GAS CITY, Ind., Aug. 21 – With more than $20,000 in prize money for the non-wing sprint cars and extra cash for the modified, street stock and hornet divisions too, the action was as hot as the temperature Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway for the “Double Down Classic.” Thomas Meseraull of Waveland, Ind. and Jake Swanson of Anaheim, Calif., won the twin 21-lap sprint car features, with Swanson earning a $300 bonus for passing the most cars in both races. Derek Losh of Rensselaer, Ind. was the star of the modified division, while Glenn Bradley of Marion, Ind., posted his first street stock feature victory of the year here. Kolton Sollars of LaFontaine, Ind. recorded his first hornet feature victory ever at the quarter-mile Grant County oval.
Non-Wing Sprint Cars
Meseraull got the jump on his fellow front-row starter, Tyler Hewitt of Marion, Ind., at the start of the first 21-lap sprint feature, but Hewitt stuck close to him and the timing transponders had him leading lap eight. Meseraull was not to be denied in the Simon Racing No. 23S DRC Claxton Chevy, however, and he was back on top on lap nine and led the rest of the way in the non-stop race for the $2,000 victory. The Covington, Ohio-based team is sponsored by USI Cable Corp., Mark Knupp Muffler and Tire, and Fortney Performance.
Swanson started seventh, teetered between fourth and fifth for the first 15 laps, and passed both Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind. and Hewitt on lap 15 to move into second. He was only 0.251 seconds behind Meseraull at the checkered.
Weir, the track point leader, finished third followed by Tye Mihocko of Phoenix, Ariz., and Hewitt.
Polesitter Koby Barksdale, a native of Norman, Okla., made the most of his starting spot in the second 21-lap sprint feature and led the first 10 laps.
Sixteen-year-old Emerson Axsom of Franklin, Ind., who just hours earlier was named as the new driver of the Clauson Marshall Racing Driven2Save Lives No. 39BC, started fourth and passed Brayden Clark of Tipton, Ind. for second on lap five. He seemed poised to pass Barksdale for the lead with seven laps down but a yellow for two accidents in both Turn 2 and Turn 4 wiped that out. He got by Barksdale for good on lap 11 before another yellow flew on lap 11.
Axsom was competing in only his third sprint car event ever and his first night of dirt sprint car racing ever. His previous experience came through Nolen Racing, when he recorded sixth- and fourth-place finishes on the pavement at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway in July. He also tested a dirt sprint car with that team one time at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.
Swanson started way back in 11th, but he broke into the top five on lap four, ran third from laps six through 11, and passed Barksdale for second on lap 12. He flew around the outside of Axsom on lap 17 in Turn 2 to take the lead and then immediately had to take evasive action for a spinning Aaron Davis of Windfall, Ind., in Turn 4, who brought out the second and final yellow.
Swanson and the Daming Excavating DRC Rider Chevy No. 5T were up to all challenges on the restart and the owner of Jake Swanson Shock Technology enjoyed a 1.813-second victory over Axsom for his first feature victory ever at this track. Barksdale finished third. Colten Cottle of Kansas, Ill. and Max Guilford of Auckland, New Zealand rounded out the top five.
There were two red flags during the evening and they both came in the second sprint B-main. Travis Hery of Hilliard, Ohio flipped in Turn 1 at the initial start of the race. Then with seven laps down, Paul Dues of Minster, Ohio got up on the outer fence on the frontstretch while running 12th. The car of the driver who had been running 11th, Rodderick Payne Jr., also received extensive damage. All the drivers got out of their cars under their own power.
Gas City I-69 Speedway is dark on Friday, Aug. 27 to allow its drivers and fans to attend the Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts Sprint Car Smackdown X at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.
Gas City is back in action over the Labor Day weekend with the Labor Day Classic on Friday, Sept. 3. Non-wing sprint cars, modifieds, street stocks, hornets, and USAC SpeeD2 Midget Thunder midgets are on the card. It’s a big night for the street stock division, as it will feature the “Street Stock Rumble” with a $7,000 purse, $1,000 going to the winner, and $100 to start the feature. Fireworks will also be included in a show that only costs $15 for an adult general admission ticket, with kids 12 and under free. A pit pass costs $30.
The pit gates will open at 3 p.m. and the grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. and the racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
The complete 2021 schedule and more information are 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. The quarter-mile dirt oval is about halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, and attracts drivers and fans from all over the Midwest.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 1 Qualifying: 1. Emerson Axsom, 12.271; 2. Max Guilford, 12.383; 3. Tyler Hewitt, 12.504; 4. Tyler Kendall, 12.624; 5. Kyle Shipley, 12.678; 6. Jack James, 12.879; 7. Toby Alfrey, 13.024; 8. Gage Etgen, 13.058.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 2 Qualifying: 1. Dustin Ingle, 12.280; 2. Colten Cottle, 12.290; 3. Tye Mihocko, 12.325; 4. Zack Pretorius, 12.363; 5. Ryan Barr, 12.790; 6. Ted Kirkpatrick, 13.056, 7. Rodderick Payne Jr., 13.213.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 3 Qualifying: 1. Jake Swanson, 12.023; 2. Evan Mosley, 12.144; 3. Scotty Weir, 12.163; 4. Travis Hery, 12.442; 5. Paul Dues, 12.493; 6. Scott Evans, 12.509; 7. Jimmy Gardner, 12.891.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 4 Qualifying: 1. Anthony D’Alessio, 11.979; 2. Brayden Clark, 12.280; 3. Tim Creech, 12.351; 4. Thomas Meseraull, 12.414; 5. Koby Barksdale, 12.417; 6. Aaron Davis, 12.504; 7. Jack Hoyer, 13.064.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps, 4 transfer): 1. Tyler Hewitt, 2. Tyler Kendall, 3. Max Guilford, 4. Emerson Axsom, 5. Kyle Shipley, 6. Gage Etgen, 7. Toby Alfrey, 8. Jack James.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps, 4 transfer): 1. Tye Mihocko, 2. Zack Pretorius, 3. Colten Cottle, 4. Dustin Ingle, 5. Ryan Barr, 6. Rodderick Payne Jr., 7. Ted Kirkpatrick, 8. David Gross.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps, 4 transfer): 1. Scotty Weir, 2. Jake Swanson, 3. Evan Mosley, 4. Travis Hery, 5. Paul Dues, 6. Scott Evans, 7. Jimmy Gardner.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 4 (8 laps, 4 transfer): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Tim Creech, 3. Anthony D’Alessio, 4. Brayden Clark, 5. Aaron Davis, 6. Koby Barksdale, 7. Jack Hoyer.
Non-Wing Sprint B-Main 1 (10 laps): 1. Kyle Shipley, 2. Koby Barksdale, 3. Scott Evans, 4. Jack Hoyer, 5. Aaron Davis, 6. Tony Alfrey, 7. Jack James, 8. Rodderick Payne Jr., 9. Ted Kirkpatrick, 10. Gage Etgen, 11. Ryan Barr, 12. Paul Dues, 13. David Gross, 14. Jimmy Gardner (DNS).
Non-Wing Sprint B-Main 2 (10 laps, 8 transfer): 1. Kyle Shipley, 2. Anthony D’Alessio, 3. Evan Mosley, 4. Dustin Ingle, 5. Zack Pretorius, 6. Jack Hoyer, 7. Aaron Davis, 8. Ted Kirkpatrick, 9. Gage Etgen, 10. Jack James, 11. David Gross, 12. Paul Dues, 13. Roderick Payne Jr., 14. Toby Alfrey, 15. Travis Hery, 16. Jimmy Gardner (DNS), 17. Ryan Barr (DNS), 18. Scott Evans (DNS).
First Non-Wing Sprint Feature (21 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Thomas Meseraull (2); 2. Jake Swanson (7); 3. Scotty Weir (4); 4. Tye Mihocko (3); 5. Tyler Hewitt (1); 6. Colten Cottle (10); 7. Max Guilford (9); 8. Tyler Kendall (5); 9. Emerson Axsom (13); 10. Brayden Clark (16); 11. Tim Creech (8); 12. Koby Barksdale (18); 13. Anthony D’Alessio (12); 14. Kyle Shipley (17); 15. Travis Hery (15); 16. Evan Mosley (11); 17. Dustin Ingle (14); 18. Scott Evans (19); 19. Zac Pretorius (6); 20. Jack Hoyer (20).
Lap leaders: Lap 1-7, Meseraull; lap 8, Hewitt; laps 9-21, Meseraull.
Margin of victory: 0.251 seconds
Fastest race lap: Hewitt, 12.272, lap 6.
Second Non-Wing Sprint Feature (21 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Jake Swanson (11); 2. Emerson Axsom (4); 3. Koby Barksdale (1); 4. Colten Cottle (7); 5. Max Guilford (6); 6. Tye Mihocko (9); 7. Thomas Meseraull (12); 8. Dustin Ingle (16); 9. Kyle Shipley (13); 10. Scotty Weir (10);
11. Anthony D’Alessio (14); 12. Tyler Hewitt (8); 13. Evan Mosley (15); 14. Tyler Kendall (5); 15. Jack Hoyer (18); 16. Zack Pretorius (17); 17. Brayden Clark (3); 18. Ted Kirkpatrick (20); 19. Aaron Davis (19); 20. Tim Creech (2).
Lap leaders: Laps 1-10, Barksdale; laps 11-16, Axsom; laps 17-21, Swanson.
Margin of victory: 1.813 seconds.
Fastest race lap: Swanson, 12.875, lap 17.