Thomas Meseraull used an outside pass of Chris Windom in turn four on a green-white-checker restart to win the opening night of the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ USAC Nationals at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota, while Brent Crews led wire-to-wire in dominating in POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League competition at Jacksonville (Il.) Speedway as Toyota-powered drivers swept Friday’s two national midget car feature events.
It was Kevin Thomas Jr. who dominated much of the night at Huset’s, immediately taking the lead with Daison Pursley, Windom, Meseraull and Buddy Kofoid falling in behind him to round out the top-five.
Windom would move up to second behind Thomas and the two would hold down the two top spots for the first 20 laps of the scheduled 30-lap feature with Meseraull climbing into third. Thomas held a 0.273-second advantage on lap 21 before getting up high on the track and suffering a flat right rear tire, ending his chances for victory.
On the restart, Windom took over the top spot with Shane Golobic moving past Meseraull on lap 23 before Meseraull returned the favor on lap 27, reclaiming second as the laps began to wind down. Things tightened coming to the checkered with Windom, Meseraull and Mitchel Moles fighting for the win before a yellow flag waved, resetting the field to their positions at the end of lap 29 and setting up a green-white-checker finish.
On the restart, Meseraull stayed on the high side as Windom went low with Meseraull powering into the lead coming out of turn four. He then held off Windom for his third USAC victory of the season as Golobic placed third. Kofoid would finish fourth and Daison Pursley made it four Toyotas in the top five with a fifth-place showing.
With the runner-up finish, Windom moved up to second past Emerson Axsom, who was forced to retire early. Windom, the 2020 series champion, now trails Kofoid by just 19 points.
USAC is back at Huset’s Speedway the next two nights.
In POWRi, it was all Crews, who led start-to-finish in earning his fourth win of the season. Starting from the outside of the front row, the 13-year-old CB Industries driver would take the lead heading down the back straight on lap one and quickly pulled away from the field, opening up a 1.547-second lead by lap three.
The only thing able to slow Crews the rest of the way would be caution flags as he drove off to his fourth win in the last seven POWRi events. Jake Neuman would finish second, with Karter Sarff third and Kaylee Bryson in fourth.
With the victory, Crews now trails fellow Toyota driver Bryant Wiedeman by just 60 points in the championship race with eight races remaining on the schedule.
POWRi heads to Spoon River Speedway in Canton, Ill., on Saturday night.
Toyota Driver Quotes:
Thomas Meseraull, RMS Racing: “We had a little bit of luck our way tonight. Hats off to my guys, we’ve been so good lately. I think we’ve had the fastest car out here over the last five races. We opted for a harder tire and it seemed to work for us. I was surprised to see Chris go to the bottom, but momentum was key and I just ripped the lip. Nice to be here in front of this amazing crowd.”
Brent Crews, CB Industries: “I want to thank everyone who works on this car for all they’ve done. I also have to thank Pristine Auction, TRD and everyone who helps support us.”