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Matt Covington Returns To Lucas Oil ASCS Victory Lane In Brownfield Classic Opener

Matt Covington
Lisa Dynes photo

From Bryan Hulbert

ELMA, Wash. (June 30, 2017) Ending a winless streak 98 races long, Glenpool, Oklahoma’s Matt Covington broke into Victory Lane for his first Grays Harbor Raceway triumph on Night 1 of the Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino and Resort with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.

“Tyler’s been doing a really good job with the car. We’re third in points, so we’ve had a lot of good runs this year with top-fives and top-tens, so it was bound to happen,” commented Matt on his fifth career Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour score.

Three attempts at the start of the feature event, a caution for Wayne Johnson who rolled to a stop in turn two was followed by a full stoppage on the next attempt for Garen Linder who flipped in the third turn and escaped unharmed.

Trailing Aaron Reutzel the first two attempts at green, and battling with Sam Hafertepe, Jr. as well on the second attempt, Covington again trailed the No. 87 through the first two turns. Turning down the track off turn four, the A-Rock Material No. 95 of Covington edged out Reutzel at the line to secure the point.

On the battle with Aaron and Sam during the first two restart, Matt said, “We were going at it hard there on the restart before the red came out. It was close, but we were able to hold our own when it was slick and ended up finding the line when Aaron poked a nose under me in turn four. I was already running the rubber in turns one and two, then running the cushion in three and four until about Lap 13, and that’s when I saw Aaron and moved. If I’d run high again, he would have probably gotten by me, but thankfully it worked out and I was able to tuck into the rubber. I raced asphalt a lot when I was younger, so I was pretty comfortable on saving my tires from there.”

While Covington set the pace, the race for second was back and forth between Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Aaron Reutzel. Swapping the runner-up spot four times, the final swap came on Lap 18 with the advantage to the No. 15h.

On the back bumper of Covington as the pair diced through traffic, Hafertepe eyed a path off the bottom for the lead, but would snag an infield tire instead. Tearing the front axle in half, the suspension folded under the car; flipping the series point’s leader on his side. Sam was unharmed.

Restarting with seven laps to run, Covington quickly stretched his advantage to 1.484 seconds over Aaron Reutzel at the drop of the checkered flag.

Patiently working through the field from seventh, Johnny Herrera brought his MVT No. 45x across the line third. With one final transfer spot into Saturday’s A-Feature, the position went to Roger Crockett who advanced through the lineup from ninth. Posting his best National Tour finish of the 2017 season, Skylar Gee crossed fifth.

Austen Wheatley finished sixth with Logan Forler seventh from 13th. Henry Van Dam followed in eighth. Seth Bergman from 14th crossed ninth with Jay Cole completing Friday’s top-ten.

The opening night of the Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino and Resort saw 37 drivers checking in for five Heat Races. Wins went to Skylar Gee, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Matt Covington, Robbie Price, and Johnny Herrera. B-Features were topped by Blake Hahn and Chris Schmelzle. One provisional start was utilized by Wayne Johnson.

The CP Carrillo Hard Charger of the Night was Craig Dollansky and Sam Hafertepe, Jr. was Friday’s FSR Radiator High Point Driver of the Night.

The Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino continues on Saturday, July 1 with races getting underway at 7:00 P.M. (PDT) at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash.

For continued updates on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the seven regional tours that make up the over 150 dates across the ASCS Nation in 2017, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.

Race Results:

Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour

Grays Harbor Raceway – Elma, Wash.

3rd annual Fred Brownfield Classic – Night 1

Friday, June 30, 2017

Car Count: 37

Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 99-Skylar Gee, [1]; 2. 7N-Roger Crockett, [2]; 3. 8R-Chance Crum, [4]; 4. 2L-Logan Forler, [6]; 5. 57C-Chris Schmelzle, [7]; 6. 9-Shawn Rice, [5]; 7. 5R-Steve Reeves, [8]; 8. 97R-Jason Reed, [3]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [4]; 2. 18-Jason Solwold, [1]; 3. 52-Blake Hahn, [2]; 4. 23-Seth Bergman, [6]; 5. 17W-Harli White, [5]; 6. 22-Garen Linder, [3]; 7. 42-Devin Madonia, [7]; 8. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith, [8]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, [4]; 2. 0J-Jay Cole, [2]; 3. 3-J.J. Hickle, [3]; 4. 33-Colton Heath, [1]; 5. 1-Craig Dollansky, [5]; 6. 11M-Evan Margeson, [6]; 7. 91-Chase Goetz, [7]

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 21P-Robbie Price, [1]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, [3]; 3. 9A-Luke Didiuk, [2]; 4. 6A-Kyle Miller, [5]; 5. 33S-Lance Sargent, [4]; 6. 15-Jeff Dunlap, [7]; (DNS) 24-Tyler Anderson,

Heat 5 (8 Laps): 1. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [2]; 2. 33V-Henry VanDam, [4]; 3. 44W-Austen Wheatley, [6]; 4. 9R-Reece Goetz, [5]; 5. 8X-John Stuart, [7]; 6. (DNF) 22X-Trevor Cook, [1]; 7. (DNF) 2C-Wayne Johnson, [3]

BMRS B-Features (Top 3 from each advance to the A-Feature)

B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 52-Blake Hahn, [1]; 2. 17W-Harli White, [4]; 3. 42-Devin Madonia, [8]; 4. 17-Cameron (Cam) Smith, [10]; 5. 33S-Lance Sargent, [5]; 6. 5R-Steve Reeves, [7]; 7. 9-Shawn Rice, [6]; 8. 8X-John Stuart, [3]; 9. (DNF) 9R-Reece Goetz, [2]; 10. (DNF) 22X-Trevor Cook, [9]; (DNS) 24-Tyler Anderson,

B Feature 2 (12 Laps): 1. 57C-Chris Schmelzle, [2]; 2. 1-Craig Dollansky, [4]; 3. 22-Garen Linder, [7]; 4. 33-Colton Heath, [3]; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson, [9]; 6. 91-Chase Goetz, [8]; 7. 9A-Luke Didiuk, [1]; 8. 97R-Jason Reed, [10]; 9. 15-Jeff Dunlap, [6]; 10. 11M-Evan Margeson, [5]

Protect the Harvest A-Feature:

A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel, [1]; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera, [7]; 4. 7N-Roger Crockett, [9]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee, [8]; 6. 44W-Austen Wheatley, [3]; 7. 2L-Logan Forler, [13]; 8. 33V-Henry VanDam, [6]; 9. 23-Seth Bergman, [14]; 10. 0J-Jay Cole, [10]; 11. 8R-Chance Crum, [12]; 12. 1-Craig Dollansky, [20]; 13. 52-Blake Hahn, [17]; 14. 3-J.J. Hickle, [16]; 15. 57C-Chris Schmelzle, [18]; 16. 17W-Harli White, [19]; 17. 42-Devin Madonia, [21]; 18. 6A-Kyle Miller, [15]; 19. (DNF) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, [5]; 20. (DNF) 21P-Robbie Price, [4]; 21. (DNF) 18-Jason Solwold, [11]; 22. (DNF) 22-Garen Linder, [22]; 23. (DNF) 2C-Wayne Johnson, [23]

Lap Leader(s): Matt Covington 1-25

CP-Carrillo Hard Charger: Craig Dollansky +8

FSR High Point Driver: Sam Hafertepe, Jr.

Provisional(s): Wayne Johnson

2017 Lucas Oil ASCS Driver Standings (Top 10): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,254; 2. Aaron Reutzel 2,161; 3. Matt Covington 2,043; 4. Johnny Herrera 2,019; 5. Seth Bergman 1,966; 6. Wayne Johnson 1,921; 7. Blake Hahn 1,871; 8. Skylar Gee 1,736; 9. Harli White 1,480, 10. Justin Henderson 1,434;

Northwest Focus Midget Feature:

Feature:
1. 83 – Chance Crum
2. 31 – Shane Biles
3. 16 – Nik Larson
4. 14 – Garret Thomas
5. 2J – Johnathan Jorgenson
6. 92 – Seth Hespe
7. 3h – Hannah Lindquist
8. 24 – Nick Evans
9. 3 – Wade Spreckelmeyer
10. 19 – Thomas Walker
11. 57A – Brian Aune
12. 25 – Randy Hodel
13. 8X – Otto Jorgenson
14. 2a – Renee Angel
15. 11T – Ray Stebbins
16. 13A – Ally Pyles
17. 34S – Lee St Paul
18. 57 – Hailey Bower
19. 98 – Glenn Bitroff
20. 21J – Ryan Cully
21. 17 – Chris Bullock
22. 41 – Ashley Thompson