By: Bryan Hulbert
BATESVILLE, AR – With a stunning last-lap pass for the win at Batesville Motor Speedway, Mississippi’s Dale Howard raced around Ryan Timms for his second career SawBlade.com A-Feature triumph with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network to kick off the 2021 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Week presented by Smiley’s Racing Products.
Last winning in National Tour competition on June 3, 2000, at Houston Raceway Park, Howard’s return to Victory lane took 21 years, one Month, and 20 days. That comes out to 791 National Tour events between wins.
Asked about the approach to the pass, Howard said, “I just rolled my wing to the trunk, made a run to the middle, and it stuck. Early when we were in lapped traffic, I moved up high and I felt the car hook up and I felt like if I got a chance to just roll the wing back and hit it hard up there, I’d maybe make it work. and it did, and there wasn’t any rubber, it just stuck.”
Taking the lead on Lap 2 from Timms, the Mach1 Chassis No. 47 wasn’t able to keep the No. 5t at bay. Working into traffic with a comfortable lead, Timms would start to feel pressure before caution lights came on Lap 14 for J.J. Hickle, who had a flat left front tire while battling for third. Able to make it out of the work area, Hickle ended up 17th.
Red on the restart for Colton Hardy in the first turn, the field returned to green with Timms taking advantage of the clean air.
Stalking traffic in the final three laps, that opened the door for Howard. Adjusting to the middle groove of the slick three-eighths-mile oval, Dale kept his momentum as Timms continued to work the bottom. Moving in on the back of the field as the pair raced to the white flag, a brief misstep on the slower car was all it took as Howard shot in to lead off the second turn.
Keeping Ryan at bay off the final turn, Howard made it to the checkered flag 0.389-seconds ahead of the DriveWFX.com No. 5t. Making up several spots in the closing laps, Dylan Westbrook went from 11th to third over the 25-lap affair. Colby Thornhill captured his first career top five run with a fourth-place finish. Matt Covington moved up five spots to finish fifth.
Ryan Bickett was sixth with Jordan Mallett rolling from 16th to seventh in his first start of the season. Slipping back in the closing laps, Blake Hahn ended up eighth with Howard Moore ninth. The night’s Hard Charger from 21st, Tim Crawley completed the top ten.
The 2021 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Week presented by Smiley’s Racing Products continues on Saturday, July 24 at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. Gates open at 5:00 P.M. with racing at 7:30 P.M. (CDT). I-30 Speedway is located on the I-30 Frontage Road, eastbound at Exit 126. More information on the Speedway can be found at https://www.i-30speedway.com or by calling (501) 455-4567.
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 Mid-South Region
Batesville Motor Speedway (Batesville, Ark.)
Friday, July 23, 2021 – ASCS Sprint Week Night 1
Car Count: 34
SCE Gaskets Heat Races (Everyone advances to the A-Feature)
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 21K-Kevin Hinkle; 2. 47-Dale Howard; 3. 5H-Michael Faccinto; 4. G6-Cody Gardner; 5. 19J-Jason Long; 6. 1S-Joey Schmidt; 7. 24W-Jeffrey West Jr; 8. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 9. 27J-Joseph Poe Jr
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 187-Landon Crawley; 2. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 3. 3-Howard Moore; 4. 52-Blake Hahn; 5. 77X-Greg Hamilton; 6. 14-Jordon Mallett; 7. 3G-Paxton Gregory; 8. 88-Travis Reber; 9. 99-Blake Jenkins
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 63-JJ Hickle; 2. 95-Matt Covington; 3. 28-Scott Bogucki; 4. 10P-Dylan Postier; 5. 26-Marshall Skinner; 6. 21-Gunner Ramey; 7. 41-Colton Hardy; 8. 1X-Tim Crawley
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 19-Colby Thornhill; 2. 5T-Ryan Timms; 3. 1-Brenham Crouch; 4. 10-Terry Gray; 5. 67-Hayden Martin; 6. 84-Brandon Hanks; 7. 0-Mike Vaculik; 8. 10L-Landon Britt
BMRS B-Feature (Top 6 advance to the A-Feature)
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 77X-Greg Hamilton; 2. 67-Hayden Martin; 3. 10P-Dylan Postier; 4. 84-Brandon Hanks; 5. 1X-Tim Crawley; 6. 41-Colton Hardy; 7. G6-Cody Gardner; 8. 21-Gunner Ramey; 9. 26-Marshall Skinner; 10. 24W-Jeffrey West Jr; 11. 88-Travis Reber; 12. 3G-Paxton Gregory; 13. 10L-Landon Britt; 14. 99-Blake Jenkins; 15. 27J-Joseph Poe Jr; 16. 21K-Kevin Hinkle; 17. 0-Mike Vaculik; 18. 19J-Jason Long
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 47-Dale Howard; 2. 5T-Ryan Timms; 3. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 4. 19-Colby Thornhill; 5. 95-Matt Covington; 6. 17B-Ryan Bickett; 7. 14-Jordon Mallett; 8. 52-Blake Hahn; 9. 3-Howard Moore; 10. 1X-Tim Crawley; 11. 28-Scott Bogucki; 12. 10-Terry Gray; 13. 77X-Greg Hamilton; 14. 5H-Michael Faccinto; 15. 187-Landon Crawley; 16. 67-Hayden Martin; 17. 63-JJ Hickle; 18. 1-Brenham Crouch; 19. 3G-Paxton Gregory; 20. 84-Brandon Hanks; 21. 41-Colton Hardy; 22. 1S-Joey Schmidt; 23. 10P-Dylan Postier; 24. 88-Travis Reber
Lap Leader(s): Ryan Timms 1, 3-24; Dale Howard 2, 25
Hard Charger: Tim Crawley +11
High Point Driver: Ryan Bickett
Provisional(s): Travis Reber (Points); Paxton Gregory (Regional)
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 2,422; 2. Matt Covington 2,413; 3. JJ Hickle 2,358; 4. Dylan Westbrook 2,208; 5. Scott Bogucki 2,102; 6. Colby Thornhill 1,966; 7. Ryan Bickett 1,834; 8. Alex Hill 1,651; 9. Seth Bergman 1,553; 10. Travis Reber 1,553;