GAS CITY, Ind. — Thomas Meseraull celebrated his 40th birthday in victory lane following both the 25-lap non-winged sprint car feature and the 20-lap USAC Midget Cup series feature Friday night as Gas City I-69 Speedway opened its season.
Scotty Weir got the best of polesitter Clinton Boyles at the start of the sprint feature before Boyles flipped the famous Paul Hazen No. 57 in turn four before one lap of the sprint feature was in the books. Luckily the rest of the field missed him and the former track champion crawled out unhurt.
Weir led the first seven laps, holding off Ricky Lewis first, then Zack Pretorius and finally Meseraull, who passed Pretorius for second on lap six. Meseraull charged to the outside of Weir in turn four working lap eight and led the rest of the way. His rivals had another chance on a restart following a red for Harley Burns of Brazil, Ind., who flipped between turns three and four with nine laps down.
Jason McDougal, who originally lined up beside Meseraull in row three in the 24-car field in the Michael Dutcher Motorsports No.17GP, passed Weir on lap 16 and went on to finish second, 3.263 seconds after Meseraull took the checkered. Meseraull also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 11 with a time of 12.168 seconds for the quarter-mile dirt oval.
He was in the Don Whitney Racing No. 00 Hawk/Stensland which is sponsored by Ultracell, Physical Medicine Consultants and Pro Strip.
Weir held on for third followed by Shane Cottle. Garrett Aitken started 24th and last but finished fifth.
The USAC Midget Cup feature, which was for open midgets, SpeeD2 midgets and 1,000cc mini-sprints, had a flip before one lap was in the books just like the sprint car feature did. This time it was Greg Mitchell, who caught a tractor tire on the inside of turn four near the frontstretch and flipped, but emerged under his own power.
Young Emerson Axsom led from lap one through lap 14, when Adam Taylor flipped in turn two while running tenth. Meseraull, who had started 16th after qualifying by winning the B-main, passed Axsom for the lead on the outside of turn four on lap 15 after the restart and never looked back.
His margin of victory over Axsom was 1.633 seconds with the RMS Racing/EnviroFab/Guess Performance Parts Spike/Speedway Toyota No. 7x.
Cottle, who like Meseraull was driving in both the sprint and midget divisions, finished third. Jarett Andretti finished fourth and Chett Gehrke rounded out the top five.
Following a bizarre lap 19, Bub Roberts got the lead for the second time on the 20th and final lap to win the modified feature. Mike Fincher had a bit more padding, as he led the final two laps to win the 15-lap street stock feature.
A familiar name was in victory lane following the 15-lap hornet feature, as James Headley Jr. won that main event after a spirited battle with Nick Edwards, who was making his first start in the No. 02.