AMSOIL Sprints
Sunday, 8 May 2016


Chad Boespflug cage stands after winning Saturday night at Eldora. Chad Boespflug cage stands after winning Saturday night at Eldora. Collin Markle Photo


It’s been nearly three years since Chad Boespflug last visited victory lane in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition.  On Saturday night, the Hanford, California veteran driver put an end to that drought with an exclamation point, leading all 30 laps to claim his second career series victory and his first on the legendary high banks of Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.

From the get-go of the 30-lap feature event, pole-sitter Boespflug showed his prowess on starts, immediately pulling away from outside front row starter Kody Swanson for a quarter-straightaway advantage as the field hit turn three on the opening lap.

At the start, the man on the move was ProSource Fast Qualifier Chris Windom, already seizing the third spot from his sixth starting position by the end of lap one.

However, on lap four, fourth-running Robert Ballou attempted a turn-one slider on Windom for third, but ended up making contact with Windom, sending Windom helicoptering through the air before landing on all fours as Ballou rolled to a stop on the back straightaway and Clauson spun to avoid the carnage.  Only Clauson would restart, while Windom and Ballou took home disappointing 22nd and 23rd place finishes, respectively.

As he routinely did throughout the event, Boespflug gapped the field on the restart, building a full-straightaway lead over Swanson just seven laps in.  As Boespflug was making his way through lapped traffic, Bacon made a turn three slider on Swanson stick for the second position on the 13th lap as Meseraull tracked down Swanson, swapping the spot back-and-forth with each other until Meseraull lost ground after climbing the wall between turns three and four at the midway point.

After a caution for debris with 13 laps to go closed the interval, Bacon was able to make some headway on Boespflug, closing the distance between the two considerably, to within three car links, before a flat right rear tire on the car of Tony DiMattia brought out the yellow with just nine to go.

The war of attrition continued on the lap 23 restart when Dallas Hewitt, replacing Justin Grant in the Baldwin Bros. Racing machine on this night, made contact with the wall between turns one and two, resulting in a collapsed front end.  As Hewitt’s car slowed on the highside of turn two without its steering, another car ran over his left front wheel, it sent Hewitt flipping end-over-end at the exit of turn two.  Cole Ketcham, with no place to go, plowed into Hewitt, vaulting him into a series of flips.

Boespflug once again was dialed-in on the restart, pulling out to a healthy five car length lead over Bacon and extending his lead during the final stretch to take his first feature victory of the year in his NineEight Motorsports-EZR/Creative Finishing – Midwest Shades/Maxim/Claxton over Bacon, Meseraull, C.J. Leary, Tyler Courtney, Clauson, Swanson, Carson Short, Chase Stockon and Scotty Weir.

For Boespflug, it was an extremely rewarding victory considering his new team with Chuck Eberhardt and Fred Zirzow came together mere months ago.

“Man, this is huge,” exclaimed Boespflug.  “Over the winter last year, I did some ride-jumping and luckily Chuck, Fred and I were able to team up this year.  I had my mind set last year that I kind of wanted to do my own thing.  It’s extremely hard and costs a lot of money.  To get another USAC win, especially here, I kept telling people I didn’t want to be a one-hit-wonder.  I guess we’re not that now.”

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon ran second in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green – Lykins Oil/Triple X/Williams Mopar, staying within striking distance of point leader Meseraull as the series heads into an off-weekend before visiting Indiana’s Gas City I-69 Speedway and Brownstown Speedway on back-to-back nights May 20 and 21.

Meseraull’s birthday celebration didn’t go as well as planned early on in the night after climbing the wheel of Leary and flipping into the catchfence during the second heat race, destroying his ride.  Meseraull, of San Jose, California, not only made the backup car work well enough to take third in the feature in his Amati Racing/Marion Underground Construction – Zeller Construction/DRC/Dynotech, he also was able to retain his USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point lead over Bacon in the latest standings.

“After we tore the car up in the heat race, I’m happy to have the balls to get back on the top (of the racetrack),” Meseraull admitted.  “After that, I don’t think anybody in their right mind goes out and bangs the fence for 30 laps.  Ultimately, I’m not that smart, so I gave it a try.  We destroyed the car we qualified with, so we pulled out the backup car.  I had no faith in the backup car, but here we are up on the podium.”

Fourth-place finisher C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Indiana earned KSE “Hard Charger” of the race honors after storming from 14th to 4th in the feature in his Michael Dutcher Motorsports/Griffin’s Propane – Indiana Underground /Maxim/Fisher, finishing off a solid weekend on the high banks that netted him finishes off 2nd and 4th despite a rough start to his Saturday night.

“Thomas (Meseraull) and I got together in the heat race there and we crashed pretty hard,” Leary recalled.  “Luckily, we were able to pull out a backup car and make it through the B-Main.  I think we had something for the leaders there at the end, but we just ran out of laps.  The yellows kind of helped us and hurt us at the same time.  Every time I seemed to make a pass, the yellow would come out and they’d get their spot back.”

Saturday night’s contingency award winners included Chris Windom (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Scotty Weir (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Shane Cottle (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Robert Ballou (Benic Enterprises Third Heat Winner), Dallas Hewitt (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), C.J. Leary (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Dave Darland (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 7, 2016 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - #Let'sRaceTwo

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Chris Windom, 40, Hery-15.983; 2. Thomas Meseraull, 66, Amati-15.985; 3. Robert Ballou, 1, Ballou-16.027; 4. Max McGhee, 17, McGhee-16.048; 5. Bryan Clauson, 63, Dooling/Hayward-16.056; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-16.057; 7. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-16.106; 8. Kody Swanson, 63x, DePalma-16.113; 9. Chad Boespflug, 98E, NineEight/EZR-16.123; 10. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-16.147; 11. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-16.190; 12. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-16.198; 13. Carson Short, 21, Short-16.204; 14. C.J. Leary, 17GP, Dutcher-16.204; 15. Tony DiMattia, 50, DiMattia-16.218; 16. Dave Darland, 11, Walker/Curb-Agajanian-16.363; 17. Aric Gentry, 10, GBR-16.369; 18. Shane Cottle, 57, Hazen-16.394; 19. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-16.475; 20. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR-16.543; 21. Scotty Weir, 18x, Keen-16.546; 22. Matt Westfall, 38, Baumgartner-16.583; 23. Brandon Whited, 15, Whited-16.724; 24. Dallas Hewitt, 5, Baldwin-16.750; 25. Cole Ketcham, 41K, Ketcham-16.881; 26. Bret Mellenberndt, 97, Mellenberndt-16.980; 27. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-17.410; 28. Riley VanHise, 96, VanHise-17.655.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Weir, 2. Boespflug, 3. C.Short, 4. Windom, 5. Clauson, 6. Gentry, 7. Ketcham. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Cottle, 2. Stockon, 3. Westfall, 4. Cummins, 5. Leary, 6. Meseraull, 7. Mellenberndt. NT

BENIC ENTERPRISES THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ballou, 2. Simon, 3. DiMattia, 4. Farney, 5. Whited, 6. Goodnight, 7. Bacon. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hewitt, 2. Darland, 3. Courtney, 4. Swanson, 5. Chapple, 6. VanHise, 7. McGhee. NT

SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Clauson, 3. Meseraull, 4. Leary, 5. Ketcham, 6. Whited, 7. Chapple, 8. Gentry, 9. Mellenberndt, 10. McGhee, 11. Goodnight, 12. VanHise. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chad Boespflug, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Bryan Clauson, 7. Kody Swanson, 8. Carson Short, 9. Chase Stockon, 10. Scotty Weir, 11. Brandon Whited, 12. Aaron Farney, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Shane Cottle, 15. Dallas Hewitt, 16. Tony DiMattia, 17. Cole Ketcham, 18. Max McGhee, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Matt Westfall, 21. Landon Simon, 22. Chris Windom, 23. Robert Ballou. NT


**Meseraull and Leary flipped during the second heat. McGhee flipped during the fourth heat. Hewitt and Ketcham fipped on lap 23 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Boespflug.


NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Meseraull-590, 2-Bacon-585, 3-Stockon-569, 4-Cummins-512, 5-Darland-507, 6-Leary-506, 7-Boespflug-481, 8-Ballou-463, 9-Clauson-428, 10-McGhee-416.