Gas City, IN -- Thomas Meseraull of Waveland, Ind. captured the headlining 25-lap non-wing sprint car feature Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway’s “Open-Wheel Madness” show. It was a bit like heaven on earth for open-wheel fans, as with four classes the program offered the most diverse night of open-wheel racing in Indiana.
Anton Hernandez of Arlington, Texas won the first IMCA Racing Xcaliber Graphics Indiana RaceSaver 305 winged sprint car feature ever held at the quarter-mile dirt oval. Also a 25-lapper, it was co-sanctioned by CRS Sprints. Tyler Nelson of Indianapolis won the 20-lap open-competition midget feature, and Joey Paxson of Connersville, Ind. topped the 15-lap UMRA three-quarter-midget’s main event during “Hoosier Auto Racing Fans (HARF) Night.”
There were 30 non-wing sprint cars, 24 305 winged sprint cars, 34 midgets and 17 TQ midgets on hand.
“T Mez” started fifth in the 20-car non-wing sprint car feature in the No. 47, a DRC chassis which is owned by Tom Eades of Sharpsville, Ind., powered by a Stensland-prepared Chevy engine, sponsored by Physical Medicine Consultants of Fort Wayne, Ind., and wrenched by Allen Brown of Kokomo, Ind.
Polesitter Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, Ohio led the first 16 laps in the Ray Marshall Motorsports No. 33M Maxim until Meseraull took the lead in Turn 2. Defending track champion Clinton Boyles of Lees Summit, Mo. started 11th in Paul Hazen’s DRC but steadily moved up until he powered under Westfall for second in Turn 3 on lap 19. Westfall hung on for third followed by Shane Cottle of Kansas, Ill. in Jamie and Michelle Paul’s DRC and Tyler Hewitt of Marion, Ind. in the One More Time Motorsports Maxim. The people’s champion, Dave Darland of Atlanta, Ind., who was making his first start since flipping hard in a USAC sprint race at Eldora Speedway in Ohio on May 10, finished sixth in his wife Brenda’s DRC.
Michael Koontz of Bloomington, Ind. flipped in Turn 4 with 10 laps down, but climbed out of his car under his own power and later finished second in the midget feature.
Alex Nalon led the first eight laps of the 305 winged sprint car feature until Hernandez took the lead with a move to the outside as they went down the backstretch. There were two yellows and a red later in the race and lapped traffic made Hernandez’s job harder, but the 21-year-old driver took the checkered over Bradley Sterrett, Nalon, Jackson Slone and Ethan Barrow in a sprint car sponsored by Velocita-USA and Big D’s Pizza, among other companies.
The red flag in that race with 18 laps down was for the most bizarre accident of the night. Andy Bradley, who was fourth at the time, flipped in Turn 2, and Jordan Welch, who was sixth, flipped in Turn 4. Luckily neither needed the assistance of the ambulance crew and they’ll hope for better luck when the series returns to Gas City on Oct. 5.
Nelson came from the fifth starting spot to nab his first Gas City feature victory in the midget main event. Polesitter Michael Koontz led the first two laps before Chris Baue passed him on a restart after Oliver Akrad stopped between Turns 3 and 4. After a three-way battle for the lead between Koontz, Baue and Nelson, the latter emerged at the head of the pack on lap four and led the rest of the way. Koontz, Nick Spiedel, Aaron Leffel and Hernandez, who was doing double duty, rounded out the top five. Leffel’s effort was particularly noteworthy, as he started 15th.
Paxson started second in the TQ feature, got the jump on his teammate, Johnny Goff, at the start, and led all 15 laps. He was able to build up a huge lead, lost his advantage twice due to yellows, but still held off Tate Martz to become the fourth different winner in as many UMRA TQ midget features so far this year. Cory Clay, Matt Hedrick and Goff rounded out the top five.
The races were covered by Speed Shift TV. The beginning of the show was delayed an hour and a half due to rain.
Tomorrow (Sunday) the American Ethanol late models and modifieds will stage a show at Gas City in a program that will also include a non-points hornets race. The late model feature winner will receive $4,000 and the modified winner $1,500.
Next Friday night is the track’s “Salute to the Military” show for the Memorial Day weekend. Non-wing sprint cars, UMP modifieds, street stocks, super streets and hornets will provide the action. Those five divisions plus the first appearance of the tough trucks class will be on the card on Friday, May 31 before the USAC NOS national midgets highlight a mid-week show on Wednesday, June 5 that will also include non-wing sprint cars and 600cc non-wing mini sprints.
Fans can see the 2019 schedule and get additional information on the track’s website at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps; 4 transferred): 1. Tim Creech, 2. Tyler Hewitt, 3. Cody White, 4. Dallas Hewitt, 5. Adam Byrkett, 6. Evan Mosley, 7. Luke Hall, 8. Shawn Swim.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps; 4 transferred): 1. Michael Koontz, 2. Matt Westfall, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Koby Barksdale, 5. Shawn Westerfeld, 6. Kyle Simon, 7. Landon Simon, 8. Kevin Blue.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps; 4 transferred): 1. Shane Cottle, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Clinton Boyles, 4. Kyle Robbins, 5. Garrett Abrams, 6. Derek Crane, 7. Gary Dunkle.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 4 (8 laps; 4 transferred): 1. J.J. Hughes, 2. Brandon Rose, 3. Anthony D’Alessio, 4. Paul Dues, 5. Tyler Kendall, 6. Brayden Clark, 7. Tim Foster.
Non-Wing Sprint B Main 1 (10 laps, 4 transferred): 1. Shawn Westerfeld, 2. Garrett Abrams, 3. Adam Byrkett, 4. Landon Simon, 5. Kyle Simon, 6. Brayden Clark, 7. Luke Hall, 8. Derek Crane, 9. Shawn Swim, 10. Evan Mosley, 11. Kevin Blue, 12. Tyler Kendall, 13. Gary Dunkle (DNS), 14. Tim Foster (DNS)
Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Clinton Boyles, 3. Matt Westfall, 4. Shane Cottle, 5. Tyler Hewitt, 6. Dave Darland, 7. J.J. Hughes, 8. Dallas Hewitt, 9. Landon Simon, 10. Anthony D’Alessio, 11. Tim Creech, 12. Paul Dues, 13. Kyle Robbins, 14. Koby Barksdale, 15. Garrett Abrams, 16. Brandon Rose, 17. Adam Byrkett, 18. Cody White, 19. Shawn Westerfeld, 20. Michael Koontz.
RaceSaver 305 Winged Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Rod Henning, 2. Ethan Barrow, 3. Bradley Sterrett, 4. Patrick Kren, 5. A.J. Carlson, 6. Jordan Welch, 7. John Gurley, 8. Jack James.
RaceSaver 305 Winged Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Jackson Slone, 2. Scott Bradley, 3. Mason Day, 4. Ryan Tusing, 5. Jeff Wimmenauer, 6. Eli Lankin, 7. Saban Bibent, 8. Pete Johnson.
RaceSaver 305 Winged Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. John Paynter Jr., 2. Alex Nalon, 3. Anton Hernandez, 4. Davey Ray, 5. Kevin Champoux, 6. Coleman Chasteen, 7. Colette Mann, 8. Justin Clark.
RaceSaver/CRS 305 Winged Sprint Feature (25 laps): 1. Anton Hernandez, 2. Bradley Sterrett, 3. Alex Nalon, 4. Jackson Slone, 5. Ethan Barrow, 6. John Paynter Jr., 7. A.J. Carlson, 8. Eli Lankin, 9. Justin Clark, 10. Scott Bradley, 11. Ryan Tusing, 12. Saben Bibent, 13. Jack James, 14. Patrick Kren, 15. Mason Day, 16. John Gurley, 17. Coleman Chasteen, 18. Colette Mann, 19. Jeff Wimmenauer, 20. Davey Ray, 21. Jordan Welch, 22. Pete Johnson, 23. Kevin Champoux, 24. Rod Henning.
Open Midget Heat 1 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Emerson Axsom, 2. Nick Spiedel, 3. Justin Dickerson, 4. Stratton Briggs, 5. John Heydenreich, 6. Gunnar Lucius, 7. Chris Bounds, 8. Don Bigelow, 9. Zane Briggs, 10. Adam Schmenk, 11. Bryce Dues, 12. Alex Cogley.
Open Midget Heat 2 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Tyler Nelson, 2. Anton Hernandez, 3. Alex Watson, 4. Ian Creager, 5. Jeff Beasley, 6. Matt Cogley, 7. Kyle Kriegbaum, 8. Tyler Key, 9. Tim Key, 10. Kevin Blue, 11. Chett Gherke.
Open Midget Heat 3 (8 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Michael Koontz, 2. Chris Baue, 3. Oliver Akrad, 4. Jeff Wimmenauer, 5. Anthony Haas, 6. Aaron Leffel, 7. Tom Bigelow, 8. Chuck Taylor, 9. Jon Steed, 10. Cory Guingrich, 11. Davey Ray.
Open Midget B Main (10 laps, 5 transferred): 1. Gunnar Lucius, 2. Aaron Leffel, 3. Chris Bounds, 4. Tom Bigelow, 5. Chuck Taylor, 6. Kyle Kriegbaum, 7. Tim Key, 8. Don Bigelow, 9. Bryce Dues, 10. Tim Key, 11. Davey Ray, 12. Tyler Key, 13. Matt Cogley (DNS), 14. Zane Briggs (DNS), 15. Jon Steed (DNS), 16. Alex Cogley (DNS), 17. Kevin Blue (DNS), 18. Cory Guingrich (DNS), 19. Chett Gherke (DNS).
Open Midget Feature (20 laps): 1. Tyler Nelson, 2. Michael Koontz, 3. Nick Spiedel, 4. Aaron Leffel, 5. Anton Hernandez, 6. Gunar Lucius, 7. John Heydenreich, 8. Justin Dickerson, 9. Stratton Briggs, 10. Chris Baue, 11. Jeff Wimmenauer, 12. Chris Bounds, 13. Jeff Beasley, 14. Ian Creager, 15. Tom Bigelow, 16. Oliver Akrad, 17. Chuck Taylor, 18. Anthony Haas, 19. Kyle Kriegbaum, 20. Emerson Axsom (DNS), 21. Alex Watson (DNS).
UMRA TQ Midget Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Matt Lux, 2. Matt Hedrick.
UMRA TQ Midget Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Ron Combs, 2. Tate Martz.
UMRA TQ Midget Feature (15 laps): 1. Joey Paxson, 2. Tate Martz, 3. Cory Clay, 4. Matt Hedrick, 5. John Goff, 6. Ron Combs, 7. Robbie Roland, 8. Anthony Lawrence, 9. Matt Lux, 10. Layne Beard, 11. Stephen Arnold, 12. Rick Robinson, 13. Ashlea Albertson, 14. Stephen Davis, 15. Josh Derrickson, 16. Devin Fairchild, 17. Kris Brown.
Gas City I-69 Speedway Press Release
Photo Credit: Bill Miller