Newton, Iowa.……Bobby Santos of Franklin, Massachusetts made it three wins in the last four at Iowa Speedway in USAC Mopar National Midget competition as he led a 1-2-3 sweep for his RW Motorsports team in the “Casey’s General Stores USAC Challenge” at the 7/8-mile paved oval.
Santos started third as polesitter and point leader Darren Hagen jumped to the lead at the start. From there, a pack of cars diced at the front of the field, exchanging positions every lap. Defending race-winner Caleb Armstrong powered to the point on lap three and quickly opened a lead.
The first caution of the race flew on lap six, as Zach Daum retired to the infield, and safety crews inspected the speedway for a report of oil on the track. After clean-up, Hagen shot back to the front on the restart, as Armstrong’s powerplant seemed sluggish on restarts.
Armstrong showed himself as the man to beat, however, as he moved under Hagen on lap nine going into turn-three and quickly opened up a lead that eventually stretched to over two seconds. It all ended on lap 19, however, as Armstrong’s engine appeared to let go entering turn-one and the New Castle, Indiana driver coasted around to a stop in turn-four.
Auburn, Illinois driver Mario Clouser led the field to the restart. Clouser, who took the pole and finished third last year, led his teammate Santos as the third RW entry, Brad Kuhn, moved by Bryan Clauson into third. Santos made his move for the lead on lap 23, but Clouser kept his teammate in sight. The teammates drew close again on a couple occasions, as Clouser appeared to catch the draft, but Santos held him off to score the win aboard the Rotondo Weirich – Fontana Automotive #17 Beast/Fontana.
It was Santos’ first Midget win with the team, as he led Clouser across to match the best finish of his National Midget career in the Rotondo Weirich – Fontana Automotive #27 Beast/Fontana.
“It’s just a lot of fun being a part of this team, from (owner) Steve Weirich all the way down. We have an unbelievable crew. It’s great to be up here with my teammates – there’s a lot of great chemistry on this team and it shows when you do something like this,” Santos said.
2009 Mopar National Midget champion Kuhn scored another fine finish in his part-time season as he filled the all-RW podium in the Rotondo Weirich – Fontana Automotive #17B Beast/Fontana.
Current point-leader Darren Hagen notched another top-five aboard the RFMS Racing – Liberty Village #3 Beast/Esslinger, as Adam Kramer charged from 14th to finish fifth in the Kramer Motor Company #2 Beast/Esslinger.
MOPAR USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: June 22, 2012 – Newton, IA – Iowa Speedway – “Casey’s General Stores USAC Challenge”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Darren Hagen, 3, RFMS-22.637; 2. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-22.656; 3. Bobby Santos, 17, RW-22.694; 4. Kody Swanson, 11, Wilke-22.748; 5. Mario Clouser, 27, RW-22.787; 6. Bryan Clauson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-22.832; 7. Brad Kuhn, 17B, RW-22.955; 8. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-23.038; 9. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-23.112; 10. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-23.309; 11. Tanner Swanson, 71, Kunz-23.352; 12. David Byrne, 20, Byrne-23.355; 13. Jimmy Simpson, 21, Simpson-23.377; 14. Adam Kramer, 2, Kramer-23.397; 15. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-23.448; 16. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz-24.111; 17. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-NT.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Bobby Santos, 2. Mario Clouser, 3. Brad Kuhn, 4. Darren Hagen, 5. Adam Kramer, 6. Bobby East, 7. Tracy Hines, 8. Kody Swanson, 9. Bryan Clauson, 10. Tanner Swanson, 11. Dalton Armstrong, 12. Rico Abreu, 13. Caleb Armstrong, 14. Jimmy Simpson, 15. Zach Daum, 16. David Byrne. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Hagen, Laps 3-5 C. Armstrong, Laps 6-8 Hagen, Laps 9-18 C. Armstrong, Laps 19-22 Clouser, Laps 23-30 Santos.
NEW MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Hagen-706; 2-Hines-545; 3-C.Armstrong-463; 4-Larson-458; 5-Clauson-457; 6-Windom/East-442; 8-Kuhn-437; 9-Clouser-417; 10-Jones-357.
NEXT MOPAR NATIONAL MIDGET RACE: June 29 – Toledo, OH – Toledo Speedway