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

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On the ensuing restart, Kaeding continued to row his way to the front on the inside berm, grabbing the second position from Grant as he chopped the interval between himself and leader Boespflug to mere car lengths.

Meseraull, who just a handful of laps earlier was challenging Boespflug for the lead, broke a Jacob’s Ladder, which sent him dropping back through the field. On lap 26, while running sixth, Meseraull slapped the wall at the exit of turn four.

As Meseraull’s machine rolled slowly and helplessly down the front straightaway, Aaron Farney ramped Meseraull’s right rear wheel, but was miraculously able to keep the car from getting upside down after receiving a bit of air time.

However, much of the middle-pack in the field rapidly approached Meseraull’s car, including Darland, Landon Simon, Rob Caho, Jr., Goodnight and Mike Martin, who all plowed in. Caho and Goodnight saw their nights conclude upside down while Martin somersaulted over the stacked-up cars, landing just inside the infield pit area at the turn one wall opening.

With 10 to go, the double-file restart put Boespflug on the pole alongside Bud Kaeding. Kaeding, who had made his charge to the front on the bottom, was now relegated to the top. Kaeding had intentions to get to the bottom as soon as he could after the green flag waved, falling in line behind Boespflug low into turn one.

Boespflug swapped lines on each end of the three-eighths-mile dirt oval, hitting the bottom in turns one and two and the cushion in turns three and four as he began to distance himself from the field.

On the 29th lap, Grant glided by Bud Kaeding for the second spot and began shadowing Boespflug’s every move during the final six laps, but was never able to make much headway as Boespflug operated the racetrack with precision, flawlessly steering his way to victory lane for the second consecutive night at Badlands and taking the largest payday of his career in the highest-paying USAC Sprint Car race since the 2005 “Mopar Thunder” at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, a race won by Rob Chaney.

Following Boespflug to the finish line were Grant, Kaeding, Bernal and Stockon.

Boespflug’s two-night run in his NineEight Motorsports-EZR/AMSOIL – Creative Finishing – Midwest Shades/Maxim/Claxton at Badlands pocketed him $60,000, allowing him to bask in the riches of the highest-paying USAC race of the season and the highest-paying auto racing event in the history of the state of South Dakota.

“This is awesome,” Boespflug exclaimed. “To sweep the weekend is unbelievable. I knew it was going to be tough just because we had so many good guys here, but hats off to my crew. They busted their butts for me. I knew I was good on the bottom in turns one and two and (crew chief) Davey (Jones) told me under that last red that all I needed to do was just pick my line. I felt like we were really good everywhere, so I stuck with what I felt in the seat. I knew we needed to get a good restart, so I honed in on nailing turn four coming back to the green. We lost a little ground through the middle part of the race, but by the end, I could really stay on the cushion and rotate the corner well. I’m just so happy. I think we’ll probably stay tonight now and have a little celebration.”

Grant followed up Saturday night’s impressive third-place debut in the no. 17 with a runner-up finish on Sunday night in the Sam McGhee Motorsports/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions – Mike McGhee & Associates/Maxim/Foxco.

“I got to the front and, once again, the double-file restarts killed us,” Grant admitted. “I kept getting shuffled back and then I’d make my way forward, and then we’d have a yellow again. It just seemed like we kept taking one step forward and then two backwards. I was right there on Chad (Boespflug) probably three or four times and then we’d have a red or something. It was just frustrating because I think that should be us with that big check. Thanks to the McGhee family for letting me run their car, especially Sam for putting in so much work to make it bad fast and capable of winning.”

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