HARVEST CUP CLOSES OUT 2019 SEASON
BRANDEIS MIDWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES –
32 cars and stars signed into the pits from 9 different states (IN, IL, KY, TN, MO, IA, NM, AL, CA) to do battle for the Brandeis Midwest Sprint Car Series Harvest Cup.
Chayse Hayhurst from Evansville, IN was crowned 2019 MSCS Rookie of the Year.
Kyle Cummins from Princeton, IN was crowned series Champion for the 5th time in his career (07, 08, 09, 14, 19).
Steven Schnapf from Newburgh, IN set Addiction Solutions fast time with a lap of 13.576 and received $100 for his efforts.
4 heat races were contested as 4’s were wild. Each heat race winner came from the 4th starting spot. Kyle Cummins (Princeton, IN), Kent Schmidt (Owensville, IN) Steven Schnapf (Newburgh, IN) and CJ Leary (Greenfield, IN) all won heat races.
Dakota Jackson (Elizabethtown, IN) won the B main also from the 4th starting spot.
The 30 lap $5,000 to win Harvest Cup was next on the slate. Kyle Cummins started on the pole and led all 30 laps in dominant fashion and made history as he went a perfect 8-8 on the season at Tri-State Speedway in non wing competition. Steven Schnapf, Shane Cottle, CJ Leary, and Chris Windom rounded out the top 5.
Critter Malone was the Certified Rental Hard Charger starting 14th and finishing 6th.
USAC MIDGET FEATURE –
As friends and former roommates, Jason McDougal and Kevin Thomas, Jr. have a bond that extends further than the racetrack. On the racetrack, though, each are routinely tough customers regularly waging battle against one another, giving no quarter in pursuit of triumph.
Nowhere was that more evident than Saturday night’s Harvest Cup at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. where the series made its return following a seven-year absence. The stage allowed the two to slug it out for a majority of the 30-lap main event, exchanging the lead seemingly every single lap on both ends of the track, delivering slider after slider until the final bell tolled.
The baton for the lead was passed between Logan Seavey, Thomas, McDougal and Thomas Meseraull officially speaking, six times at the line (26 times unofficially) until McDougal emerged with the lead for good 10 laps from the finish to score his second career series win and the second of the 2019 season.
The feast of sliders began right from the initial green when reigning series champ Logan Seavey bolted to the lead from the pole position into turn one. Fourth-starting Thomas made his initial bid for the lead in turn three on the opening lap before Seavey cut back under off the fourth turn to lead the opening lap.
Meanwhile, back in the pack, Tucker Klaasmeyer endured a Tommy Tipover in turn four that brought out the night’s only red flag. Klaasmeyer restarted after changing a flat left rear tire and made an impressive charge from 22nd to a 7th place finish at the checkered.
Following the restart, Seavey commanded the lead up front while Thomas and the emerging McDougal, who started 5th, began swapping the runner-up spot by lap five when McDougal moved into the spot. Two laps later, McDougal steered it deep into turn three, sliding past Seavey on the bottom and riding up over the cushion. That allowed Seavey to drive back by under McDougal while Thomas got past McDougal then took over the spot from Seavey on the eighth lap.
McDougal raced back to 2nd on lap nine, then turned up the wick on Thomas with a run off turn 4 under Thomas that moved him back to the lead by a half-car length on the 10th lap, but only momentarily, as Thomas powered back to the lead with a pair of crossovers of McDougal in turns one and three to sustain his grasp of the top spot.
Back and forth, the two attacked the quarter-mile dirt oval throughout the middle portion of the feature with McDougal repetitively diving to the bottom in turn three to nab the lead, but each time, Thomas answered by driving underneath McDougal exiting four and leading into turn one.
McDougal brought the hammer into the first turn each time, arching his car above the cushion before driving straight as an arrow down off the turn two banking with a run to the inside of Thomas in turn four. A lap 17 caution for Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier and 8th running Gio Scelzi, who slowed to a stop in turn one, put a brief hiatus to the chaos ensuing at the head of the pack.
On the restart with 13 to go, a new contender emerged in 12th starting Thomas Meseraull, himself a 3rd place finisher in the 2011 Hut 100 at Tri-State. Meseraull was in position to capitalize when Thomas slid by McDougal in turn two. McDougal and Thomas made slight bumper to bumper contact, both chocked it up, and Meseraull drove underneath both down the back straightaway and into the lead.
Meseraull withstood McDougal’s relentless pursuit over the next few laps, countering each turn three slider delivered to him on laps 18-19-20 to retain the lead at the stripe. On the 21st lap, McDougal went into action with a slider under Meseraull in turn one. This time, Meseraull launched off turn two and entered turn three side-by-side under McDougal. The two aimed to occupy the same piece of ground at the same moment at the top of turn four with Meseraull’s right front tire and McDougal’s left rear meeting face-to-face, sending Meseraull backwards into the outside wall, thus ending his bid for victory, although he did return to finish 8th after restarting from the tail.
On the lap 21 restart, McDougal was gone, opening up a full-straightaway lead over Thomas and, for all intents and purposes, putting this one on ice as he ran his preferred line in the middle. With a clear track in his sight, McDougal set the fastest lap of the race on the 24th circuit and all was right in his world.
However, a caution on lap 25 involving Karsyn Elledge and Jerry Coons, Jr. erased McDougal’s advantage and put him in the position of having to deliver the same restart performance once again and avoid a potential race-changing slider from Thomas and now 3rd running Kyle Cummins who, earlier in the night, wrapped up his undefeated Tri-State season with his 8th sprint car win in as many appearances at the track in 2019.
The next try saw McDougal escape with an eight car length lead on the restart, but only briefly as Elledge spun to a stop on the bottom of turn four on the 26th lap, forcing yet another restart and putting him in a slightly precarious position, but he knew his FMR Racing/Panther Graphics South – TRD – Mobil 1 – FK Rod Ends/Beast/Speedway Toyota was working solidly, giving him the utmost confidence to finish the job.
The final, final restart was just as peachy for McDougal as he pulled away once, twice and third and for all, pulling out to a half-straight advantage on initial lap following the restart and securing the victory by a 2.752 second margin over Thomas, Cummins, point leader Tyler Courtney and Justin Grant.
Of note, Tanner Thorson’s time of 2:59.89 set during the night’s semi-feature, established a new 12-lap USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget track record at Tri-State, eclipsing the mark set by Jerry Weeks 40 years earlier, in 1979, by nearly 17 seconds.
MMSA SEASON FINALE…
Brad Strunk piloted his lightning sprint to yet another win for 2019 to put the wraps on another season.
Twenty-two entries made their appearance to the famed Tri-State Speedway Saturday night. Strunk would have a perfect night, he won his prelim in dominate fashion and then went to pace the field of 22 to the checkers for the final time in 2019.
Brandon Smith and Anthony Haas would lead the field to green. Haas would get the jump on the field and lead the first section of the main event followed closely by Rod Henning and Brad Strunk. The trio would catch lap traffic early to help Rod Henning take the top spot, Strunk would move to second. Strunk would eventually get the better of the lap traffic to over haul Henning for the lead to cruise to the final MMSA event of 2019.
Top ten were Strunk, Henning, Trammell, Haas, Jeff Schindler, Jaylon Mills, Brandon Coffey, Brandon Smith, Cindy Chambers and Ethan Rutherford.
The feature evert went from green to checkers in a matter of less then 5 minutes.
Heat race winners were Strunk, Trammell, and Haas.
MMSA crowned their 2019 Champion also with the conclusion of this event.
Cody Trammell had a great year to win back to back series titles. Strunk would finish second, with Brandon Coffey, Keith Langley and Anthony Haas rounding out the top five for 2019.