By CAREY FOX
PUTNAMVILLE, IN – Lincoln Park Speedway roared back to life on Saturday evening with the Midwest Sprint Car Series on hand to contest the “Indiana Open Wheel Racin’ Fest, which paid $4,000-to-win.
Thomas Meseraull, or T-Mez as he’s come to be known, put on a dominating show for a packed house in Putnamville. The San Jose, Calif. hot shoe started seventh in the 30-lap A-main and eventually lapped all the way up to ninth-place at the finish to claim the lion’s share of the purse on opening night.
Jeff Deckard of Ellettsville was the UMP Modified feature victor as he held off the challenges of Roy Bruce Jr. and Kenny Carmichael Jr. Steve Peeden won from the pole in the UMP Super Stock A-main to win over Wes McClara. The bomber feature went to Jordan Almanza and the secondary feature went to Harley Burns.
Forty sprint cars were on hand to chase the big payday to start the season at LPS with the Midwest Sprint Car Series including defending series points champion Brady Short and race winner Shane Cottle.
Carson Short was the top dog in group qualifying with a time of 12.932.
Four 10-car heat races made for a battle to be one of the 16 cars automatically locked into the night’s A-main. Chad Boespflug, Kody Swanson, Carson Short and Shane Cockrum won their heat races. With the large field, a C-main was contested as Tyler Rust scored the win and advanced into the B-main along with Hunter O’Neal, Kendall Ruble and Lukas Smith.
Only the top-four came from the B-main to the main event as Jeff Bland Jr. came away with the win over Ethan Barrow, Dakota Jackson and O’Neal.
Boespflug started the 30-lap feature on the pole alongside Swanson with Carson Short and Cockrum in the second row. Once the field took the green flag it was Meseraull that rocketed to the front by lap five. Boespflug would slip back into a three-way battle for fourth with Short and Jarett Andretti. Up front it was Meseraull that started to build his lead after a caution on the second lap.
On the re-start, Meseraull put the Michael Dutcher-owned No. 17gp on a rail as Brent Beauchamp gave chase. Kody Swanson slipped back after a brief duel for second with Beauchamp. Meseraull quickly built a several car length lead by the 10th circuit ahead of Beauchamp. Behind him, Jon Stanbrough had moved up to challenge Andretti for the third position. Swanson, Brady Short and Boespflug were in contention 3-wide for the fifth spot.
At the midway point, Meseraull had roared out to a half straightaway lead over the field. Beauchamp had settled into second ahead of Andretti. On lap 17, Meseraull was working his way through some lapped traffic that failed to slow his dominant run.
With five laps to go, Meseraull had built a full straight away lead over the field as he drove to the victory. Beauchamp, Andretti, Brady Short and Stanbrough wrapped up the top-five finishers.
In the UMP Modified A-main, Deckard took over the lead by the fifth lap after Bruce started on the pole ahead of Deckard and RJ Pruitt.
Once Deckard gained the top spot, he was flawless in picking his lines to remain out front. Kenny Carmichael Jr. made a pass to take over the third spot on lap 13 and he would hold down that spot the rest of the way to finish behind Deckard and Bruce with Pruitt in fourth.
In the UMP Super Stock feature, Peeden picked up where he left off last season after winning the UMP DIRTcar Sportsman national championship. The Paragon, Ind. native started on the outside of McClara, but grabbed the early lead. He would stay out front the rest of the way despite McClara’s challenges throughout the 20-lap feature. Peeden navigated lapped traffic the final 10 laps to win over McClara and Doug McCullough.
Almanza picked up his heat race win despite an early spin and started outside of the front row for the bomber feature.
The Roachdale, Ind. driver had challenges from Charles Sloan throughout the main event, but came home with the win.
Midwest Sprint Car Series
“Indiana Open Wheel Racin’ Fest”
1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Brent Beauchamp, 3. Jarrett Andretti, 4. Brady Short, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. A.J. Hopkins, 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Chad Boespflug, 9. Carson Short, 10. Dakota Jackson, 11. Ethan Barrow, 12. Kody Swanson, 13. Shane Cockrum, 14. Max McGhee, 15. Nate McMillin, 16. Kyle Cummins, 17. Hunter O’Neal, 18. Donny Brackett, 19. Brandon Morin, 20. Jeff Bland Jr., 21. Hunter Schuerenberg
B-main winner: Bland Jr.
C-main winner: Tyler Rust
Heat race winners: Boespflug, Swanson, C. Short, Cockrum