Hagen tops Bell in Belleville Bash Night One
Belleville, Ill. July 5---Darren Hagen held off a strong challenge by Chris Bell in the closing laps to win the 30-lap "Belleville Bash" feature Friday Night at Belle-Clair Speedway. The event was tri-sanctioned by the USAC Honda National Midget, POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget and Stark Automotive Group-Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series.
Hagen led all but the opening lap. A caution with seven laps bunched up the field, giving Bell a chance at the lead. Bell made several attempts after the restart but could never complete the pass for the lead.
Bell's best shot to overtake Hagen came on the 28th lap. With Hagen on the inside, going into Turn 3 he emerged ahead on the front straight. Hagen on the white flag lap slid through Turns 1 and 2 from the bottom to top groove, and came out directly in front of Bell, who was forced to lift and Hagen finished one car length in front of Bell at the finish driving the RFMS Racing owned DRC/Ford-Esslinger No. 3.
"I knew if Bell did a big slide on me, I could have been in trouble," Hagen said. "Hagen's slide job in turns one and two on the 29th lap, Killed my momentum said Bell." Brad Kuhn finished third followed by Ryan Criswell and Nick Knepper. Bell topped the 52-car field in qualifying, with qualifying races won by Tim Siner and Daniel Adler. Bryan Clauson, Justin Grant, Caleb Armstrong and Bubba Altig won the 10-lap heat races, while Zach Daum won the 12-lap Semi Feature. .
30-lap Feature: 1. Darren Hagen, 2. Chris Bell, 3. Brad Kuhn, 4. Ryan Criswell, 5. Nick Knepper, 6. Andrew Felker, 7. Tracy Hines, 8. Bryan Clauson, 9. Jerry Coons, Jr., 10. Danny Stratton, 11. Zach Daum, 12. Shane Cockrum, 13. Tyler Robbins, 14. Parker Price-Miller, 15. Garrett Aitken, 16. Caleb Armstrong, 17. Aaron Andruskevitch, 18. Tanner Thorson, 19. Austin Brown, 20. Bubba Altig, 21. Colten Cottle, 22. Justin Grant, 23. Terry Babb.
12-lap Semi Feature Winner: Daum.
10-lap Heat Race Winners: Clauson, Grant, C. Armstrong, Altig.
10-lap Qualifying Race Winners: Siner, Adler.
Fast Time: Bell, 11.390 seconds.
Cars Present: 52, Feature Lap Leaders: Altig 1, Hagen 2-30.