After taking the POWRi sanctioned Midget win at Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois last night an inform Thomas Meseraull claimed his first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series win at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. However it was a close run thing with last night’s USAC Midget winner Thorson close to back-to-back victories.
In 1979 New Zealand Speedway legend Barry Butterworth famously becoming the 1st non-American to win a USAC Midget Feature at this track.
After qualifying it was point leader and last night’s 2nd place getter Chris Windom atop the speed charts in a lap time of 13.705seconds over the high-banked dirt quarter mile just 0.051 ahead of Justin Grant. Meseraull 10th quickest.
The 40 cars in attendance were divided into four 10-Lap heat races with defending Harvest Cup winner Jason McDougal winning his heat as did Windom and last night’s Leffler Memorial winner Tanner Thorson, in a Kiwi built King Chassis, who all did so from grid 6. Meseraull also won his heat.
A 10-Lap C-Main was won by Aiden Purdue with Kaylee Bryson, Gage Rucker and Hayden Reinbold also transferring to the back of the Semi-Main.
With 4 laps remaining in the Semi-Main Tyler Nelson of Olathe, Kansas climbed over the wheel of a car in front and tumbled over the fence and through an advertising sign. Nelson walked away without major injuries.
Daison Pursley won the Semi and was joined by Stephen Schnapf, Chase Randall, Sam Johnson, Jerry Coons Jnr. from grid 12 and Kaylee Bryson from grid 16 who would all start at the rear of the 30-Lap Feature.
Andrew Layser started the Feature on pole with Cole Bodine in the 39BC to his outside. McDougal, Thorson, Grant, Windom, Meseraull and Schnapf occupying the top 8 spots.
Canon McIntosh inverted his car on Lap-1 bringing out the red flags and a compete restart. Bodine lead early only to spin by himself with a 4th running Windom collecting the stricken car damaging both the front of his car and his championship lead. Windom went to the work area.
This handed the restart to McDougal with Layser and Grant in pursuit. Meseraull was 4th but not for long as he gained traction on the high side of turn four and rocked past Layser but not without a sizeable wallop and the two cars tried to fill the same space. At the same time another caution period was had for Bacon who left the track.
During contact with Meseraull Layser broke a birdcage bolt and officials ruled him to the work area. This down time gave Windom a chance to return to the race track all be it a lap down. Once pushed off the Canton Illinois driver making a b-line for Bodine to gesticulate and rub wheels in clear disapproval.
With 5 laps complete Meseraull restarted well in 3rd and got inside Grant in turns 1 and 2. The sharp Haubstadt bends requiring extreme entry angles. Meseraull surged ahead to track down McDougal as Grant now had to contend with Tyler Courtney who passed Kyle Cummins for 4th.
After another yellow flag period the race resumed and Meseraull used the same move put on Grant to get to the inside of McDougal into turn 1 and he had the lead in turn 2 with 23 laps to go.
Meseraull ripped the fresh lip of dirt on the cushion to establish a 3 second lead until red light came on for Pursley who flipped hard in turn 4 while in 7th place. The crowd relieved to see him climb out unhurt.
Cummins restarted behind Meseraull with defending winner McDougal in 3rd who soon found himself swamped by first Thorson, then Courtney and Emerson Axsom at the half way mark.
With 5 to go Cummins stuck to the top as Thorson got by on the bottom and set about a last ditch effort for the lead. As Meseraull placed his car on the cushion in the final bend Thorson made a final surge and had his car ahead as they entered the straight but the momentum was with Meseraull.
Thorson was 2nd with Cummins 3rd. Courtney was 4th with Axsom 5thfrom 23rd. Kevin Thomas Jnr., Clinton Boyles, Grant 6th to 8th and Bryson from the C-Main through the B-Main to finish 9th. Windom finished 16th and gave up the series points lead to Courtney with only 4 full points paying races remaining in the season.
“She was just kind of dying at the end there. It was 250 (°F) with 10 [laps] to go… and I’m looking at it like, man! Hopefully this TRD Toyota holds up and of course it did.” Said a jubilant Meseraull of his first USAC National Midget win.
USAC NOS Energy Drinks National Midget Series Points Standings:
The next race is on November 13th at Arizona Speedway in Sun Tan Valley, Arizona.
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