By: Bryan Hulbert
OSBORN, MO – Holding off an onslaught of challenges through traffic, Matt Covington rolled into SawBlade.com Victory Lane at U.S. 36 Raceway with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
“It got pretty hairy in traffic. Even showing the right rear to a few guys, they weren’t going to give an inch, so I felt like I had to earn everything. A few times, Garet could have easily forced me off the top of the backstretch, but he left me room, and I appreciate that. A few guys wouldn’t do that, but that’s what a clean racer does. He did me right and raced me,” stated Covington when asked about the close battle with the No. 24 through traffic.
The win is Covington’s first at U.S. 36 Raceway and 12th overall in National Tour competition while moving him to within 18 points of the championship point’s lead.
Rolling to the green from the pole position, Covington would fall to second on the start as Garet Williamson took command from the right of the front row. Setting a torrid pace into traffic on Lap 5, the slower cars allowed Covington to close and finally overtake the Mid-Mo Equipment No. 24 on Lap 8.
Getting some breathing room over the No. 24, the gap was short-lived as traffic brought Williamson, Hickle, and eventually Hahn into the mix.
Three wide for the runner-up spot on Lap 17, Williamson held the runner-up spot. Taking a shot at the lead, Covington used slower cars as picks, with Hickle and Hahn both looking for a path to the lead. Working Lap 19, the leaders raced into the third and fourth turns only to be greeted by a pair of flipped cars. Scrambling to avoid, Hickle was not able to avoid and ended up going for a ride. Following a trip to the work area, the No. 63 was able to continue.
Back to green, the A-Rock Material No. 95 rolled into traffic just as red lights came on again for Jason Martin, who had been running fourth.
Setting up a green, white, checkered finish, Covington dashed to a 0.940-second advantage at the checkered flag. Posting his best career finish in National Tour competition, Garet Williamson held on for second over Blake Hahn, who climbed through the field from the 12th starting spot. Posting her first career top-five finish, Canada’s Alex Hill made up three positions to finish fourth, with Oklahoma’s Brandon Anderson in fifth.
Up eight spots, Nebraska’s Joey Danley crossed sixth with Miles Paulus seventh. Able to rebound, J.J. Hickle raced back to eighth, with Trevor Grossenbacher and Jay Russell completing the top ten.
The field of 24 teams was split into a trio of SCE Gaskets Heat Races, with wins going to Jay Russell, Garet Williamson, and Jason Martin. Everyone qualified for the A-Feature.
The next event for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network kicks off the Lucas Oil ASCS Sizzlin’ Summer Sprint Week powered by Smiley’s Racing Products at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. on Thursday, July 22.
The 2021 season is the 30th year of competition for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
For the first time, the series can be seen live on two platforms, with Racinboys.com and FloRacing.com featuring National Tour events in tandem. Both are subscription-based sites. FloRacing.com is $20 per month, billed annually at $150 per year. Racinboys.com is $29.99 per month.
For other news, notes, and information on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the Regional Tours that make up ASCS Nation in 2021, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, on Instagram, and Twitter (@LucasOilASCS).
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
ASCS Warrior Region
U.S. 36 Raceway (Osborn, Mo.)
Friday, July 16, 2021
Car Count: 24
SCE Gaskets Heat Races (Everyone advances to the A-Feature)
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 76-Jay Russell; 2. 95T-Trevor Grossenbacher; 3. 77X-Alex Hill; 4. 21-Gunner Ramey; 5. 14-Joey Danley; 6. (DNF) 11-Austin O’Neal; 7. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki; 8. (DNS) 19-Colby Thornhill
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 24-Garet Williamson; 2. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 3. 95-Matt Covington; 4. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 5. 91-Adam Gullion; 6. 2-Chase Porter; 7. 11C-Colton Fisher; 8. 22S-Slater Helt
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 82-Jason Martin; 2. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 3. 63-JJ Hickle; 4. 98P-Miles Paulus; 5. 52-Blake Hahn; 6. 92J-JR Topper; 7. 88-Travis Reber; 8. 3Z-Zach Davis
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington; 2. 24-Garet Williamson; 3. 52-Blake Hahn; 4. 77X-Alex Hill; 5. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 6. 14-Joey Danley; 7. 98P-Miles Paulus; 8. 63-JJ Hickle; 9. 95T-Trevor Grossenbacher; 10. 76-Jay Russell; 11. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 12. 22S-Slater Helt; 13. 2-Chase Porter; 14. 11C-Colton Fisher; 15. 92J-JR Topper; 16. 82-Jason Martin; 17. (DNF) 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 18. (DNF) 11-Austin O’Neal; 19. (DNF) 21-Gunner Ramey; 20. (DNF) 88-Travis Reber; 21. (DNF) 91-Adam Gullion; 22. (DNF) 3Z-Zach Davis; 23. (DNS) 28-Scott Bogucki; 24. (DNS) 19-Colby Thornhill
Lap Leader(s):Garet Williamson 1-7; Matt Covington 8-25
Hard Charger: Slater Helt +11
High Point Driver: Garet Williamson
American Sprint Car Series: http://www.ascsracing.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lucasoilascs (@lucasoilascs)
Broadcast: FloRacing.com and Racinboys.com
Live-Scoring (Where Applicable): MRP Live
2021 Driver Standings (Top 10): 1. Blake Hahn 2,306; 2. Matt Covington 2,288; 3. JJ Hickle 2,262; 4. Dylan Westbrook 2,073; 5. Scott Bogucki 1,994; 6. Colby Thornhill 1,836; 7. Ryan Bickett 1,712; 8. Alex Hill 1,651; 9. Seth Bergman 1,553; 10. Travis Reber 1,488;
2021 A-Feature Winner(s): Blake Hahn – 4 (4/17 – Park Jefferson Speedway); 5/15 – Volunteer Speedway; 6/24 – Skagit Speedway; 7/9 – Gallatin Speedway); JJ Hickle – 3*** (3/19 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway; 3/20 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway; 6/20 – Grays Harbor Raceway); Matt Covington – 2 (5/8 – I-96 Speedway; 7/16 – U.S. 36 Raceway); Scott Bogucki – 3 (5/21 – Tri-City Speedway; 5-29 – Lake Ozark Speedway; 7/10 – Gallatin Speedway); Dominic Scelzi – 2 (June 25 – Skagit Speedway; June 26 – Skagit Speedway); Blane Heimbach – 1 (5/1 – Selinsgrove Speedway); Ryan Timms – 1 (May 30 – Lake Ozark Speedway); Cam Smith – 1 (6/19 – Grays Harbor Raceway);