A familiar face ended up in victory lane on preliminary night one of the Gateway Dirt Nationals when Thomas Meseraull stole the victory with a last-corner pass at The Dome at America’s Center.
Meseraull kicked off the night with speed by winning his heat race, holding off NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell and Sam Johnson. Chris Windom went on to win his respective heat race over Justin Grant.
The luck of the redraw put Justin Grant on the pole of the 20-lap midget feature with the quickest guy of the night, Meseraull to his outside.
Grant got the jump on the initial green flag and it looked to be smooth sailing for the hot-shoe. However, with two laps to go it turned into slide job city between Grant and Meseraull. Meseraull threw a last corner slider to edge out Grant for the win.
“My guys told me that I had the fastest car on the track and sometimes you just have to go where they’re not,” Meseraull said. “I dialed on the shocks, and I just have to thank the guys at CSI, and put her up on the lip. We were about equal with Justin (Grant) and he’s a bad---, so I’m not just going to drive around him unless you’re better and we were just better tonight.”
Despite losing the lead on the final lap, Grant was happy with the outlook for the rest of the weekend in St. Louis.
“As they say, second sucks, but looking at the bigger picture we’re locked in for this weekend,” Grant said. “We’ve got a fast race car, just got out raced there at the end. We’ll get it tuned up for Saturday and roll from a good starting spot for $10,000 to win.”
Night two of preliminary action at Gateway Dirt Nationals will take place Friday with even more drivers gunning for their chance at $10,000 to win on Saturday.
Gateway Dirt Nationals – Midgets Night #1 Results:
1. Thomas Meseraull
2. Justin Grant
3. Blake Hahn
4. Chris Windom
5. Logan Seavey
6. Anton Hernandez
7. Tyler Courtney
8. Andrew Felker
9. Paul Nienhiser
10. Austin Brown
11. Ryan Newman
12. Tim Crawley
13. Ace McCarthy
14. Sam Johnson
15. Christopher Bell
16. Karter Sarff
17. Daniel Robinson
-Story by Madison Mabry, Speed51 Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51