Pickens Wins, Clauson IMW Champ

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Michael Pickens, shown en route to a recent POWRi victory, won Sunday night's USAC Mopar Midget Championship feature at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway. (Jeff Arns photo)
Michael Pickens, shown en route to a recent POWRi victory, won Sunday night's USAC Mopar Midget Championship feature at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway. (Jeff Arns photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. — Michael Pickens of Auckland, New Zealand, scored a sensational victory in Sunday night’s “Indiana Midget Week” finale at Kokomo Speedway.

Pickens led the final two laps after a restart, which saw the complexion of the Indiana Midget Week points championship change in Bryan Clauson’s favor.

Clauson, of Noblesville, Ind., emerged with a six-point margin of victory over rookie Kyle Larson for the 2011 Indiana Midget Week title as Larson slid from the lead to third in the closing laps after pacing the first 28 circuits of the quarter-mile dirt track.

Pickens’ victory, his first in USAC racing, came in the Polar Ice/BSL Racing Breka/Esslinger Ford. He won two POWRi features the previous weekend.

Trailing Pickens at the checkered flag were Tracy Hines, who made a late-race charge to second, Larson, Brad Kuhn and Clauson.

Darren Hagen was the fast qualifier for the 27-car field.

Clauson emerged with a 17-point lead over Bobby East in the USAC Mopar National Midget Chamnpionship standings.