Simon Outlasts Meseruall And Darland In Jacksonville Thriller

Top 3: Thomas Meseraull, Landon Simon, and Dave Darland. Photos by Jim DenHamer.

Contributed by POWRi Racing admin:

It was a fitting conclusion to what was a stellar 2018 season for the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League tonight as the season finale took center stage at Jacksonville Speedway. Working by Terry Babb on the fifth circuit, Landon Simon snagged the race lead and never relinquished it. His second WAR Wildcard triumph of the year was far from easy, however, as Thomas Meseraull and Dave Darland were persistent and relentless in their fierce pursuit of Simon throughout lap traffic. In the end, Simon of Tipp City, Ohio held on to become the 15th different winner in 20 WAR Sprint events and extend his WAR Wildcard points lead.

Landon Simon celebrates.

With a staggering 42 entries on hand for the Friday night showdown at the Jacksonville, Illinois quarter-mile, a five-heat race format would set the stage for a pair of B-Mains and the 25-lap main event. In heat race action, Mitchell Davis won Hinchman Racewear heat one, Chris Parkinson took Bell Racing USA heat two, Thomas Meseraull claimed Schure Built Suspension heat three, Dave Darland earned Wilwood Disc Brakes heat four, and Landon Simon snagged High Side Design heat five.

In B-Main competition, Colten Cottle kicked things off on the right foot as he charged from ninth to win Hoosier Tire B-Main and transfer to the feature with Logan Faucon and Nic Harris. In Indy Race Parts B-Main two, Slater Helt took the win and transferred along with Katlynn Leer and Korey Weyant in 3rd-from-11th. After LRB, Inc. #HighPointMan Zach Daum pulled a four for the feature inversion, the 22-car field was all set for the 25-lap shootout.

78 Rob Cano Jr. (78) and Slater Helt (22).

From the outset, Terry Babb of Decatur, Illinois bolted into the race lead aboard his No. 88 machine. The first restart following a caution for Mitchell Davis restacked the field on lap five and immediately gave Babb a challenge. Blasting the cushion, Landon Simon stormed around Babb in turns one and two snag the lead down the backstretch, but the race quickly came to a halt as Simon clicked off lap five on the front stretch.

Zach Daum (5) and Mario Clouser (6).

Following Simon on the top, Meseraull put his No. 00 up against the fence and was there to challenge Babb for second right away. Coming out of turn four, however, contact was made as Babb came off the bottom and Meseraull came down from the top. The end result sent Babb’s No. 88 for a wild and wicked flip down the front stretch, but thankfully he climbed out of the car under his own power.

Coming to the final restart with 17 laps to go, Meseraull gave Simon a fight for the lead right away. Attempting a slider into turn one, Meseraull just missed his opportunity as Simon was able to power around the outside and maintain the top spot. Hitting the halfway mark, Meseraull remained just inches off Simon’s rear bumper as both gassers finessed the cushion, which was planted against the outside wall.

Chris Parkison (65) and Korey Weyant (99).

Entering lap traffic with ten laps left, things became tricky as Dave Darland approached Simon and Meseraull at the front of the field. With five to go, the three frontrunners were battling under a blanket with each for the top spot while also navigating a thick swarm of back markers. Lap-after-lap and corner-after-corner, the intensity was building as the pressure built in the closing laps.

Battle for lead: Thomas Meseraull (00) and Landon Simon (24).

As the checkered flag dropped on the 25-lapper, it was Landon Simon aboard his DRC No. 24 crossing the finish line first and scoring his second WAR Wildcard victory of 2018 to extend his points lead down the homestretch. A jubilant Simon was ecstatic in victory lane following his thrilling triumph over Meseraull and Darland, as he became the 15th different winner in the 20th and final event of 2018 for the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League.

Coming home in second, Thomas Meseraull gave everything he had, pushing the Don Whitney Racing No. 00 to the limit every lap in hot pursuit of Simon, but a runner-up result would have to do on this night for “T-Mez.” Behind him and rounding out the podium was “The People’s Champ” Dave Darland, who drove the Goodnight Racing No. 36D to a strong third-place bid while making his presence known battling for the win in the closing stages.

Zach Daum (5) and Dave Darland (36).

Rounding out the top five on Friday night was Mario Clouser with an impressive 12th-to-4th charge aboard his No. 6 machine, and finishing fifth was LRB, Inc. #HighPointMan, Zach Daum. Closing out the top ten at Jacksonville was Korey Weyant with an incredible hard charging effort from 22nd-to-6th, Colten Cottle with a 17th-to-7th bid, Slater Helt with his own 19th-to-8th charge, Mitch Wissmiller in the ninth position from 16th and Quinton Benson in the tenth spot.

Dave Darland (36) and Wesley Smith (12).

The POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Wildcard League is tentatively scheduled to compete tomorrow, Saturday, October 6th at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, Indiana. A forecast of impending rain does not look great, but a rain date on Sunday, October 7th has already been secured. Be sure to follow along with @WARSprints on social media to remain updated on the situation at Kokomo.

Thomas Meseraull (00) and Zach Daum (5).

Hinchman Racewear Heat One (8 Laps):

1. 56-Mitchell Davis, Auburn, IL (1); 2. 12-Wesley Smith, Nixa, MO (3); 3. 16-Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN (5); 4. 57-Robbie McQuinn, Springfield, IL (2); 5. X-Robbie Standridge, Springfield, IL (6); 6. 77K-Katlynn Leer, Moulton, IA (7); 7. 7S-Wade Seiler, Alton, IL (4); 8. 72-Al Thomas, Ludlow, IL (8); 9. 41-Brad Wyatt, Kearney, MO (DNS).

Bell Racing USA Heat Two (8 Laps):

1. 65-Chris Parkinson, Gladstone, MO (1); 2. 6-Mario Clouser, Auburn, MO (2); 3. 65B-Quinton Benson, Emma, MO (3); 4. 1-Mitch Wissmiller, Saybrook, IL (5); 5. 14J-Jadon Rogers, Worthington, IN (7); 6. 8D-Justin Standridge, Springfield, IL (6); 7. 11-James Lyerla, Hillsboro, IL (8); 8. 7-Bobby Logan, Rantoul, IL (6); 9. 9-Paul Nienhiser, Chapin, IL (4).

Schure Built Suspension Heat Three (8 Laps):

1. 00-Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA (4); 2. 38-Chet Williams, Newburgh, IN (1); 3. 88-Terry Babb, Decatur, IL (7); 4. 95-Tommy Rockwell, Towanda, IL (3); 5. 45-Adam Wilfong, Indianapolis, IN (8); 6. 31-Austin Sears, Macomb, IL (6); 7. 11B-Mark Brucker, Elliott, IL (5); 8. 20-Steve Thomas, Rantoul, IL (2).

Wilwood Disc Brakes Heat Four (8 Laps):

1. 36D-Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN (2); 2. 5D-Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL (7); 3. 52F-Logan Faucon, Elkhart, IL (1); 4. 22S-Slater Helt, Harrisonville, MO (4); 5. 11W-Wyatt Burks, Topeka, KS (5); 6. 90-Riley Kreisel, Warsaw, MO (3); 7. 30-Ryan Kent, Lone Jack, MO (8); 8. 82-Vinny Ward, Warrenton, MO (6).

High Side Design Heat Five (8 Laps):

1. 24-Landon Simon, Brownsburg, IN (4); 2. 24X-Kyle Simon, Covington, OH (3); 3. 78-Rob Caho Jr., Wyoming, MN (5); 4. 6B-Andy Baugh, Mason City, IL (2); 5. N2-Nic Harris, Atlanta, IL (7); 6. 51-Brent Burrows, Lewistown, IL (1); 7. 5C-Colten Cottle, Kansas, IL (6); 8. 99-Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL (8).

Hoosier Tire B-Main One (12 Laps):

1. 5C-Colten Cottle (9); 2. 52F-Logan Faucon (1); 3. N2-Nic Harris (2); 4. 57-Robby McQuinn (4); 5. 90-Riley Kreisel (8); 6. 95-Tommy Rockwell; 7. 82-Vinny Ward (12); 8. 8D-Justin Standridge (6); 9. 11B-Mark Brucker (10); 10. 20-Steve Thomas (11); 11. 72-Al Thomas (13); 12. 11W-Wyatt Burks (5); 13. 11-James Lyerla (7).

Indy Race Parts B-Main Two (12 Laps):

1. 22S-Slater Helt (2); 2. 77K-Katlynn Leer (5); 3. 99-Korey Weyant (11); 4. 14J-Jadon Rogers (1); 5. 6B-Andy Baugh (4); 6. 51-Brent Burrows (8); 7. 7S-Wade Seiler (10); 8. 31-Austin Sears (6); 9. 7-Bobby Logan (9); 10. X-Robbie Standridge (3); 11. 30-Ryan Kent (7); 12. 9-Paul Nienhiser (DNS); 13. 41-Brad Wyatt (DNS).

POWRi Lucas Oil WAR Sprint League Main Event (25 Laps):

1. 24-Landon Simon (2); 2. 00-Thomas Meseraull (3); 3. 36D-Dave Darland (5); 4. 6-Mario Clouser (12); 5. 5D-Zach Daum (4); 6. 99-Korey Weyant (22); 7. 5C-Colten Cottle (17); 8. 22S-Slater Helt (19); 9. 1-Mitch Wissmiller (16); 10. 65B-Quinton Benson (15); 11. 78-Rob Caho Jr. (11); 12. N2-Nic Harris (21); 13. 12-Wesley Smith (8); 14. 65-Chris Parkinson (7); 15. 38-Chet Williams (13); 16. 16-Anthony Nicholson (10); 17. 77K-Katlynn Leer (20); 18. 45-Adam Wilfong (14); 19. 88-Terry Babb (1); 20. 56-Mitchell Davis (6); 21. 24X-Kyle Simon (9); 22. 52F-Logan Faucon (19).

Lap Leader(s): Babb 1-4, Simon 5-25.

Hard Charger(s): Weyant +16 (22nd-to-6th).

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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