T-Mez Claims Gappens Sr. Memorial

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Thomas Meseraull en route to victory at Gas City I-69 Speedway. (Gary Gasper photo)
Thomas Meseraull en route to victory at Gas City I-69 Speedway. (Gary Gasper photo)

GAS CITY, Ind. — Forty non-winged sprint car drivers signed in at Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday night to try to win the $2,000 top prize offered to the winner of the second annual Jerry Gappens Sr. Memorial.

At the end of 25 laps, however, the winner was the same driver who has won three other sprint car features at the Grant County quarter-mile clay track so far this year — Thomas Meseraull.

This time “T-Mez” started second in the race named in honor of the current promoter’s late father. He drove the Don Whitney Racing No. 00, which is a Hawk chassis sponsored by Ultracell and Physical Medicine Consultants.

He led every lap, surviving three restarts and weaving through lapped traffic for a commanding victory over Robert Ballou, who drove his family’s No. 12 sponsored in part by Dickinson Farms, Lucas Oil Products and Abreu Vineyards.

“I’ve been racing open-wheel cars for 20 years; sometimes you have to wait your turn, but my turn is here,” the 38-year-old native Californian said jubilantly in victory lane.

Brady Bacon finished third, with Matt Westfall and Jarett Andretti filling the top five.

Derek Losh started second and led all 20 laps of the non-stop UMP modified feature.

The 15-lap American Mini-Sprint Ass’n feature went to Jac Nickles.

Fifteen-year-old James Headley Jr. started next to last in the 15-lap hornet feature, dipped under Alyssa Clark for the lead in turn two working lap six, and had a half-straightaway lead over runner-up Gage Allen to post his second victory in a row at Gas City.

David Short works at Good Oil Company and has “Good to Go” on the side of his No. 15 street stock. It certainly was on Friday night, as he started on the pole and led all 15 laps of the feature.

The finish:

Feature (25 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Jarett Andretti, 6. Tyler Hewitt, 7. Scotty Weir, 8. Josh Hodges, 9. Matt Goodnight, 10. Paul Dues, 11. Luke Hall, 12. Max Adams, 13. Shane Cockrum, 14. Dustin Ingle, 15. Koby Barksdale, 16. Matt McDonald, 17. Cody White, 18. Mike Miller, 19. A.J. Hopkins, 20. Kevin Thomas Jr., 21. Isaac Chapple.