By Dick Jordan
Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. leads the USAC Mopar National Midgets into one of its most important weeks of the 2012 campaign – “Indiana Midget Week” – with five races on tap at five different ovals in the Hoosier state.
Hagen has a comfortable 50-point lead over Bobby East in the standings entering Wednesday night’s opener at the Gas City (I-69) Speedway. The series continues Thursday at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, the travels to Bloomington Speedway on Friday night. Saturday night’s venue is Lawrenceburg Speedway and the Sunday finale is at the Kokomo Speedway.
Former Indiana Midget Week Champions include Shane Cottle (2005-2006), Jerry Coons Jr. (2007), Tracy Hines (2008 & 2010), Brad Kuhn (Co-champ in 2010) and Bryan Clauson (2009 and 2011).
Clauson is coming off a championship in last week’s “Eastern Storm” Sprint car swing. His five wins are the most all-time in Indiana Midget Week competition. Last year he won at Lincoln Park and Lawrenceburg. His commitments to the Indy Lights series will preclude him competing in all five IMW events this week.
Hagen is the defending winner at Gas City, while Kyle Larson won at Bloomington last year and Michael Pickens scored an upset win in last year’s finale at Kokomo.
2012 MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINT STANDINGS
1-Darren Hagen-327; 2-Bobby East-277; 3-Kyle Larson-262; 4-Caleb Armstrong-253; 5-Levi Jones-241; 6-Mario Clouser-235; 7-Tracy Hines-225; 8-Bryan Clauson-217; 9-Levi Roberts-215; 10-Dalton Armstrong-188.