NEWS
Hagen Goes Two-for-Two, Clean Sweep of Missouri Mid-State Midget Nationals
Posted 4 years ago
Photo by: highfly-nphotos.com

Wheatland, MO. – Darren Hagen of Riverside, California doubled down, taking both nights of the Missouri Mid-State Midget Nationals, cleaning house at the ¼ mile Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri, and winning at the 3/8 mile Lucas Oil Speedway after a hard fought battle with Tyler Thomas to claim his 14th career POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature victory and his second of 2015.

Alex Bright of Collegeville, Pennsylvania started on the pole of the 30 lap feature event, sharing the front row with Tyler Thomas of Owasso, Oklahoma.  At the drop of the green flag, Bright and Thomas would begin to battle for the lead with Bright leading lap one by a car length.  On lap three, Thomas would make the pass stick off turn two for the lead.  One lap later, the caution would wave as Alex Bright would slow atop turn two.  Bright would be done for the remainder of the event.  

As Thomas led the field back to green, Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Missouri would jump to the high side and begin to hound Thomas.  As Felker would gain momentum, Mark Chisholm would bring out the caution as his spun machine came to sit at the bottom of turn four.  Momentarily having the action cooled, Thomas would re-ignite the excitement, taking the green as Darren Hagen would steal the second positon from Felker.  

On lap nine, Kyle Keeler would slow along the front stretch bringing out the third caution of the evening.  This time Thomas would lead the field back to green flag racing with Hagen in hot pursuit.  Coming off turns one and two, Hagen would take the position from Thomas.  Entering turn three Thomas would throw a slide job in an attempt to regain the lead, but would be unable to faze Hagen.  On lap 12 Kyler Keeler would slow Hagen’s momentum by bringing out the caution as he stopped along the front stretch.  Coming back to green, Hagen would charge to the top side of the big 3/8 mile Lucas Oil Speedway as Thomas attempted to give chase.  As Hagen gained momentum, his stride would be cut short as Alex Sewell would loop it off turn four bringing out the caution and bunching the field back up.  

Coming to the restart with 13 laps down, Tyler Thomas would have another opportunity to try something on Darren Hagen.  Yet, at the wave of the green flag, Hagen’s Austin Brown-owned Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis would pull away from Thomas and the rest of the field.  Car lengths behind Hagen and Thomas, the trio of Felker, Justin Peck, and Matt Sherrell would put on a show for positions third through fifth until Peck would lose power entering turn one, coming to rest atop turn two.  Halfway there with 15 laps in the books, Hagen would power away, while Felker would clearly start falling back as his engine went sour.  In turns one and two, Tyler Nelson would get sideways collecting Nick Bailey before being straightened out to keep going, bringing out yet another caution.  

With 24 laps in books, the field would restart with Hagen still firmly holding the lead.  Matt Sherrell would pull off coming to the green while running in the third position.  Inheriting the final podium position with six laps to go would be Jake Neuman of New Berlin, Illinois.  Two laps later, Kyle Schuett of Philo, Illinois would shred a belt on his Esslinger-powered BOSS Chassis entering the high side of turn three, bringing out the final caution of the evening.   On the final restart, Hagen would be able to hold off Thomas for the win.  Rounding out the podium for his best career finish, Jake Neuman would bring home third and Michelle Decker would take fourth.  Tucker Klaasmeyer would finish fifth.   

“I’m very, very blessed to be in the opportunity that I am,” stated first place finisher, Darren Hagen.  “I couldn’t say enough about this race team.  Austin Brown had me come drive for him with BOSS Chassis, Flea, Corey, Chris, and everybody on this team.  Without these guys, my job would be really tough.  Without them I wouldn’t be able to drive such a perfect racecar.”

“We just didn’t quite have enough for Darren,” explained a disappointed second place finisher, Tyler Thomas.  “He was pretty stout, last night and tonight.  We had a pretty good car, got to lead some laps, and we’re gaining more and more knowledge on this Spike Chassis each night we run and this weekend we made big gains.  I think we got something and we have some consistency to get that win.”

“We struggled with the car in the heat race,” said third place finisher, Jake Neuman.  “We dialed it in somewhat for the b-main and won it.  Started 17th in the feature and got up to around ninth and after that cars started having problems and dropping out.  We ended up third.  I’d like to thank all my sponsors, and Duane and Alan for all the work they put in.”

Midgets

Ford Heat Race Winners: Heat 1: 4M - Michelle Decker, Heat 2: 17 - Darren Hagen, Heat 3: 11A - Andrew Felker

Great Clips Feature Winner: 17 - Darren Hagen

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1. 17 - Darren Hagen ; 2. 91T - Tyler Thomas  3. 3N - Jake Neuman  4. 4M - Michelle Decker  5. 27 - Tucker Klaasmeyer  6. 11C - Chett Gehrke  7. 8 - Alex Sewell  8. 7W - Kory Schudy  9. 14E - Eric Fenton  10. 9K - Kyle Schuett  11. 35 - Matt Sherrell  12. 11A - Andrew Felker  13. 89 - Nick Bailey  14. 88 - Tyler Nelson  15. 5X - Justin Peck  16. 17E - Blake Edwards  17. 7 - Austin Brown  18. 27K - Kyle Keeler  19. 56X - Mark Chisholm  20. 56 - Alex Bright  21. 21 - Ty Hulsey  22. 52 - Anton Hernandez

For more information, visit www.powri.com.