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Jul 21, 2014 - 12:08 PM
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Darren Hagen Doubles Down And Goes Two In A Row, Benson Dominates Micro Feature
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 12:06 PM
Tidbits
Darren Hagen Doubles Down And Goes Two In A Row, Benson Dominates Micro Feature


Darren Hagen of Riverside, California went two for two in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series competition, by dominating both feature events of the weekend. First, at Belle-Clair Speedway, Friday night, July 18th and second, Saturday night, July 19th at St. Francois County Raceway in Farmington, Missouri.

 

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The victory at St. Francois County Raceway was Hagen's fifth United States win of the 2014 season. Nathan Benson of Concordia, Missouri crushed any doubts cast from the previous night's feature at Belle-Clair Speedway, where Benson brought home the runner-up position, by flat out running away with the feature event to claim his 11th career win in the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series.

Pole-sitter Garett Aitken of Paris, Illinois would lead the field to the green flag, but it would be Darren Hagen in the Five-Six, Inc., Great Clips-sponsored, Esslinger-powered Beast Chassis leading the first lap as he stole the lead from Aitken coming out of turn four. Comfortably out front, Hagen would work to pull away from the field as Zach Daum of Pocahontas, Illinois would take second away from Aitken on lap two.

With Hagen comfortably out front and Daum's Toyota-powered Eagle giving chase, the battle for third would heat up between Aitken and Ross Rankine. Rankine would overtake Aitken for the third position and slowly set up some space between the two. As Hagen entered lap traffic, the gap between Hagen and Daum slowly began to close, but the gap between Aitken and Rankine would close even quicker and duo would again be fighting for the third position. Unfortunately, the battle for third would have to be momentarily put on hold as the caution flag flew for the first time of the feature event as Darren Kingston would loop it in the middle of turns three and four and simultaneously, Tyler Robbins would lose power, coasting to a stop high up in turn three. Kingston would re-fire, but Robbins would retire to the pits.

With the field lined back up and lap cars separating the top three, the stage for an excellent battle for third was set. When the green flag flew, Hagen would take off followed by Daum as the battle between Aitken and Rankine would resume. But, Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Missouri would now join the battle for third in the Auto Xpress, Fontana-powered Spike, putting pressure on Aitken and Rankine. On lap 22, Felker would blow by Rankine on the top, setting his sights on Aitken. Just as Felker would make his move to take third from Aitken, the tangled cars of Darren Kingston and Spencer Bayston would bring out the caution for the second time.

The caution would set the field up for a green, white, checkered shootout and just as the green flag flew, Felker would take third away from Aitken, but neither Daum nor Felker would pose a threat as Darren Hagen would cross the finish line first, followed by Daum for second and Felker in third. Coming home in fourth was Garett Aitken, and rounding out the top five was Ross Rankine.

"I'm just a blessed kid," mentioned a victorious Hagen. "Without my sponsors and crew, I wouldn't be here. I'm very proud to be up here with these guys. Proud to stand here with the fans, I really appreciate you guys being here at this POWRi event."

"I'd like to be where Hagen is, instead of behind him, but the big picture is a championship for Toyota," mentioned defending POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series Champion Zach Daum. "We were just off a little bit on entry and gear. I think we can get a little bit better and keep plugging away at it. Track was in really good shape and hats off to those guys."

"We've struggled here lately, but I think we're starting to get things turned around," said a pleased Andrew Felker. Financially we haven't been able to run all the races with our car so I've been in and out of other cars. I've got to thank all my sponsors. Hopefully tonight is a step in the right direction.

Nathan Benson of Concordia, Missouri obliterated the competition coming from the seventh position to earn his 11th career POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series feature victory. "I knew we had it in us," explained Benson, driving a FTZ-powered Pace Chassis. "We kind of got caught there in the heat, just way off. So we started so far back and just decided to throw something at it. We're excited for the rest of the year. We didn't come all the way out here to run second both nights."

Second place finisher Dereck King of Vienna, Illinois started second and finished second. "First and second two nights in a row with the best in the business for FTZ is amazing," explained King. "But we're disappointed with second because we had a much better car than that. Just fell asleep in the pits tonight and didn't get the job done. "

Rounding out the podium in third place, a career best finish was Ayrton Gennetten of Versailles, Missouri. "I'd just like to thank all my sponsors," said Gennetten. "It got a little dicey there with lap cars, but I think we could have had Dereck [King]."

POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature results (30 laps): 1. 56 - Darren Hagen 2. 5D - Zach Daum 3. 11A - Andrew Felker 4. 32 - Garrett Aitken 5. 39R - Ross Rankine 6. 25 - Jake Blackhurst 7. 7 - Austin Brown 8. 2 - Seth Motsinger 9. 50 - Daniel Adler 10. 1T - Tony Roney 11. 9P - Parker Price-Miller 12. 39 - Spencer Bayston 13. 88 - Terry Babb 14. 31 - Kyle Schuett 15. 94 - Darren Kingston 16. 5H - Tyler Robbins 17. 91 - Dereck King 18. 79J - Jacob Patton 19. 55 - Nick Knepper

POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro Series results (20 Laps): 1. 2B - Nathan Benson 2. 1 - Dereck King 3. 44 - Ayrton Gennetten 4. 00 - Matt Ponder 5. 21 - Aaron Andruskevitch 6. 51B - Joe B. Miller 7. 52 - Jason Harms 8. 77W - Joey Wirth 9. 08C - Allen Cope 10. 18 - Steve Finn 11. 16X - Jordan Masson 12. 61 - Jeremy Boyer 13. 22P - John Potter 14. 21W - Brad Callahan 15. 23 - Jeremy Camp 16. 17K - Kevin Horcher 17. 21Z - Jeremy Zumwalt 18. 39 - Austin Stewart

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