From Dick Jordan
The 61st “Hut Hundred” and the two-night “Bash at Belle Clair” await USAC’s Honda National Dirt Midget Series and the co-sanction with POWRi this week as the USAC National Dirt Series resumes at a pair of Illinois ovals.
The “Hut Hundred,” rained out earlier this year, returns for its inaugural appearance at Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon Beach Wednesday, while the “Bash at Belle Clair” erupts on the exciting short-track at Belleville Friday and Saturday nights. The Hut Hundred features a three-abreast start and a 100-lap main event.
Christopher Bell stands atop the Honda USAC National Dirt Midget points, nursing a 15-point lead over former series champion Bryan Clauson entering the three-race swing. Defending National Champion Darren Hagen is third in the standings, just 39 points back, while 2012 POWRi Champion Andrew Felker is fourth, only 44 behind.
Clauson and Hagen are former “Hut Hundred” winners, in 2010 and 2006 respectively.
Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind., the 2001 Hut Hundred king, scored his 86th career USAC National race victory Saturday in the 25-mile “Rocky Mountain Classic” Honda USAC National Midget race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Hines was third on the white-flag lap when, entering turn four, leader Kyle Hamilton ran short of fuel.
Runner-up Hagen was blocked as Hines slid by on the top side and emerged as the leader. Hines led the last two laps for the win in his Parker Machinery/Turbines, Inc. Spike/Stanton Toyota. Hagen took second ahead of Caleb Armstrong, Bobby Santos and Taylor Ferns. Hamilton, who started on the pole, was sixth in the official finish.
The race featured numerous lead changes. Kyle O’Gara led nine laps, Hamilton led 10 laps, Caleb Armstrong led four laps and Hines the last two. Hagen emerged as the point leader by two points.
The upcoming races at the Belle Clair Speedway will be USAC’s first there in 30 years. Rich Vogler won a 100-lapper there in 1982 and Ken Schrader was the 100-lap winner in 1983.
2013 HONDA USAC NATIONAL DIRT MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Christopher Bell-324; 2-Bryan Clauson-309; 3-Darren Hagen-285; 4-Andrew Felker-280; 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-271; 6-Tracy Hines-251; 7-Rico Abreu-250; 8-Zach Daum-230; 9-Caleb Armstrong-229; 10-Brady Bacon-209.
2013 HONDA USAC NATIONAL PAVEMENT MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Darren Hagen-239, 2-Bobby Santos-237, 3-Caleb Armstrong-237, 4-Tracy Hines-233, 5-Kyle O’Gara-205, 6-Dalton Armstrong-182, 7-Tanner Swanson-156, 8-David Byrne-140, 9-Kyle Hamilton-137, 10-Taylor Ferns-137.