Ryan Newman 11th, Christopher Bell 15th in first night of Gateway Dirt Nationals

Photo courtesy Ryan Newman official Twitter page

Even though he hasn’t driven a midget car on dirt for nearly 20 years, it was like getting back on a bicycle for NASCAR Cup star Ryan Newman in Thursday night’s midget Main A event on the first of the three-night Arizona Sport Shirts Gateway Dirt Nationals at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

Newman finished 11th  in the 17-car field, 9.543 seconds behind winner Thomas Meseraull, who pocketed $3,000 for taking the checkered flag.

Budding NASCAR star Christopher Bell was knocked out of the race after just five laps when something broke in his suspension, relegating him to a 15th-place finish, 15 laps down to Meseraull.


As for the other competitors in the midget Main A, Justin Grant finished second, followed by Blake Hahn, Chris Windom, Logan Seavey, Anton Hernandez, Tyler Courtney, Andrew Felker, Paul Nienhiser, Austin Brown, Newman, Tim Crawley, Ace McCarthy, Sam Johnson, Bell, Karter Sarff and Daniel Robinson in 17th.

The three-day Gateway Dirt Nationals feature midget cars, modifieds and super late models. Four more familiar names will put the pedal to the metal on Friday, including Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chase Briscoe and NBC Sports reporter Dillon Welch will compete in the prelims.

In addition, former NASCAR driver and St. Louis native Kenny Wallace is entered in Friday’s modified preliminary race.

The main event for all three categories is scheduled to begin Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. The winner of each race will be awarded $10,000.

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