Covington Captures Lucas Oil ASCS Honors at Las Cruces!

By Lonnie Wheatley

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (November 12, 2011) – For the second year in a row, a number 11 Sprint Car reached Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National victory lane on the second night of action at Southern New Mexico Speedway.

It wasn’t Steve Kinser this time though, as 22-year-old Glenpool, OK, shoe Matt Covington wired the field in Saturday night’s 30-lapper atop the 5/16-mile clay oval for his second career ASCS National win.

Just three days after his birthday, the 2011 ASCS Lone Star Region champion held off some mid-race pressure from fellow Oklahoma shoe Brady Bacon and then late advances from both Bacon and Steve Kinser to secure his third overall ASCS win of the year aboard the Wesmar-powered Oilfield Equipment & Manufacturing No. 11c Triple X.

“It was the first weekend with new crew chief David Chappell,” Covington explained in victory lane. “We ran fourth last night and won tonight, so I definitely think we’re going the right direction.”

After locking into Saturday’s $6,000-to-win Southern New Mexico finale via a fourth-place finish in Friday night’s preliminary feature, Covington drew the pole for the feature with Friday winner Johnny Herrera alongside.

Covington gunned into the lead at the drop of the green flag and led the initial circuit in front of Herrera and third-starter Bacon. After a pair of cautions in the initial seven laps for separate incidents that sent Tim Crawley and Brad Loyet tailback, Bacon slid past Herrera for second on the 11th circuit and was pressuring Covington for the point until Seth Bergman stopped in turn four to bring out a caution after 12 laps.

Covington slipped away on the restart, opening up a half-straightaway advantage over Bacon as Kinser battled his way past Herrera for third on the 17th round.

As Covington reached the tail of the field in the final handful of rounds, Bacon and Kinser closed the gap and reached his tailtank with just two laps to go. Covington was flawless over the final two rounds however, as he pocketed his first National win since striking for the first time at Lone Star Speedway in April of 2010.

“I won my first National race last year, the track took rubber about midway in the race and it was kind of like a fluke deal,” Covington commented. “Now here’s number two, so I can back it up.”

Falling just 0.374-seconds short at the stripe, Bacon earned his second podium finish in as many nights with runner-up honors aboard the Wesmar-powered Fatheadz Eyewear No. 99 Triple-X, moving past Jeff Swindell for third in the championship points race in the process.

After earning the night’s most passing points by racing from eighth to second in the night’s opening heat race, Kinser was a close third in the TSR Bass Pro Shops No. 11 Maxim after starting sixth.

Herrera was fourth in the Wesmar-powered Mesilla Valley Transport/Champion Oil No. 45x Maxim, trimming another 17 points off Shane Stewart’s lead to climb to within 76 points entering next weekend’s season-ending Western World Championships at Tucson’s USA Raceway.

Nebraska’s Jack Dover rounded out the top five, with reigning Lucas Oil Sprint Car champion Jason Johnson, Brian Brown, Danny Wood, Shane Stewart and Gary Wright completing the top ten.

Stewart, Brown, Wood, Henry Van Dam, Wayne Johnson, Jason Johnson and Loyet topped Saturday’s heat race action, with Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Donny Schatz and Brad Sweet winning the “B” Mains.

Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
Southern New Mexico Speedway (Las Cruces, NM)

Locked in from Friday’s Preliminary Feature:

45x-Johnny Herrera, 9-Gary Wright, 99-Brady Bacon, 11c-Matt Covington.

Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points, including the 7 Heat Race Winners, to “A” Main; Balance to Three “B” Main):

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 11-Steve Kinser, 3. 62-Bill Mitchell, 4. 79-Calvin Landis, 5. 48-Jake Martens, 6. 8az-Jordan Stetson, 7. 7c-John Carney, 8. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr.

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 77c-Colt Treharn, 4. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 5. 131-Royal Jones, 6. 41w-Joshua Williams, 7. 224-John Carney II, 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel.

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 81-Danny Wood, 2. 15c-Donny Schatz, 3. 0-Zach Chappell, 4. 9k-Kyle Sager, 5. 18w-Lorne Wofford, 6. 28-Jeff Swindell, 7. 2L-Logan Forler, 8. 12-Josh Grady.

Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 2. 36-Jason Martin, 3. 5-Kyle McCutcheon, 4. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 5. 88-Tim Crawley, 6. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 7. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 8. 2p-Alex Pettas.

Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 2. 23-Seth Bergman, 3. 5h-Mason Moore, 4. M1-Derek Hagar, 5. 1mx-Kraig Kinser, 6. 17m-Josh Baughman, 7. 145x-Derek Demartino, 8. 15cx-Joey Chester.

Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 1m-Danny Lasoski, 3. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 5. 2-Dustin Morgan, 6. 99x-Chuck Jackson, 7. 5k-Koby Barksdale. DNS: 22-Jesse Baker.

Heat Seven (8 Laps): 1. 05-Brad Loyet, 2. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 3. 35a-Brad Sweet, 4. 5w-Lucas Wolfe, 5. 55-Trey Starks, 6. 15-Bud Goodwin, 7. 90-Lance Norick. DNS: 22k-Kevin Barksdale.

“B” Mains (Top 2 from Each Advance to “A” Main):

First “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. 5w-Lucas Wolfe, 3. 5-Kyle McCutcheon, 4. 9k-Kyle Sager, 5. 90-Lance Norick, 6. 8az-Jordan Stetson, 7. 5k-Koby Barksdale, 8. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 9. 99x-Chuck Jackson, 10. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 11. 79-Calvin Landis, 12. M1-Derek Hagar, 13. 2-Dustin Morgan, 14. 87-Aaron Reutzel. DNS: 22-Jesse Baker.

Second “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 15c-Donny Schatz, 2. 1mx-Kraig Kinser, 3. 36-Jason Martin, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 62-Bill Mitchell, 6. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 7. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 8. 15-Bud Goodwin, 9. 28-Jeff Swindell, 10. 18w-Lorne Wofford, 11. 131-Royal Jones, 12. 2p-Alex Pettas, 13. 224-John Carney II, 14. 15cx-Joey Chester. DNS: 22k-Kevin Barksdale.

Third “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 35a-Brad Sweet, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 4. 55-Trey Starks, 5. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 6. 7c-John Carney, 7. 5h-Mason Moore, 8. 145x-Derek Demartino, 9. 12-Josh Grady, 10. 77c-Colt Treharn, 11. 41w-Joshua Williams, 12. 48-Jake Martens, 13. 17m-Josh Baughman. DNS: 2L-Logan Forler.

Southern New Mexico Speedway “A” Main:

“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 11c-Matt Covington, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 11-Steve Kinser, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 41-Jason Johnson, 7. 21-Brian Brown, 8. 81-Danny Wood, 9. 57-Shane Stewart, 10. 9-Gary Wright, 11. 15c-Donny Schatz, 12. 35a-Brad Sweet, 13. 0-Zach Chappell, 14. 1m-Danny Lasoski, 15. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 16. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 17. 1mx-Kraig Kinser, 18. 88-Tim Crawley, 19. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 20. 05-Brad Loyet, 21. 28-Jeff Swindell, 22. 23-Seth Bergman, 23. 5w-Lucas Wolfe, 24. 77x-Wayne Johnson.

Lap Leaders: Matt Covington 1-25.

Note: Jeff Swindell and Tony Bruce, Jr., both utilized their fourth and final provisionals of the year to start the main event.

Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 3,030, 2. Johnny Herrera 2,954 3. Brady Bacon 2,838, 4. Jeff Swindell 2,787, 5. Gary Wright 2,725, 6. Tim Crawley 2,709, 7. Jason Johnson 2,612, 8. Seth Bergman 2,485, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 2,483, 10. Aaron Reutzel 2,372, 11. Zach Chappell 2,195, 12. Wayne Johnson 1,951, 13. Jack Dover 1,712, 14. Dustin Morgan 1,524, 15. Danny Wood 1,456.

Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 3,164, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 3,030, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 2,954, 4. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 2,838, 5. Swindell Group #28 – 2,787, 6. Mike Ward #88 – 2,709, 7. Petersen Motorsports #23 2,485, 8. Bruce Racing #18 – 2,483, 9. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 2,372, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 2,195, 11. Gary Wright #9 – 2,129, 12. M&M Motorsports #2 – 1,524, 13. Danny Wood #81 – 1,456, 14. Jack Dover #53 – 1,340, 15. Bill Covington #11c – 1,320.

Sunoco Fuel ASCS Southwest Points (Top 10): 1. Rick Ziehl 2,358, 2. Calvin Landis 2,104, 3. Kyle McCutcheon 2,043, 4. Dalten Gabbard 1,988, 5. Lance Norick 1,928, 6. Joshua Williams 1,907, 7. Jordan Stetson 1,681, 8. Joshua Hodges 1,662, 9. Joey Chester 1,660, 10. John Carney II 1,458.