GAS CITY, IN (August 14, 2020) — Thomas Meseraull won the non-wing sprint car feature Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway. Meseraull held off Kevin Thomas Jr. and Brady Bacon for the victory. Tye Mihocko and Matt Westfall rounded out the top five.
GAS CITY, Ind., Aug. 15 – Defending track champion Thomas Meseraull of Waveland, Ind. became the first repeat winner of the year in the non-wing sprint car division at Gas City I-69 Speedway Friday night, although his wire-to-wire victory in the 25-lap feature came in a different car than the one he used to win here on July 10.
Derek Losh of Renssalaer, Ind. recorded his fifth 20-lap modified feature victory of the season at the Grant County quarter-mile dirt oval during the “Mid-Summer Showdown.”
Bill Bradley of Van Buren, Ind. surprised Andy Bishop of Gas City by passing him to the outside in Turn 2 on the last lap to win the 15-lap street stock feature. It was Bradley’s second street stock feature win of the year here, while Bishop has three feature victories at Gas City this season.
It was a familiar smiling face in victory lane following the 15-lap hornet feature, as James Headley of Marion, Ind. posted his fifth victory in the six hornet features that have been run at Gas City so far in 2020.
Brock Meyer, lead pastor of Fairmount (Ind.) Friends Church, led all four laps of the “Faster Pastor” school bus race during intermission. Jared Webb, assistant pastor of Lakeview Wesleyan Church in Marion, Ind. finished second. Kevin Greenlee, senior minister of Unity Christian Church in Marion, placed third, while James McKinnie, the men’s program minister for the Grand County Rescue Mission in Marion, was fourth.
Meyer won a $500 donation to his church and a trophy for his victory. Another $500 donation went to McKinnie for having the loudest and most enthusiastic fans.
Meseraull started third in the 20-car sprint car feature in the Don Whitney Racing No. 00 sponsored by Ultracell, Physical Medicine Consultants and Pro Strip. He took the lead by dipping under polesitter Tye Mihocko of Phoenix, Ariz. in Turn 4 coming down to complete the first lap.
By lap three Kevin Thomas Jr. of Cullman, Ala., who started beside Meseraull, was second and Brady Bacon, a native of Broken Arrow, Okla., who currently lives in Winchester, Ind., had advanced from seventh to third. They chased Meseraull the rest of the way to no avail and finished in those positions.
The top trio kept to basically the same line through Turns 1 and 2 during the race. Thomas, in the No. 9K DRC/Speedway Chevy sponsored by Dr. Pepper, McDonalds and Senter Farms, and Bacon, in the Longworth Equipment Co. No. 410, experimented with the low side in Turns 3 and 4 several times, but neither could find anything to give them an advantage.
Mihocko finished fourth while Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, who won here on July 17, came from 13th to finish fifth followed by Carson Short of Marion, Ill.
Chase Jones of Indianapolis was the hard charger, as he bettered his starting position by 13 spots. He started 20th and finished seventh. Brayden Fox of Avon, Ind.; Dallas Hewitt of Fletcher, Ohio and Cody White of Fremont, Ohio rounded out the top 10.
Jones, a student at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, earned an extra $100 from A.J. and Matt Brookmyer for being the race’s hard charger. His No. 11ag is a Spike chassis with a Foxco engine that is sponsored by Gray Auto, Leary Shock Technology and Bell Helmets.
The Brookmyers also awarded a Hoosier right-rear tire to the first sprint car non-qualifier. Since there were two B-mains on Friday there were two of them, and the tires went to Billy Cribbs of Muncie, Ind. and Evan Mosley of Lapel, Ind.
Meseraull was never seriously threatened despite six restarts that allowed his rivals to draw near. Three of them occurred with three laps down. The first was for a spin in Turn 3 by Jones. The second flew when nine-time Interstate Racing Association (IRA) champion Bill Balog of Hartland, Wis.; J.J. Hughes of Indianapolis and Tyler Kendall of Greenfield, Ind. got together between Turns 3 and 4. The third was when Adam Byrkett of Burnettsville, Ind. and Dustin Ingle of Lima, Ohio spun in Turn 2.
Hughes got airborne but didn’t flip in Turn 3 with seven laps down, and his car left the track on the back of a wrecker. Max Adams of Loomis, Calif. stopped on the frontstretch near Turn 4 with 12 laps down while he was running sixth. Ricky Lewis of Ventura, Calif., who qualified through winning the first B-main, was running sixth when he spun high in Turn 4 with 16 laps down.
Losh started third in the modified feature, took the lead from polesitter Tony Anderson of Lima, Ohio on the second lap, and marched on to victory. He had a half-straightaway lead by lap eight and was lapping the rear of the field by lap 13. Anderson was about a straightaway behind Losh at the checkered flag. Defending track modified champion Scott Orr of Columbia City, Ind. was third. Dylan Woodling of Warsaw, Ind. started tenth but finished fourth. Cole Sink of Fort Wayne, Ind. rounded out the top five.
Superior Sales and Service, Aggressive, R & R Transmission, Rensselaer Iron and Metal and Talbert Manufacturing sponsor Losh’s No. 21.
Bradley’s last-lap charge by Bishop in the street stock feature was the closest finish among the main events. Bradley’s family-owned No. 22 is sponsored by Ryan’s Auto Service, Erv’s Card Shack, Frank Bennett and Shrout’s Towing and Recovery.
Jordan Conover of Forest, Ohio ran in second place behind Bishop only to spin between Turns 3 and 4 working lap five. Although he had to go to the back for the restart, he rebounded to finish third. Jeffery Jessup of Union City, Ind. and Larry Persinger of Marion, Ind. rounded out the top five.
Headley followed the rear of his son’s No. 00 for the first five laps of the hornet feature but took the lead when Headley Jr. got off track on the backstretch and dropped to fifth, right before Brandon Lines of Marion, Ind. brought out a yellow after stopping on the frontstretch.
That gave second to Cordell Moore of Versailles, Ind. and third to Kolton Sollars of LaFontaine, Ind.
On the restart Headley Jr. spun into the infield and then called it a night. Headley had a half-straightaway lead over Moore at the checkered. Sollars finished third followed by Brady Hines of Denver, Ind. and Charlie Teegarden of Upland, Ind.
Despite a program featuring 84 race cars, including 34 sprints, there were no flips, although a few competitors did get airborne. The well-run show concluded a little before 11 p.m.
The track’s “Night of Destruction” originally slated for today, Saturday, Aug. 15, has been postponed until next year.
Teams trying to find that extra bit of speed will have the opportunity to participate in a “test and tune” session on Wednesday, Aug. 19 before the Dale Korporal’s Candy Man Classic next Friday night, Aug. 21. Non-wing sprint car drivers will compete in twin 20-lap features for a total purse of $20,000 that night. Modifieds, street stocks and hornets will share the billing.
The complete schedule for 2020 is on the track’s website at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans and competitors can also follow it on Twitter: @GasCitySpeedway; Instagram: @GasCitySpeedway and Facebook: GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas.
Gas City I-69 Speedway is located on State Road 22, approximately a half-mile west of I-69, exit 259.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Tye Mihocko, 2. Cole Ketcham, 3. Brayden Fox, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Billy Cribbs, 6. Damon Cooley, 7. Ricky Lewis, 8. Brian Vaughn, 9. Cooper Welch (DNS).
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Tyler Kendall, 2. J.J. Hughes, 3. Adam Byrkett, 4. Cody White, 5. Dallas Hewitt, 6. Jack James, 7. Evan Mosley, 8. Jordan Paulsen, 9. Robert Brown.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Bill Balog, 4. Dustin Ingle, 5. Aaron Davis, 6. Anthony D’Alessio, 7. Natalie Klemko, 8. Paul Dues.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 4 (8 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Carson Short, 3. Max Adams, 4. Sterling Cling, 5. Chase Jones, 6. Max Guilford, 7. Zack Pretorius, 8. Brayden Clark.
Non-Wing Sprint B-Main 1 (10 laps, 2 transferred): 1. Ricky Lewis, 2. Anthony D’Alessio, 3. Billy Cribbs, 4. Paul Dues, 5. Aaron Davis, 6. Brian Vaughn, 7. Natalie Klemko, 8. Damon Cooley, 9. Cooper Welch (DNS).
Non-Wing Sprint B-Main 2 (10 laps, 2 transferred): 1. Dallas Hewitt, 2. Chase Jones, 3. Evan Mosley, 4. Max Guilford, 5. Zack Pretorius, 6. Brayden Clark, 7. Jack James, 8. Jordan Paulsen, 9. Robert Brown.
Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Thomas Meseraull (3), 2. Kevin Thomas Jr. (4), 3. Brady Bacon (7), 4. Tye Mihocko (1), 5. Matt Westfall (13), 6. Carson Short (8), 7. Chase Jones (20), 8. Brayden Fox (9), 9. Dallas Hewitt (18), 10. Cody White (14), 11. Cole Ketcham (6), 12. Sterling Cling (16), 13. Adam Byrkett (10), 14. Max Adams (12), 15. Dustin Ingle (15), 16. Ricky Lewis (17), 17. Anthony D’Alessio (19), 18. J.J. Hughes (5), 19. Tyler Kendall (2), 20. Bill Balog (11).
Margin of Victory: 1.854 seconds
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-25, Meseraull.