Gas City, Indiana.……Darren Hagen of Riverside, California picked up right where he left off last season at Gas City I-69 Speedway, winning Wednesday night’s 30-lap Mopar National Midget Series Main Event to kick off “Indiana Midget Week.” Hagen led the final 28 laps en route to victory about the RFMS Racing – Liberty Village #3 DRC/Esslinger.

“The car was pretty much spot on from the beginning. It was a little tight at the beginning, but it just kept getting better. I waited for Davey (Ray) to make a mistake, and he pushed up a little there in one and two. I squirted on by down the backstretch. On the red, they told me to just keep hitting the bottom and make them go around me. Jerry (Coons, Jr.) pressured me, but we were able to hold him back. Good start to Midget Week for us,” Hagen said. 

Ray jumped to the lead from the pole and led the first two laps before Hagen grabbed the top spot. Coons quickly followed suit, and the front duo separated themselves from the pack. Over the remaining laps, Coons looked high and low, but was never able to pull completely alongside Hagen for the lead. Coons secured the runner-up spot in his first start in the Dooling Machine Products #63 Spike/Esslinger. 

“Hagen was running a slightly different line from us. He was drifting up the race track a bit and arcing it in. I wasn’t really able to do that. I kept trying to get in there and alongside him, but I hit his left-rear once and got into an infield tire, just couldn’t ever get far enough. We came up a little short tonight, but we had a great car and had fun, and I think this combination is gonna be great for us,” Coons said. 

Kyle Larson had to start seventh but quickly made moves toward the front. He was into the top-five on the start and moved by Ray shortly after the front two. From there, Larson stayed with the leaders as they edged away from the field. Larson moved around, looking for a way by the leaders, but had to settle for the final podium spot in the Keith Kunz Motorsports – Toyota TRD #71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota. 

Tracy Hines finished fourth in the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. #24 Spike/Stanton Toyota, while fast qualifier Steve Buckwalter rounded out the top-five in the Buckwalter’s Roofing – VRP Shocks #25 Elite/Ott by Deppe. 

Indiana Midget Week continues at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana on Thursday. 

MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 13, 2012 – Gas City, IN – Gas City I-69 Speedway – “Indiana Midget Week” 

QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Steve Buckwalter, 25, Buckwalter-12.613; 2. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz-12.796; 3. Daryn Pittman, 21P, Pittman-12.800; 4. Jerry Coons, Jr., 63, Dooling-12.848; 5. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-12.870; 6. Davey Ray, 33, RayPro-12.931; 7. Kyle Larson, 71, Kunz-12.932; 8. Michael Pickens, 1NZ, Buckley-12.952; 9. Trevor Kobylarz, 49, Kobylarz-13.000; 10. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-13.019; 11. Chris Windom, 11, Wilke-13.022; 12. Alex Bright, 77, Hemler-13.052; 13. Nathan Smee, 7AU, Cooper-13.078; 14. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-13.080; 15. Andy Malpocker, 22, Malpocker-13.091; 16. Levi Jones, 56, Hmiel-13.118; 17. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-13.169; 18. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-13.172; 19. Scott Hatton, 15, Huston-13.191; 20. Levi Roberts, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.198; 21. Jimmy Simpson, 21, Simpson-13.204; 22. Thomas Meseraull, 16, Sandy-13.216; 23. Nick Wean, 78, Wean-13.221; 24. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-13.239; 25. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-13.253; 26. Shane Cottle, 5c, Cottle-13.279; 27. Brad Kuhn, 17, RW-13.286; 28. Mario Clouser, 27, RW-13.306; 29. Bryan Clauson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.316; 30. Kent Schmidt, 5K, Schmidt-13.430; 31. C.J. Leary, 24L, Hines-13.437; 32. Isaac Chapple, 52, Chapple-13.504; 33. Chris Bell, 21B, Lowe-13.655; 34. Dillon Welch, 47, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.892; 35. Layne Himebaugh, 7, Malone-13.974; 36. Ryan Criswell, 11R, Criswell-13.984; 37. Michael Koontz, 17K, Koontz-13.991; 38. Austin Burke, 54, Burke-14.275; 39. Nate Lauderbaugh, 10, Moore-14.387; 40. Chase Barber, 191, Barber-17.233; 41. Matt Westfall, 14w, Bordner-NT. 

FIRST HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Hagen, 2. Hines, 3. Clauson, 4. Buckwalter, 5. Kobylarz, 6. Bell, 7. Smee, 8. East, 9. Simpson, 10. Koontz. NT 

SECOND HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Ray, 2. Abreu, 3. Meseraull, 4. Welch, 5. Ferns, 6. Daum, 7. Cottle, 8. Schmidt, 9. D. Armstrong, 10. Burke. NT 

THIRD HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Larson, 2. Windom, 3. Wean, 4. Pittman, 5. Himebaugh, 6. Kuhn, 7. Hatton, 8. Leary, 9. Lauderbaugh, 10. Malpocker. NT 

FOURTH HEAT : (10 laps) 1. Pickens, 2. Bright, 3. Coons, 4. Barber, 5. Clouser, 6. C. Armstrong, 7. Roberts, 8. Chapple, 9. Criswell, 10. Jones. NT 

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Smee, 2. Daum, 3. Roberts, 4. East, 5. Clouser, 6. Kobylarz, 7. Hatton, 8. Leary, 9. C. Armstrong, 10. D. Armstrong, 11. Koontz, 12. Lauderbaugh, 13. Burke, 14. Bell, 15. Simpson, 16. Ferns, 17. Kuhn, 18. Schmidt, 19. Himebaugh, 20. Criswell, 21. Jones.

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Darren Hagen, 2. Jerry Coons, Jr., 3. Kyle Larson, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Steve Buckwalter, 6. Davey Ray, 7. Trevor Kobylarz, 8. Alex Bright, 9. Chris Windom, 10. Rico Abreu, 11. Michael Pickens, 12. Bryan Clauson, 13. Brad Kuhn, 14. Caleb Armstrong, 15. Bobby East, 16. Levi Roberts, 17. Dillon Welch, 18. Mario Clouser, 19. Nick Wean, 20. Thomas Meseraull, 21. Chase Barber, 22. Daryn Pittman, 23. Nathan Smee, 24. Zach Daum. NT


FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Ray, Laps 3-30 Hagen.

**Kuhn flipped on Lap 16 of the Feature. Wean flipped on Lap 23 of the Feature. 

NEW MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Hagen-397; 2-Larson-324; 3-East-301; 4-Hines-283; 5-C.Armstrong-278; 6-Clouser-253; 7-Clauson-252; 8-Jones-242; 9-Roberts-238; 10-Ray-217. 

NEW INDIANA MIDGET WEEK POINTS: 1-Hagen-70; 2-Coons-66; 3-Larson-62; 4-Buckwalter-59; 5-Hines-58; 6-Ray-54; 7-Bright-46; 8-Abreu-45; 9-Windom/Kobylarz-43.

NEXT MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: June 14 – Putnamville, IN – Lincoln Park Speedway