GAS CITY, Ind., Aug. 4 — In front of the largest crowd so far this year at Gas City I-69 Speedway, Thomas Meseraull of Waveland, Ind., started second, went to the head of the class on the second lap, and stayed there to win a fast and furious, non-stop, 25-lap non-wing sprint car feature Friday night as the highlight of the Thompson Trucking and Equipment-sponsored “Back-to-School Bash.”
Chett Gehrke of Shepherdsville, Ky. won the 20-lap USAC SpeeD2 midget feature, and point leader Matt Hedrick of Rushville, Ind. was triumphant in the 20-lap UMRA TQ midgets’ main event.
Bub Roberts of Warren, Ind. won his first 20-lap UMP modified feature of the year at the quarter-mile dirt oval.
John and Sherril Long, owners of One More Time Motorsports, posted an extra $1,000 in purses for the 15-lap thunder car and front-wheel-drive compact features, which were won by Ervin Turner of Marion, Ind. and Josh Gamblin of Kokomo, Ind., respectively.
In the wildest and most spectacular event of the night, Jim Ashton of Anderson, Ind., won the first school bus race in the track’s history during intermission.
Meseraull, aka “T-Mez,” had things well in hand in Don Whitney Racing’s No. 00, which is a Hawk chassis sponsored by Physical Medicine Consultants and Infinity Shocks and powered by a Stensland-prepped engine. He had a healthy lead over Dallas Hewitt, who started right behind him, at the checkered. The battle for third was the barnburner. In the end Shane Cottle took the position over Dave Darland and Shane Cockrum. It was the second victory of the year for Meseraull at the popular track in a show that finished before 11:30 p.m. despite presenting six classes of competition featuring 104 cars.
Gehrke started on the pole of the midget feature with Stratton Briggs alongside him. Briggs, who won the other D2 midget feature here in June, grabbed the initial lead but got out of shape on the backstretch on the first lap. Gehrke capitalized and went on to lead every lap despite several yellows and a red that tightened up the field. The red was for Tayte Williamson, who flipped in Turn 4 with 18 laps down but was unhurt. Aaron Leffel finished second and Brad Strunk came from tenth to finish third. Cory Guingrich passed Briggs on the last lap for fifth.
Mark Nieft Jr. flipped between Turns 1 and 2 in the third midget heat but got out of his car under his own power.
Hedrick, a deputy for the Rush County Sheriff’s Department, took no prisoners and led every lap of the TQ midget feature from the pole to extend his UMRA point lead. Trailing Hedrick’s No. 33, which is sponsored by INTAT Precision, Rush Memorial Hospital and L & S Sanitation Service, were Joey Paxson, Tate Martz, Robbie Roland and Matt Lux.
Nelson Stewart, father of racing superstar Tony Stewart, flipped in Turn 4 with 11 laps down but climbed out unhurt, signed a release waiver for the ambulance crew, and soldiered on to finish 14th after the wrecker crew got his TQ back on all four wheels.
Roberts started on the pole of the modified feature and fought off all his rivals despite six cautions that tightened up the field. Trailing Roberts, whose car is supported by Zeller Construction, Brickley Construction and Wesco Farms, were Daniel Russell, Jamie Lomax, Bradley Jameson and Dillon Nusbaum.
Thunder car point leader D.J. Holt flipped in Turn 4 with seven laps down in that feature while battling for the lead. With only two laps to go Braxton Strait did that move one better when his car caught on fire after he flipped in about the same spot. Neither was hurt. By the time Strait’s accident was cleaned up the race’s time limit had been reached, and Turner was declared the winner over Justin Wheeler, Greg Long, Bryce Krider and Strait.
Gamblin started on the pole and led all 15 laps of the FWD compact feature. Gage Allen was on his car’s rear bumper at the finish, while Brandon Nutter placed third. Eric Solms’ Silver Bullet spun to a stop in front of the flagstand on the first lap but he came back to finish fourth. James Headley Jr. rounded out the top five.
Gas City has two more shows scheduled in August; they’re slated for Aug. 17 (non-wing sprints, UMP modifieds, super streets and FWD compacts) and Aug. 31 (BOSS winged sprints, winged outlaw micro-sprints, UMP modifieds and thunder cars). The USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars and the USSA Kenyon midgets visit Gas City on Sept. 7 in a card that includes three additional divisions, and the season concludes Sept. 28 with the big James Dean Classic.
For details on each program, please see the track’s schedule on its Web site at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).The results:
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Jarett Andretti, 2. Dallas Hewitt, 3. Clinton Boyles, 4. Evan Mosley, 5. Adam Byrkett, 6. Matt Mconald, 7. Zane Hendricks, 8. Jamie Fredrickson, 9. Parker Fredrickson.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Shane Cockrum, 2. Chase Jones, 3. Shane Cottle, 4. Isaac Chapple, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Garrett Abrams, 7. Gage Etgen, 8. Bryar Schroeter, 9. Tyler Kendall.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Travis Hery, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Tyler Hewitt, 5. Billy Cribbs, 6. Ted Hines, 7. Luke Harbison, 8. Jacob Gordon.
Non-Wing Sprint B Main (10 laps): 1. Matt McDonald, 2. Garrett Abrams, 3. Zane Hendricks, 4. Ted Hines, 5. Gage Etgen, 6. Jamie Fredrickson, 7. Jacob Gordon, 8. Luke Harbison, 9. Parker Fredrickson, 10. Bryar Schroeter, 11. Tyler Kendall.
Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Dallas Hewitt, 3. Shane Cottle, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Shane Cockrum, 6. Clinton Boyles, 7. Jarett Andretti, 8. Isaac Chapple, 9. Travis Hery, 10. Garrett Abrams, 11. Tyler Hewitt, 12. Evan Mosley, 13. Matt Goodnight, 14. Matt McDonald, 15. Adam Byrkett, 16. Zane Hendricks, 17. Ted Hines, 18. Billy Cribbs, 19. Gage Etgen, 20. Chase Jones.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Chett Gehrke, 2. John Watson, 3. Cory Guingrich, 4. Brad Strunk, 5. Tray Osborne, 6. Tom Bigelow, 7. Tayte Williamson.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Stratton Briggs, 2. Nathan Foster, 3. Brent Watson, 4. Kyle Kriegbaum, 5. Don Bigelow, 6. Brandson Watson.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Aaron Leffel, 2. Anthony Haas, 3. Kevin Blue, 4. Jon Steed, 5. Tyler Keys, 6. Mark Nieft Jr.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Feature (20 laps): 1. Chett Gehrke, 2. Aaron Leffel, 3. Brad Strunk, 4. Cory Guingrich, 5. Stratton Briggs, 6. John Watson, 7. Tray Osborne, 8. Anthony Haas, 9. Nathan Foster, 10. Brent Watson, 11. Kevin Blue, 12. Kyle Kriegbaum, 13. Don Bigelow, 14. Tyler Keys, 15. Tom Bigelow, 16. Jon Steed, 17. Tayte Williamson, 18. Brandson Watson, 19. Mark Nieft Jr. (DNS).
UMRA TQ Midget Heat 1 (6 laps): 1. Tate Martz, 2. Matt Lux, 3. Cory Clay, 4. Aaron Percell, 5. Austin Nigh, 6. Callie Wolfsiffer.
UMRA TQ Midget Heat 2 (6 laps): 1. Robbie Roland, 2. Devin Fairchild, 3. Stephen Arnold, 4. Bobby DeWitt, 5. Layne Beard, 6. Brandon Watson.
UMRA TQ Midget Heat 3 (6 laps): 1. Matt Hedrick, 2. Joey Paxson, 3. Ron Combs, 4. Nelson Stewart, 5. Tyler Wooten, 6. Ashlea Albertson.
UMRA TQ Midget Feature (20 laps): 1.Matt Hedrick, 2. Joey Paxson, 3.Tate Martz, 4. Robbie Roland, 5. Matt Lux, 6. Austin Nigh, 7. Ron Combs, 8. Aaron Percell, 9. Stephen Arnold, 10. Devin Fairchild, 11. Tyler Wooten, 12. Callie Wolsiffer, 13. Cory Clay, 14. Nelson Stewart, 15. Layne Beard, 16. Ashlea Albertson, 17. Bobby Dewitt, 18. Brandon Watson.
UMP Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Bradley Jameson, 2. Bub Roberts, 3. Andy Bischop, 4. Jerry Bland Jr., 5. Lance Krider, 6. Bruce Hogue, 7. Tyler Teegarden.
UMP Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Jamie Lomax, 2. Daniel Russell, 3. Dillon Nusbaum, 4. Jon Raney, 5. Bill Lewis, 6. Doug St. Myers.
UMP Modified Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Jim Mallery, 2. Garrett Jameson, 3. Glenn Bradley, 4. Jessica Sroufe, 5. Ryan Ramseyer, 6. Cole Murray.
UMP Modified Feature (20 laps): 1. Bub Roberts, 2. Daniel Russell, 3. Jamie Lomax, 4. Bradley Jameson, 5. Dillon Nusbaum, 6. Andy Bishop, 7. Garrett Jameson, 8. Bill Lewis, 9. Lance Krider, 10. Jessica Sroufe, 11. Ryan Ramseyer, 12. Jon Raney, 13. Jim Mallery, 14. Glenn Bradley, 15. Bruce Hogue, 16. Tyler Teegarden, 17. Doug St. Myers, 18. Jerry Bland Jr., 19. Cole Murray.
Thunder Car Heat (4 laps): 1. Ervin Turner, 2. D.J. Holt, 3. Mark Keith, 4.Justin Wheeler, 5. Bryce Krider, 6. Stevie Clark, 7. Braxton Strait, 8. Greg Long (DNS).
Thunder Car Feature (15 laps): 1. Ervin Turner, 2. Justin Wheeler, 3. Greg Long, 4. Bryce Krider, 5. Braxton Strait, 6. D.J. Holt, 7. Stevie Clark, 8. Mark Keith.
FWD Compact Heat 1 (4 laps): 1. Josh Gamblin, 2. Randy Brommer, 3. Eric Solms, 4. Dillon Loudy, 5. Greg Adams, 6. James Headley Jr. 7. Brad Evans.
FWD Compact Heat 2 (4 laps): 1. Jacob Beard, 2. Brandon Nutter, 3. Gage Allen, 4. Kolten Sollars, 5. Alyssa Clark, 6. Storm Hayes, 7. Randy Owen.
FWD Compact Feature (15 laps): 1. Josh Gamblin, 2. Gage Allen, 3. Brandon Nutter, 4. Eric Solms, 5. James Headley Jr., 6. Alyssa Clark, 7. Brad Evans, 8. Greg Adams, 9. Storm Hayes, 10. Jacob Beard, 11. Randy Brommer, 12. Dillon Loudy, 13. Kolten Sollars, 14. Randy Owen (DNS).