget Series point lead Sunday night at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisc., home of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. has bolted to the top of the standings, 27 points ahead of defending champion Bryan Clauson, while 2011 phenom Kyle Larson has suddenly thrown his hat in the ring, trailing Hagen by just 29 points. A total of 74 points will be up for grabs Sunday.
Hagen has four feature wins this season, including the $20,000-to-win “Night Before the 500” classic. Clauson also has four wins and won the 2011 Indiana Midget Week title. Larson, who fell six points shy of Clauson in the Midget Week standings, owns a pair on wins, including the most recent at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Hagen and Larson are seeking their initial USAC National titles, although Hagen won last year’s Pavement Midget crown.
Sunday’s race is co-sanctioned by BMARA and is the first under National sanction this year at the 1/3-mile oval. Winners of USAC Mopar D1 Midget events at the oval so far this year include Bubba Altig, Brad Kuhn and Jerry Coons Jr.
MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINT STANDINGS
1-Darren Hagen-770; 2-Bryan Clauson-743; 3-Kyle Larson-741; 4-Tracy Hines-653; 5-Bobby East-642; 6-Caleb Armstrong-534; 7-Zach Daum-518; 8-Tanner Swanson-445; 9-Brad Kuhn-432; 10-Mario Clouser-399.