ROSSBURG, Ohio — Thomas Meseraull has been beating on the door for his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory and he finally kicked it in on Saturday night at Eldora Speedway during the 34th 4-Crown Nationals.
The San Jose, Calif., native came from row three and dominated the second half of the 30-lapper.
Kody Swanson took the lead from the pole, but ProSource Fast Qualifier Chase Stockon was on the move from his sixth-starting spot, sliding past Swanson into turn-three on lap four.
After a caution flag on lap eight, Bryan Clauson rolled the high side to take the lead from Clauson on lap nine. He checked out on the field as he traced the outside concrete. Brady Bacon slowed on lap 13, and Kevin Thomas Jr. flipped into turn one under the yellow.
On lap 16, Clauson came off turn four with a flat right-rear tire, as Stockon flashed by to retake the lead before the caution waved for Clauson. He changed his right-rear tire and restarted 22nd.
That set the stage for Meseraull, who had just cleared Dave Darland and Swanson to earn himself the second spot on the restart. He wasted no time, as he roared by on the high side to take the lead. While he set off in pursuit of his first win, all eyes turned to Clauson, who was carving his way through the field.
Swanson closed slightly over the late stages, but the 33-year-old Meseraull finished it off to give himself an excited trip to Eldora victory lane with the Marion Underground Construction – Shane Wade Enterprises No. 66 DRC/Dynotech.
“I don’t even know what to say about it,” Meseraull said. “It’s been a long road, and it’s just crazy how great that car was and how simple it seemed to be tonight. Shane Wade and Donnie Gentry have given me an opportunity here and this is why guys like us are doing this stuff. Clauson was so fast, and he was gonna be tough to beat, but his misfortune let it fall right into my lap. Things cleared on the high side, and it just stuck up there. This year, with the owners I’ve had starting with Todd Keen, has just been such a great thing for me. Shane Wade wants to win, and we got a taste of that tonight at one of the most prestigious events in the country, so I hope this is a sign of what we can do as a team together.”
Swanson finished off his best USAC sprint car race on dirt, as he finished second in the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital No. 63 Maxim/Hampshire.
“Luckily, Bob Hampshire and my team are good enough to carry me at a track where I still don’t consider myself to be that good,” Swanson said. “Running second in the sprint car is just a great finish for us. It was tough early, but it came around to us and I was catching him towards the end, so I really just hated to see it end. It’s good to take that momentum to the Silver Crown feature, too. I still need a little work here, but I’m gaining.”
Darland came on late to round out the podium in the Phillips/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Trench Shoring No. 71p DRC/Foxco.
“Getting a good start was key to get from tenth. We went out really late, so timing in that well was pretty good. We were just decent in the slick, but we weren’t a threat to the guys for the win. We’re happy to get out of here with what we got, especially with our points situation. I know as well as anybody that every position and every point matters, so we’ll take every one we can get,” Darland said.
Clauson’s amazing run from the back ended in the fourth spot with Scotty Weir fifth.