Toledo, Grundy Next For USAC Midgets

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INDIANAPOLIS – USAC’s Mopar National Midget Series is gearing up for back-to-back races this Friday and Saturday in Toledo, Ohio, and Morris, Ill.

Darren Hagen enters the two races with a comfortable 161-point series lead over second-place Tracy Hines. Hagen has won USAC National Midget races at Toledo the past two years.

Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill., scene of one of USAC’s most thrilling Midget races ever last year, hosts the “Freedom 100” Mopar National series race in conjunction with the STARS series on Saturday night.

Race fans will not soon forget Hagen’s sensational victory at the third-mile paved oval last year. That follows closely on the heels of Friday’s race at Toledo Speedway, where the Midgets share billing with the Rollie Beale 100 USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series race.

Bobby Santos earned his third Iowa Speedway USAC Midget victory in four years Friday, wheeling his Rotondo Weirich/Fontana Automotive Beast/Fontana to the win in the 30-lap race on the seven-eighths-mile paved oval. Santos, who also won in 2009 and 2010, was the last of four race leaders, taking the lead on lap 23 from Mario Clouser.

Clouser had led four laps after defending Iowa race winner Caleb Armstrong suffered mechanical woes. Armstrong and Hagen had traded the lead back and forth during the first 18 laps.

Clouser ended up second at the checkered flag, ahead of Brad Kuhn, Hagen and Adam Kramer. Santos won a USAC sprint-car race at Toledo in 2006 and a Midget race there in 2009.