Hustling Hagen Scores At Belle-Clair
Bell started sixth and climbed to second for an 11th-lap restart. Hagen was faster in the middle stint and wasn’t seriously threatened until after the final restart.
“I had to run him down,” Bell said. “When I started sliding him, he ran me out of real estate (entering the back straight).”
Hagen’s victory was his sixth in POWRi National Midgets and 20th in USAC National Midgets. It counted as a belated celebration for his 27th birthday on Tuesday (July 2) and a present for his father, Jim McMinn, who had flown from his home in Riverside, Calif., to see him race for the first time since last November.
“There were two things that were special about tonight,” Hagen said. “I haven’t lost on my birthday and the team said since this was closest to my birthday, it counted. And you’ve always got to get up on the wheel when your dad is there.”
Brad Kuhn finished third, Ryan Criswell was fourth and Nick Knepper fifth. There were 52 midget entries.
Miller, the 2012 POWRi Micro champion who is running a partial season in the series this year, led all 20 laps, but had to fend off Trey Datweiler on the final lap.
“I had to go to the bottom and block him,” Miller, who had run the high line the entire race to that point, said.
Datweiler’s runner-up finish was the best of his POWRi career.
“I didn’t want to take Joe B. out,” Datweiler said. “I was happy with where I was.’
There were 52 entries in the micros.