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Hagen Hauls in Sprint Bandit TNT Win in Lakeside..

[i Lonnie Wheatley, KANSAS CITY, Kan. (August 21, 2009)]

Darren Hagen notched his first career Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless feature win in convincing fashion by racing to victory lane in Friday night’s 25-lap preliminary feature atop Lakeside Speedway’s ½-mile clay oval.

The Riverside, CA, native blasted around early leader Jesse Hockett on the high side just after a lap four restart and proceeded to check out on the field, ultimately taking the checkered flag with a full half-lap advantage aboard the Bell’s Custom Conversions No. 12 Maxim.

“Jimmy (Jones) had that car set up perfect, it was working anywhere I needed it to,” Hagen explained. “I could really got off the middle of four like no one else could.”

With the triumph, Hagen sits in a prime position to snag Saturday night’s $10,000 winner’s share and the pedal car that goes along with it after escaping preliminary action as the night’s top point earner.

“The $10,000 would be nice, but I keep hearing about this neat little pedal car,” Hagen commented. “I’d love to get that tomorrow night and maybe take a lap around this place on it.”

While Hagen started Friday’s feature outside the front row, it was two-time event winner Hockett gunning into the lead at the outset aboard the Tom Buch/VKCC Motorsports No. 13 entry.

But, after the race’s only caution appeared after three laps for Hud Cone’s disabled mount on the backstretch, Hockett dropped to the low side of the track only to have Hagen hustle by entering turn one on the fifth lap.

Hagen set sail, racing through lapped traffic much of the way, leaving just nine cars on the lead lap as the checkered flag flew.

A half-lap and eight lapped cars separated Hagen from runner-up Josh Wise at the finish. Wise had battled past Hockett by the tenth round and held off the likes of Casey Shuman, Bryan Clauson and current TNT points leader for his third runner-up finish of the week aboard the Indiana Underground No. 37.

Shuman claimed the show position in the STIDA No. 21x, with Clauson fourth in Jeff Walker’s Jam-It-In Storage No. 11.

Bacon nipped R.J. Johnson at the line to round out the top five, escaping the night with a two-point edge over Wise in the week’s points chase.

Johnson was sixth, with Hockett slipping to seventh at the finish. J.J. Yeley’s first appearance of the week netted an eighth-place showing, with Mitch Wissmiller the final car on the lead lap in ninth.

After making a late move around Casey Riggs to win the “B” Main, Kyle Robbins climbed from 17th to complete the top ten in the feature event.

Hockett, Hagen and Bacon topped Friday night’s heat race action, with Wise, Hagen and Cone winning the qualifying races.

The night ended early for both Coleman Gulick and Robert Ballou when they flipped violently in turn three in the latter stages of the second qualifying race. While two-time and defending event winner Ballou walked away, Gulick was transported to a local hospital for observation.

After flipping in hot laps, Mike Moore returned for “B” Main action, where he got upside down again after contact from another car. Moore was uninjured.

Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless Lakeside Speedway Ron Shuman Classic Preliminary Results:

Heat Races:

First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 13-Jesse Hockett, 2. 14-Coleman Gulick, 3. 37-Josh Wise, 4. 81-Robert Ballou, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 10-Hud Cone, 7. 37r-Casey Riggs, 8. 10r-David Wheeler, 9. 46-Dusty Murray.

Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 12-Darren Hagen, 2. 11-Bryan Clauson, 3. 21x-Casey Shuman, 4. 15-R.J. Johnson, 5. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 6. 65-Chris Parkinson, 7. 18-Tim Newman, 8. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 9. 11d-Caleb Armstrong.

Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 1-J.J. Yeley, 3. 23-Mitch Wissmiller, 4. 98-J.C. Bland, 5. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 6. 90-Patrick Budde, 7. 88-Chad Tye. DNS: 69-Mike Moore.

Qualifying Races (Top 16 in Combined Points from Heats and Qualifiers to “A” Main; Balance to “B” Main):

First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 37-Josh Wise, 2. 15-R.J. Johnson, 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 21x-Casey Shuman, 5. 37r-Casey Riggs, 6. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 7. 98-J.C. Bland, 8. 65-Chris Parkinson. DNS: 46-Dusty Murray.

Second Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 12-Darren Hagen, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 5. 90-Patrick Budde, 6. 81-Robert Ballou, 7. 14-Coleman Gulick, 8. 11d-Caleb Armstrong. DNS: 69-Mike Moore.

Third Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 10-Hud Cone, 2. 11-Bryan Clauson, 3. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 4. 1-J.J. Yeley, 5. 23-Mitch Wissmiller, 6. 10r-David Wheeler, 7. 88-Chad Tye, 8. 18-Tim Newman.

“B” Main (Top Six Advance to “A” Main):

“B” Main (10 Laps): 1. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 2. 37r-Casey Riggs, 3. 11d-Caleb Armstrong, 4. 98-J.C. Bland, 5. 10r-David Wheeler, 6. 88-Chad Tye, 7. 65-Chris Parkinson, 8. 46-Dusty Murray, 9. 69-Mike Moore, 10. 18-Tim Newman.

Sprint Bandits TNT Lakeside Speedway Preliminary “A” Main

“A” Main (25 Laps): 1. 12-Darren Hagen, 2. 37-Josh Wise, 3. 21x-Casey Shuman, 4. 11-Bryan Clauson, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 15-R.J. Johnson, 7. 13-Jesse Hockett, 8. 1-J.J. Yeley, 9. 23-Mitch Wissmiller, 10. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 11. 11d-Caleb Armstrong, 12. 53-Jack Dover, 13. 81m-Matt Mitchell, 14. 98-J.C. Bland, 15. 37r-Casey Riggs, 16. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 17. 10r-David Wheeler, 18. 88-Chad Tye, 19. 90-Patrick Budde, 20. 10-Hud Cone, 21. 14-Coleman Gulick (DNS), 22. 81-Robert Ballou (DNS).

Lap Leaders: Jesse Hockett 1-4, Darren Hagen 5-25.

Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top 10): 1. Brady Bacon 440, 2. Josh Wise 438, 3. Bryan Clauson 410, 4. Jesse Hockett 406, 5. R.J. Johnson 402, 6. Robert Ballou 390, 7. Matt Mitchell 388, 8. Coleman Gulick 382, 9. Caleb Armstrong 380, 10. Kyle Robbins 372.