INDIANAPOLIS – Thomas Meseraull has quickly proven that all it took to light up his season was a new power plant under the hood cover of his RMS Racing-prepared No. 7x midget.
With a new Toyota engine onboard, Meseraull raced from ninth to the win in one of 10 heat races Wednesday night at The Dirt Track at IMS, topping the passing points chart for the opening half of the Driven2SaveLives BC39 powered by NOS Energy Drink.
Meseraull, who had to wait until the ninth heat to go out on Wednesday by virtue of his draft pick Tuesday night, rocketed from ninth to fourth in one lap when the green flag waved and found himself in the lead by the time the fourth revolution of the fifth-mile dirt oval was completed.
From there, Meseraull left the other eight drivers in his heat race in the dust, taking the checkered flag in front of a charging Kyle Larson by .969 seconds and earning 165 passing points for his efforts.
That put Meseraull atop the other 89 entrants for the BC39 and sets him up in prime position for Thursday’s qualifiers. Combined points from the heats and qualifiers set the fields for the alphabet soup.
“I just can’t thank my guys enough; it’s about time I was in a hot rod,” said Meseraull, whose team switched to Toyota power a week ago and already has a POWRi win under its belt. “I’m in the best of the best of the best right now. This thing is brand new; we built it three weeks ago and put a brand-new Toyota in it … and it’s seemed to rip, on the chip, all the time since we got it going.
“We’ve got tomorrow to go yet, but I feel good. I love where we’re at right now. We’re in a rhythm.”
In other preliminary action, Brady Bacon thrilled the crowd from the outset, coming from seventh and edging out Chris Windom by .036 seconds in a photo finish to win the first Wednesday heat race.
A last-lap pass in a green-to-checkered second heat saw Kevin Thomas Jr. slip past Karsyn Elledge for the second heat race victory of the program.
After a duel of sliders with his Clauson-Marshall Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the third heat race, Zeb Wise pulled away over the second half of the 10-lap sprint en route to victory.
The fourth heat race saw Dillon Welch make a daring three-wide pass of both Justin Grant and C.J. Leary entering turn one on the final lap to take the victory in the Tucker-Boat Motorsports No. 81.
Heat race five was dominated from start to finish by winged sprint car star Gio Scelzi, who rocketed to the lead from the outside pole and was never challenged thereafter. Jason McDougal finished second.
Zach Daum took the lead on lap four of the sixth heat and fended off a determined Tanner Carrick down the stretch en route to that heat’s checkered flag. Billy Wease was third after leading the first two laps.
In that heat, Andrew Layser went for a wild flip in the third turn with two to go while running fourth, with his No. 47bc briefly catching fire before the flames were extinguished. Layser climbed out under his own power.
Jake Neuman came from fourth to first on lap five and walked away from a furious battle for second between Michael Pickens and Christopher Bell to win heat race seven. Pickens eventually prevailed over Bell to come home as the runner-up in that event.
The eighth heat featured another photo finish, as Chad Boat beat out Logan Seavey’s last-gasp effort to take the checkered flag in front by .082 seconds. Alex Bright finished a second back of those two in third.
Following Meseraull’s win in heat nine, Spencer Bayston led the final seven laps to win the 10th and final heat race in his first race back in a national midget since the Chili Bowl Nationals back in January.
Going into the qualifiers on Thursday, Meseraull leads the rostrum with 165 points, followed by Bacon, Thomas and Bayston, who each have 155 points to their names.
Chris Windom is fifth in the provisional point standings with 148 points, while Daum and Neuman are deadlocked at 145 points apiece. Tanner Carrick (143), Logan Seavey (143) and Boat (140) completed the top 10 in the night one standings.
Notables with a long way to go to reach the top-16 lock-in for the Thursday night A-main include Tyler Courtney, who was 22nd on points; Tyler Thomas, who ended the night 25th in points; Christopher Bell, who struggled in his heat and is 33rd in points; and J.J. Yeley, who sits 40th in points after heat races.
To view complete heat race results, advance to the next page.
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