From Bryan Hulbert
MASON CITY, Iowa. (July 30, 2017) – Gregg Bakker has been close over the years, but Sunday night at Mason City Motor Speedway, the South Dakota driver finally rolled to the checkered flag first with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series National Tour presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
“Getting to start in front like that with the track the way it was helps. This is Stock Car country and that kind of track is what they like,” said Bakker who became the 138th driver to win a Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour event, Gregg Bakker is also the second first time winner on the 2017 season; joining Jake Bubak who topped the series at West Texas Raceway on June 9.
Testing the top of the track before the drop of the green, Bakker never ventured up the banking again once the race began.
“I was watching the track earlier and the Street Stocks and Modifieds started moving to the top and I thought that might come in so on my warm up lap, I went to the top and thought this isn’t the place to be, but when you get into traffic, you don’t know how much the guys behind you are moving around and if the rubber is getting wider to where they can sneak by.”
Leading start to finish, the win was not an easy one for the Bakker Crossing No. 11x as Matt Covington was all but glued to his back bumper as the pair rolled the bottom of the half-mile oval. Working to traffic at the race’s mid-point, Gregg dare not miss a mark as Covington was joined by Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Wayne Johnson with all three looking for a chance to roll by.
Finally clearing the slower car of Chris Masters with less than five laps to run, Bakker quickly put distance over the No. 95. With victory coming into view, the race’s lone caution flew as the field raced to the white flag for Carson McCarl who spun in the fourth turn.
Back to the last fully completed lap for the restart, Bakker was able to keep Matt Covington at bay as the field raced to the final lap. Racing off the final turn for the win, things behind the State Bank of Fairmont No. 11x got dicey as Matt Covington’s engine let go rolling into the third turn.
With Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Wayne Johnson bearing down on the T&L Foundry No. 95, both drivers were on the binders to keep from ending up in a smoldering pile. Able to shoot under Matt off the final turn, Hafertepe rolled across the line second with Johnson third.
Taking his struggling mount all the way to the checkered flag, Matt Covington was edged out at the line for fourth by Johnny Herrera by a few feet. Josh Baughman sixth was chased by Thomas Kennedy with Blake Hahn in tow. Iowa’s Chris Martin was ninth with Aaron Reutzel moving up six spots to tenth.
A field of 26 drivers was in attendance at the Mason City Motor Speedway for the series’ first trip. Heat wins went to Gregg Bakker, Matt Covington, and Ryan Bickett. A B-Main was on the docket, but with a driver scratching from competition following Hot Laps, Mason City Motor Speedway officials opted to advance all remaining teams into the A-Feature.
Up next for the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network is the 27th annual 360 Nationals presented by Great Southern Bank at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa. Events kick off on Thursday, August 3 and run through Saturday, August 5.
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 races across the ASCS Nation in 2017, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
Mason City Motor Speedway – Mason City, Iowa
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Car Count: 26
Heat Races (All Drivers advance to the A-Feature)
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 11X-Gregg Bakker, ; 2. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 3. 44-Chris Martin, ; 4. 41-Dominic Scelzi, ; 5. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 6. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 7. 24-Terry McCarl, ; 8. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 9. 17W-Harli White, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, ; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 3. 1-Thomas Kennedy, ; 4. 45-Chuck Hebing, ; 5. 7-Kaley Gharst, ; 6. 18-Ian Madsen, ; 7. 5H-Carson McCarl, ; 8. 40-Howard Moore, ; 9. 98-Chris Masters, 
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 17B-Ryan Bickett, ; 2. 17-Josh Baughman, ; 3. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 4. 35-Jamie Veal, ; 5. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 6. 87-Aaron Reutzel, ; 7. 41A-Andee Beierle, ; (DNS) 3-Tim Kaeding,
Protect the Harvest A-Feature:
A Feature (20 Laps): 1. 11X-Gregg Bakker, ; 2. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 5. 95-Matt Covington, ; 6. 17-Josh Baughman, ; 7. 1-Thomas Kennedy, ; 8. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 9. 44-Chris Martin, ; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel, ; 11. 45-Chuck Hebing, ; 12. 24-Terry McCarl, ; 13. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 14. 7-Kaley Gharst, ; 15. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 16. 17W-Harli White, ; 17. 40-Howard Moore, ; 18. 5H-Carson McCarl, ; 19. 17B-Ryan Bickett, ; 20. 98-Chris Masters, ; 21. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 22. (DNF) 18-Ian Madsen, ; 23. (DNF) 41A-Andee Beierle, ; 24. (DNF) 41-Dominic Scelzi, ; 25. (DNF) 35-Jamie Veal, 
Lap Leader(s): Gregg Bakker 1-20
CP-Carrillo Hard Charger: Seth Bergman +9
FSR High Point Driver: Matt Covington