KOKOMO, Ind. — It doesn’t matter what car Thomas Meseraull finds himself in during a given weekend this year, he’s going to find a way to put it in a position to win.
After piloting the Rick Pollock-owned No. 21x; SC Racing Nos. 9x and 00; and the Heffner Racing No. 27 to top-five efforts during the course of the year this year (including an Eastern Storm win with Heffner in June), Meseraull stormed to an AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series victory with Chase Briscoe Racing on Saturday night at Kokomo Speedway.
Driving his fifth different car this season, Meseraull took the lead on lap nine and went on to put Briscoe’s No. 5B in victory lane during the opening night of the 30th annual Indiana Sprint Week presented by Camping World.
After taking only two USAC starts to reach victory lane in the Heffner car, Meseraull did it in one for Briscoe, scoring his second series win of the season and sixth of his career.
“I’m fortunate enough that the new cars I’ve been hopping into lately are top-of-the-line,” Meseraull praises. “(The Heffner No. 27) was a brand-new car, had brand-new parts and a fresh motor. Now I get to Chase Briscoe Racing and they built a new car, brand-new motor, rear end, wheels, tires, front end and shocks. I’m actually using the shocks from the 27-car because they felt so good. That makes jumping from one car to the other so much easier. You have to trust the shocks you’re running.
“I got to run those in Pennsylvania,” Meseraull added. “It was a no-brainer. I called (Heffner crew chief) Sean Michael and was like, ‘Hey, I need to get those shocks. That car’s just sitting there.’ When you build brand new stuff, if it’s not fast it’s you. Obviously, you have to get adapted to it. I mounted my seat the same in both cars. The holes from the 27-car line right up in this 5-car. It almost felt like the same ride.”
Minus a turn two, lap one tangle involving Aaron Farney, Josh Hodges and Hunter Schuerenberg, the 30-lap feature went non-stop, green-to-checkered with 2016 Tri-State Indiana Sprint Week winner Carson Short leading the charge on the opening lap after sliding up to the cushion in front of fellow front row starter Ryan Bernal.
Meanwhile, seventh-starting Meseraull was on a tear, picking up three positions on the opening lap and two more on the second circuit to pull to the runner-up spot early in the going.
On the eighth lap, Short found himself sideways at the exit of turn four as Meseraull drew near to the inside. Meseraull dove low, narrowly missing the lead by inches at the line, but set himself up for a big slider on Short for the lead entering turn one.
“He got a little bit hung off four,” Meseraull said. “You have to capitalize when guys make little mistakes. You have to go for it, but you got to be close enough to go for it and we were.
“If I’m catching you down the straightaway and I’m within a couple car lengths, I’m going to throw a slider, especially when the track’s around the top,” Meseraull continued. “I saw an opening and just kind of went for it and hoped, at the end of the night, that he wasn’t going to be mad at me about it.”
“There was a cushion all the way down the straightaway,” Short said. “As soon as I tapped that, it shot me off. (Meseraull) surprised me when he took it in there, but I know T-Mez. He wasn’t going to stop. He’s coming in there for the win.”
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