USAC Sprints: Bacon Keeps Meseraull at Bay for Gas City Victory

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GAS CITY, Ind. — official series release — Brady Bacon Racing photo —

Brady Bacon held on in a frenetic 30-lapper Friday at Gas City I-69 Speedway, edging past a last-lap Thomas Meseraull slide job through the final set of corners to take his third AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory of the season.

Meseraull cut under fellow front-row starter Jon Stanbrough off turn-two to take the opening lead, as most of the field stuck to the bottom half of the quarter-mile. Dave Darland was on the move early, as he ducked past Stanbrough for the second spot on lap four.

A large lead for Meseraull was erased on lap eight with a caution for Kyle Robbins, and put Darland right on his tailtank. Darland finally cut the bottom underneath Meseraull for the lead on lap 13, but by that time Bacon had jumped to the top while C.J. Leary was running the high side from 16th into the top-ten.

Just as Bacon took the third spot, the caution flew just short of halfway. Darland decided to head to the high side on the restart, but Bacon was strong and looked underneath off turn-two for the lead on lap 17. He completed the pass on the other end and tried to separate himself from the pack.

Traffic was thick in front of Bacon, and Darland reeled him back in with less than ten laps to go. As Darland tried to scoot low, Meseraull stuck to the high side and squeezed past Darland off turn-two on lap 26 to retake the second spot. He ran down Bacon in the closing laps and drew to his back bumper as the duo took the white flag.

Bacon bobbled a bit into turn-three on the final set of corners as Meseraull tried the bottom, but it was Bacon with the momentum to win the race to the line by .403-seconds for his 11th career victory in the Hoffman Auto Racing – Mean Green No. 69 Triple X/Williams Mopar.

“I saw Thomas (Meseraull) at the end, and that got me a little nervous knowing he could get a decent run off the bottom, but we got a good enough run and got some good momentum back after a tough weekend at Eldora,” said Bacon, who also set his fourth ProSource “Fast Time” of the year earlier in the night. “We’ve had good cars, and tonight it was time to make something happen and take a chance up top.

“I couldn’t get clear of that traffic for like four laps, and I had to try to putt around the bottom to clear them, which almost cost me the lead. I got back to the top and tried to keep my momentum up over the last few laps.”

Meseraull completed an impressive performance for his best career finish in the second-spot aboard the Keen’s Body Shop – Spirit Transport No. 18x DRC/Claxton.

“I just kept thinking ‘I’ve got a shot at this,” Meseraull said. “I probably should have tried to slide him into one, but I thought I’d wait for three. Brady is one of the best and moved down just enough to slide across three and hold me off. That’s as close as I’ve ever gotten to winning a USAC show, and that’s the goal for us. It was an awesome race, and I’m so happy to see Gas City this way. Racing up front with those guys, it’s eat or be eaten and so much fun.”

Darland rounded out the top-three in the Phillips/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Trench Shoring No. 71P DRC/Foxco.

“I knew the top was looking good as the race went on, and I went up there after the mid-race restart, but I wasn’t quite aggressive enough,” Darland admitted. “We tried to get him back in traffic, but we just weren’t in the right spot at the right time and ended up giving a spot back. We still got out of here with a third-place run, and the track was great and allowed us to race hard for the win tonight, so thanks to the O’Connors.”

Stanbrough held on for the fourth spot and Leary finished his drive from 16th by taking the fifth spot at the checkered flag.

RESULTS: AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series; Gas City I-69 Speedway; Gas City, Ind.; May 15, 2015

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Thomas Meseraull, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Jon Stanbrough, 5. C.J. Leary, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Tracy Hines, 9. Shane Cottle, 10. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 11. Justin Grant, 12. Jerry Coons, Jr., 13. Logan Jarrett, 14. Landon Simon, 15. Max McGhee, 16. Casey Shuman, 17. Chris Windom, 18. Aaron Farney, 19. Kyle Robbins, 20. Matt Goodnight, 21. Josh Spencer, 22. Conner Donelson.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Meseraull, Laps 13-16 Darland, Laps 17-30 Bacon.


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