Putnamville, Indiana.…..Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Indiana backed up his Lincoln Park Speedway Midget win from a year ago by sweeping Thursday night’s program, which was leg two of “Indiana Midget Week.” The back-to-back National Midget champion captured his first win of the season aboard the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD #67 Bullet/Speedway Toyota.
“Starting sixth, you gotta be aware of the track and where you can go early to get to the front. Everybody kinda moved to the top of turn-two, and I could drop down and make the bottom work for a lap or two and get to the lead. Our Toyota was running great up on the top all night, so I knew we’d be good up there, but we just had to get there first. The lapped cars were fast enough that it was hard to move through them, and with Darren (Hagen) behind ya, you just want to make good exits to get a run to the next corner,” Clauson said.
Clauson took the lead coming to complete lap two from Australian Nathan Smee, and over a long green-flag run, he moved deep into lapped traffic with point-leader Hagen in hot pursuit. The Riverside, California driver appeared to have a few chances while negotiating the slower cars, but a caution for Mario Clouser with five laps to go negated any opportunity. Hagen came home second, lengthening his point lead in the RFMS Racing – Liberty Village #3 DRC/Esslinger.
“When we got to traffic, I was trying to time it a couple cars ahead to maybe have a chance to throw a slider or hit the bottom or something. We never really got a good opportunity at it, though. I think he was a little better off turn-two and we were a little better in three and four, but with the rubber coming in, it’s tough to make something happen. Another great night for this whole team, though, and we’ll just try to keep doing what we’re doing,” Hagen said.
Caleb Armstrong wrapped up the final podium spot, finishing the night off strong after he fought just to make the Main Event as the final transfer.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit, and even to make the race was tough. But to go out and get a third-place tonight, we need that real bad. These guys work really hard, and hopefully we can keep this going the rest of the week and maybe get through the heat races,” Armstrong said.
Shane Cottle pulled some big moves late in the race, sliding his way up to fourth in the Keith Kunz Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota. Chris Windom finished fifth in the Wilke-Pak Racers – Speedway Motors #11 Spike/Stanton Toyota.
MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 14, 2012 – Putnamville, IN – Lincoln Park Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bryan Clauson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.961; 2. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-13.149; 3. Shane Cottle, 71, Kunz-13.158; 4. Chris Windom, 11, Wilke-13.265; 5. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-13.288; 6. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-13.296; 7. Nathan Smee, 7AU, Cooper-13.308; 8. Alex Bright, 77, Hemler-13.310; 9. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Buckley-13.332; 10. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz-13.416; 11. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-13.531; 12. Andy Malpocker, 22, Malpocker-13.588; 13. Mario Clouser, 27, RW-13.600; 14. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-13.702; 15. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-13.714; 16. Ryan Criswell, 11R, Criswell-13.748; 17. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-13.830; 18. Thomas Meseraull, 16, Sandy-13.844; 19. Justin Grosz, 99, Grosz-13.848; 20. Dave Darland, 10, Moore-13.866; 21. Dillon Welch, 47, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.965; 22. Shane Hollingsworth, 85, Hollingsworth-13.979; 23. Jerry Coons, Jr., 63, Dooling-14.077; 24. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-14.138; 25. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-14.200; 26. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-14.270; 27. Trevor Kobylarz, 49, Kobylarz-14.283; 28. Chris Bell, 21B, Lowe-14.298; 29. Davey Ray, 33, RayPro-14.321; 30. Nick Wean, 78, Wean-14.353; 31. C.J. Leary, 24L, Hines-14.370; 32. Layne Himebaugh, 7, Malone-14.461; 33. Brad Kuhn, 17, RW-14.534; 34. Michael Koontz, 17K, Koontz-14.818; 35. Levi Jones, 56, Hmiel-15.013; 36. Cameron King, 55K, King-15.037; 37. Austin Burke, 54, Burke-15.202; 38. Levi Roberts, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-NT; 39. Scott Hatton, 15, Huston-NT; 40. Colten Cottle, 5c, Cottle-NT.
FIRST HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Clauson, 2. Clouser, 3. Hines, 4. Welch, 5. Ray, 6. D. Armstrong, 7. Burke, 8. Pickens, 9. Schmidt, 10. Kuhn. NT
SECOND HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Meseraull, 2. Hollingsworth, 3. Hagen, 4. Wean, 5. C. Armstrong, 6. Daum, 7. Abreu, 8. Ferns, 9. Koontz. NT
THIRD HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Coons, 2. Smee, 3. East, 4. Buckwalter, 5. Leary, 6. S. Cottle, 7. Kobylarz, 8. Grosz, 9. Hatton. NT
FOURTH HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Criswell, 3. Bell, 4. Malpocker, 5. Bright, 6. Himebaugh, 7. King, 8. Darland, 9. Chapple. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. S. Cottle, 2. Pickens, 3. Bright, 4. Darland, 5. Daum, 6. C. Armstrong, 7. Ray, 8. Ferns, 9. Leary, 10. Schmidt, 11. Kobylarz, 12. Himebaugh, 13. Kuhn, 14. Hatton, 15. King, 16. Koontz, 17. Burke, 18. Abreu, 19. Grosz, 20. D. Armstrong, 21. Chapple. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Darren Hagen, 3. Caleb Armstrong, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Nathan Smee, 7. Bobby East, 8. Tracy Hines, 9. Zach Daum, 10. Thomas Meseraull, 11. Chris Bell, 12. Dave Darland, 13. Shane Hollingsworth, 14. Brad Kuhn, 15. Steve Buckwalter, 16. Ryan Criswell, 17. Alex Bright, 18. Davey Ray, 19. Dillon Welch, 20. Andy Malpocker, 21. Nick Wean, 22. Jerry Coons, Jr., 23. Michael Pickens, 24. Mario Clouser. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Smee, Laps 2-30 Clauson.
**Levi Roberts flipped during Qualifying.
NEW MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Hagen-465; 2-East-349; 3-C.Armstrong-334; 4-Hines-330; 5-Clauson-326; 6-Larson-324; 7-Clouser-273; 8-Windom-267; 9-Jones-242; 10-Roberts-238.
NEW INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Hagen-138; 2-Clauson-109; 3-Hines-105; 4-Windom-102; 5-Coons/Buckwalter-87; 7-East-72; 8-Smee-69; 9-Bright-67; 10-Larson-62.
NEXT MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: June 15 – Bloomington, IN – Bloomington Speedway