LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – Thomas Meseraull became the first driver not named Kevin Thomas Jr. to win a non-winged sprint car feature during Indiana Midget Week on Saturday at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
The bad news, at least in Meseraull’s eyes, was that Thomas wasn’t even in the field for him to beat.
After victories during each of the first four nights of the six-race stretch, Thomas parked his No. 19 Grainger-sponsored entry and didn’t race the fifth round at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval, leaving the rest of the field ripe for Meseraull to pick.
“I went home – we’ve been working our butts off all week long. The (No.) 47 car dropped a lifter at the beginning of the week, and I was supposed to run that for three of the six nights … so I had brought my (No.) 00 as a spare because with the kids, it’s just easier to have the truck and trailer,” Meseraull explained. “We actually unloaded it at Montpelier, and next thing I knew I was hopping in it and running it, but the last two nights we’ve been thrashing on it to get it right to be able to run with that (No.) 19.
“We felt ready, loaded up and had it all ready to go to battle with KT tonight – I even got new tires so we could really give him a run for his money – and he didn’t show up!” he lamented. “But we won anyway!”
With Meseraull starting from deep in the field, the early battle for the race lead was between Joss Moffatt and Brady Bacon.
In a similar fashion to the headlining USAC national midget feature, which featured a quick scrap between Shane Golobic and Tyler Courtney, Moffatt paced the opening circuit of the sprint car main event before giving way to Bacon on the second revolution.
From there, Bacon was the class of the field until Meseraull’s arrival on the scene, just past the halfway point. Bacon led laps two through 19 without a major challenge, but when Meseraull got to second, the battle quickly heated up between the two veteran drivers.
Meseraull finally took command with six laps left, however, making a clinching run to the lead on lap 20 and running off to victory by 1.634 seconds over Bacon in the end.
In victory lane, Meseraull explained his “new tires” comment, sparked out of a conversation between himself and members of his No. 00 crew.
“My guys, we’ve had such a good week … we just feel fortunate to be running with KT, because they’re one of the best teams in the country right now and have some of the best equipment out there,” noted Meseraull. “Where that came from, a few of my guys and I were going back and forth and I joked, ‘Hey, if we had some new tires, we might actually win one of these things!’ Well, one of them came back and said, ‘I’ll go in on some tires,’ and then we went out and won us a race tonight.
“It’s one of those things you laugh at when it happens like this,” he added. “We’re happy with this one.”
Behind Meseraull and Bacon, Moffatt completed the podium, followed by Matt Westfall and Shawn Westerfield.
Thomas Meseraull, Brady Bacon, Joss Moffatt, Matt Westfall, Shawn Westerfeld, Dickie Gaines, Michael Fischesser, Cody Gardner, J.J. Hughes, Luke Hall, Justin Owen, Cooper Clouse, Gary Rooke, Callie Wolsiffer, Tony McVey, Tyler Kendall, Parker Frederickson, Sterling Cling, Scott Mead.