Thomas Meseraull took the lead on lap 10 and then held off Tanner Carrick and Cannon McIntosh on a late restart to give Toyota its tenth consecutive USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series victory on night one of Midget Madness at Merced Speedway, Friday night.
The victory was the third for Meseraull and his RMS Racing team in a little over a month. Overall, Toyota-powered drivers have now won 38 national midget feature events in 2020.
Keith Kunz Motorsports teammates Daison Pursley and Carrick made up the front row for the 30-lap feature with Carrick taking the lead early, followed by Pursley and Meseraulll.
The action was intense right from the start as Carrick and Pursley would trade sliders for the top spot through the first four. Pursley would go inside through turns three and four on a cross-over move to officially take the lead on lap five, but Carrick would slide him back through one and two to re-take the top spot back on lap six. Meseraull was right there with the top two and began to apply heavy pressure, taking over the second spot from Pursley on lap eight as the top three cars ran almost side-by-side on the quarter-mile oval.
At that point, he set his sights on Carrick, sliding him through turn one to take the lead, with Carrick bouncing off the cushion coming out of turn two, allowing Meseraull to complete the pass for the point position on lap 10. Meseraull would maintain the lead as the race went, with Pursley overtaking Carrick for second.
With Meseraull encountering lapped traffic as the laps began to wind down, Pursley began to close on the leader with two laps remaining. As Meseraull came back around to take the white flag, his lead had been reduced to less than three car lengths, but Pursley’s night would come to an end as he got into an unforgiving cushion coming out of turn four that would send his car flipping down the front straight. He was unhurt and he would eventually be scored 20th.
That would set up a two-lap showdown with Meseraull leading Carrick and McIntosh to the green. Carrick would make one last run at Meseraull into turn three, but Meseraull was up to the challenge and went on to take the victory. Carrick was second, McIntosh third, Carson Macedo was fourth and Tanner Thorson placed fifth as Toyota-powered drivers swept the top-five finishing positions.
“We’ve been mediocre this past week,” said a victorious Meseraull afterward. “We just haven’t been fast, but it hasn’t been because a lack of effort. We put a coil car together and on the first night we picked up the ‘W’. Hats off to all my guys.”
The USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series closes out the 2020 season Saturday night back at Merced Speedway, where Toyota driver Chris Windom can officially clinch this year’s championship by participating.