Clauson-Hagen Battle Continues Thursday & Friday In Indianapolis

Two USAC Mopar National Midget races are on tap this week in Indianapolis, Ind., and point leaders Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. And Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. Hope to continue their pursuit of the season title.

Clauson, the defending champ, leads Hagen, last year’s pavement champ, by just six points in the latest standings. They have accounted for nine of the 13 race victories so far this year, including all but one on pavement.

Caleb Armstrong, the winner at Iowa Speedway last month, is the only other driver with a 2011 pavement victory and he ranks sixth in the latest standings.

Thursday’s event at Lucas Oil Raceway is part of the track’s “Kroger SpeedFest” and part of a “tripleheader” also featuring the “J.D. Byrider 100” USAC TRAXXAS Silver Crown race and the “Ansell Protective Gloves 200” for the ARCA Stock Car Series presented by Menards.

Friday night’s race is the UAW “Mel Kenyon 100” at the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome, a 100-lap race celebrating the career of the winningest USAC National Midget driver of all time.

Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, Calif., who fell just one point short of Clauson in the recent “Indiana Midget Week” points, is third in the current standings and has his eyes set on catching the leaders. He’s only 45 behind Clauson with nearly 150 available this week.

Friday’s race will be the 497th for USAC at the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome as it continues to be the most active track in USAC history. No other track has hosted more USAC races since USAC’s debut in 1956 but this will mark the first National race there since Teddy Beach’s 100-lap victory in 2005.

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