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Thomas Meseraull Opens 2024 Xtreme Outlaw Midgets Season in Victory Lane at Southern Illinois Center




DU QUOIN, IL (March 15, 2024) – When it comes to racing around the dirt oval inside the Southern Illinois Center, few have mastered its narrow, 1/6-mile confines like Thomas Meseraull.

 

Friday night, the 43-year-old open-wheel racing veteran from San Jose, CA, put on another display of indoor excellence in the season opener for the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota, taking the lead five laps into the race and holding off the field the rest of the way to capture the $4,000 grand prize and the fourth Midget win of his career in the building.

 

The win also came as Meseraull’s first with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series – a sudden surprise to him when DIRTVision reporter Peyton Williams informed him of the achievement in Victory Lane.

 

“When I heard that, I actually thought he lied,” Meseraull said. “I’m like, ‘Pffft, I’ve won an Xtreme race… maybe that was a Sprint Car race, maybe I haven’t won an Xtreme [Midget] race.’

 

“It’s always nice to like, etch your name in the history books, you know what I mean? ‘Cause nobody remembers who was second.”

 

From the outside pole on the starting grid, Meseraull immediately put pressure on polesitter Tyler Edwards – making his national Midget series debut for Mounce/Stout Motorsports. Edwards led the first four circuits of the 30-lap main event, but Meseraull was right behind the entire time, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

 

“We had a yellow and he ended up at the front and I thought, ‘Okay Thomas, you really need to calm down, there’s no need to be doing sliders on Lap 1 and 2. Let’s just try to work the bottom and see if he makes a mistake,’” Meseraull said. “I was able to kinda sneak by him.”

 

Meseraull was strong on the bottom and took advantage of the shortest line around, throwing a slide job on Edwards to take the lead away on Lap 5. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for the Tim Engler-owned No. 7x as he controlled the race the rest of the way.

 

“We started up front and it just worked out,” Meseraull said.  “Track position is so important in indoor racing. I’ve been, I feel like, one of the fastest cars here several nights and ended up just in a traffic jam.”

 

Behind him, a battle for position raged on between several racers in the top five. After starting third on the grid and dropping back to fifth, Gavin Miller found speed on the top side of the track and used it to power around Ethan Mitchell, Tyler Edwards and later Shane Cottle on Lap 18 to take over second.

 

“I just had to play my cards right – pick the bottom here, pick the bottom there,” Miller said. “Just play your cards right and stay out of trouble.”

 

Throughout the final 12 laps, Miller searched for a way around leader Meseraull but was met with brute resistance.

 

“I tried getting to the top before he did so I could get to it faster and cut across and possibly pass him,” Miller said. “He was just as even as us, and he would have been really hard to pass without getting into, and I’m not going to ruin my shot to… we’ve got a whole season ahead of us and a lot more races, so I’m not gonna pull anything stupid or wreck him or wreck myself for the win.”

 

Even on the final restart, in green-white-checkered fashion, Meseraull held strong out front as Miller fought to keep his own spot in second as Zach Daum gave him a challenge on the final lap.

 

“Luckily for [Meseraull], he didn’t really make any many mistakes for me to get and advantage and pass him,” Miller said. “He did a good job, congrats to him, and we’ll try again tomorrow.”

 

Daum poked his nose to the inside of Miller after taking the white flag and appeared to have the advantage coming out of Turn 2, but Miller made use of the top-side momentum to retain second as Daum crossed behind him in third.

 

UP NEXT

 

The Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is back in action Saturday night, March 16, at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, IL, for a 40-lap, $5,000-to-win program.

 

Tickets will be on sale at the door. If you can’t be there to watch in person, stream every lap live on DIRTVision.

 

ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)

 

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 7X-Thomas Meseraull[2]; 2. 97-Gavin Miller[3]; 3. 7U-Zach Daum[7]; 4. 86-Shane Cottle[6]; 5. 71K-Cannon McIntosh[13]; 6. 51B-Joe B Miller[10]; 7. 83-Will Armitage[18]; 8. 21K-Karter Sarff[11]; 9. 56D-Mitchell Davis[22]; 10. 40-Chase McDermand[19]; 11. 19AZ-Hayden Reinbold[20]; 12. 67-Ryan Timms[8]; 13. 88A-Austin Torgerson[17]; 14. 71-Jade Avedisian[21]; 15. 56-Tyler Edwards[1]; 16. 43-Gunnar Setser[16]; 17. 25K-Taylor Reimer[15]; 18. 5U-Peter Smith[14]; 19. 14S-Tyler Smith[9]; 20. 35-Tyler Robbins[12]; 21. 19M-Ethan Mitchell[4]; 22. 55-Trevor Cline[5]

 

Photo credit – Joe Grabianowski

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