DUQUOIN, Ill. — Open-wheel short track superstar Bryan Clauson will try to make it back-to-back victories in the third annual Battle at the Center, the non-points event sanctioned by the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series, on Dec. 15 at the Southern Illinois Center’s Mini Magic Mile.
Clauson has captured USAC’s National Drivers championship for the past three seasons. It is awarded based upon the most points from the top 25 finishes in its three national divisions, Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown.
The 23-year-old Noblesville, Ind., resident became the youngest driver to win the Sprint Car title this season, was third in the Midget points and won races in all three. Clauson also is a three-time National Midget Driver of the Year.
Clauson had an outstanding 2012 season in POWRi Midgets, too. He won three features including Sept. 1 at the Mini Magic Mile and was fourth or better in six events entered. Clauson passed Tyler Thomas of Collinsville, Okla., in the last corner of the 30th and final lap on the one-sixth mile track to take a spectacular victory.
Clauson has 18 victories, third on the all-time list in POWRi Midgets.
The Battle at the Center is expected to have an all-star field for the third straight year. Other confirmed entries include 2012 POWRi National Midget champion Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Mo., 2011 POWRi runner-up Nick Knepper of Belleville, Ill., multi-time Sprint Car champion Levi Jones of Olney, Ill., and Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif.
The 16-year-old Reddick is a regular and has one victory in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. He also won this season in his debut race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.
The Battle at the Center will have a 40-lap feature at the Southern Illinois Center, located at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.