USAC: Boespflug Bags Badlands Payday; Completes Sweep Of Rock ‘N Roll Gold Cup

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Chad Boespflup won Sunday night's Rock 'N Roll Gold Cup finale at Badlands Motor Speedway, collecting $50,000 for his efforts. (Tim Aylwin photo)

Chad Boespflup won Sunday night’s Rock ‘N Roll Gold Cup finale at Badlands Motor Speedway, collecting $50,000 for his efforts. (Tim Aylwin photo)

BRANDON, S.D. — As if his $10,000 win in Saturday’s preliminary feature wasn’t enough, Chad Boespflug took the biggest win of his career in sweeping the weekend’s USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car non-points events at Badlands Motor Speedway, taking an encore performance in Sunday night’s inaugural Rock and Roll Gold Cup for a hefty $50,000 payday.

Without USAC points on the line in the weekend’s highly-anticipated event at Badlands, each driver had a one-track-mind on possessing the substantial winner’s share at the end of the night.

That fact was evident from the get-go as one of the great big-money racers, Dave Darland, jumped out front from the pole position ahead of outside front-row starter Thomas Meseraull into turn one. Meseraull would fight back on the outside exiting two, pulling side-by-side next to Darland halfway down the back straightway with the two making slight wheel-to-wheel contact just prior to the entry to turn three.

By the second lap, fourth-starting Boespflug made his presence felt for the second straight night, blitzing the inside of the race track past Meseraull for second in turn two, then setting sail for leader Darland.

On lap five, Boespflug slid smoothly past Darland for the lead between turns one and two, then rocketed down the back straight to quickly open up a wide gap between himself and the rest of the field, extending his lead to more than two seconds over Darland in the ensuing laps.

Meanwhile, a scramble for second ensued between a number of drivers including Darland, Meseraull, Justin Grant, Bud Kaeding, Ryan Bernal and Chase Stockon.

Meseraull was able to blast past Darland one lap later for second, although by that point, Boespflug had expanded his lead to nearly a half-straightaway as he closed in on the tail end of the field.

With Meseraull on the chase, Boespflug narrowly averted calamity on lap 20. Encircled by lapped traffic as he worked his way down the front straightaway, Boespflug headed to the topside to dispose of Dylan Peterson in turn one just moments before Peterson lost control, sliding sideways to a stop in the middle of turn one and, in turn, collecting Matt Goodnight.

Bret Mellenberndt was next in line with nowhere to go, punching his left front wheel into Goodnight’s left rear, breaking the front end on Mellenberndt’s machine as he slid backward up the banking between turns one and two.

In the incident, fifth-running Bernal ramped over the left rear of fourth-running Stockon as they threaded the needle between Goodnight, Mellenberndt and the outside concrete. Both Bernal and Stockon were able to continue without a hitch.

The yellow gave Boespflug a clear track ahead and a chance to catch his breath, but it placed second-running Meseraull right beside him on the lap-20 double-file restart.

However, Boespflug’s patience would be tested when lap 20 seemed to last an eternity, with back-to-back cautions on the attempted restart seeing Dylan Peterson slow — his front end being broken after another car ran over his left front wheel — and Chris Windom spin after contact with Robert Ballou.

Boespflug’s restarts during the stretch had been replayed ad nauseam when yellow-after-yellow fell, but the Hanford, California native was up to the task when it counted, shooting out to the advantage over Meseraull when action resumed, while Grant was able to slide by Meseraull for second.

The top two of Boespflug and Grant began to open it up as Bud Kaeding climbed his way to the third spot when Darland, running eighth, found himself turned around and pointed toward the inside back straightaway wall at the exit of turn two.

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