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Matt Covington Victorious In Lucas Oil ASCS Debut At Paducah International Raceway
Bryan Hulbert - PADUCAH, Ky. (April 27, 2018) Using every inch of banking at the Paducah International Raceway on Friday night, Oklahoma's Matt Covington parked his T&L Foundry No. 95 in Victory Lane in the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com debut at the Western Kentucky oval.
"I had a great time racing here and we had a really good car. This is my kind of track with the high banks and the wall all the way around. I like to get up there and lean on that wall and tonight we just had really good speed. We've had good speed all year. We knew if we just kept doing what we were doing, it would pay off and it is," stated Matt.
With Chick Magnet Motorsports CEO, Josh Hegwood, joining the Covington/Graves Motorsports team in Victory Lane, the native of Knoxville, Iowa was all smiles with checkered flag in hand, "I think Josh has been with me for about five years, but this might be the first time he's actually got the chance to be in Victory Lane to be in the picture with me"
Covington's sixth career win with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com, the 25-lap feature began from the third starting spot. Holding the position through the first start, the red flew before the field could complete the lap as race leader, Scott Bogucki, flipped in turns one and two. Scott was unharmed.
Rolling back to the green with Carson Short and Mark Smith now on the front row, the Mach Chassis No. M1 bolted to the point with Matt Covington making it three wide through the first and second turns to grab second from the No 21x. Chasing into traffic, Covington began to diamond the corners of the three-eighths-mile oval. Working the sixth lap, Covington worked past Smith for the point. Exchanging slid jobs with Covington able to answer on each occasion, the No. 95 would eventually start to pull an advantage as traffic became heavier.
Pulling to nearly a straightaway advantage, the race for the second spot heated up with Tony Stewart running down Smith as the pair worked through traffic. Getting to the runner-up spot on Lap 16, the caution flew as the field worked the following lap. Reverting to the last fully completed lap, Covington returned to speed with a pair of lapped cars between himself and Stewart.
With the advantage of clean air, Matt Covington quickly grew his advantage to over a half straightaway at the checkered flag. Tony Stewart held onto second with Mark Smith picking the final podium step. Moving through from 13th, Seth Bergman worked his way to fourth, and with it, took over the top spot in the 2018 series standings by a dozen points. Earning Friday's CP-Carrillo Hard Charger of the Night, Wayne Johnson advanced position 10 times to round out the top-five.
Matching Johnson's passing total, Blake Hahn followed the No. 2c to sixth from 16th. Making his first feature start with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com, Carson Short crossed seventh with Howard Moore eighth from 18th. Tim Crawley and Morgan Turpen completed the top-ten.
With a field of 33 drivers checking in at Paducah International Raceway, the field was split into four Heat Races with Tony Stewart, Johnny Herrera, Mark Smith, and Matt Covington picking up wins. The night's BMRS B-Main went to Mason Daniel. Provisionals were utilized by Travis Rilat and Harli White.
Next stop for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by Sawblade.com is Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, May 4 and Selinsgrove Speedway on Saturday, May 5. Both are co-sanctioned with The Capital Renegade United Race Club. 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 the over 150 across the ASCS Nation in 2018, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter (@LucasOilASCS).
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
Car Count: 33
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points advance to the A-Feature)
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 14-Tony Stewart, ; 2. 1X-Tim Crawley, ; 3. 21X-Carson Short, ; 4. 33M-Mason Daniel, ; 5. 40-Howard Moore, ; 6. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 7. 14B-Bo Barber, ; 8. (DNF) 21B-Brandon Hinkle, ; 9. (DNF) 21K-Kevin Hinkle, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 2. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 3. 23B-Brian Bell, ; 4. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 6. 9JR-Derek Hagar, ; 7. 1-Travis Rilat, ; (DNS) 2H-Wally Henson,
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. M1-Mark Smith, ; 2. 44-Chris Martin, ; 3. 10M-Morgan Turpen, ; 4. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 5. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 6. 6-Sean Hosey, ; 7. (DNF) 84-Brandon Hanks, ; 8. (DNF) 07T-Brandon Taylor, 
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, ; 2. 10-Terry Gray, ; 3. 28-Scott Bogucki, ; 4. 11-Roger Crockett, ; 5. 21-Robbie Price, ; 6. 17W-Harli White, ; 7. (DNF) 5J-Jamie Ball, ; 8. (DNF) 8Z-Zach Pringle, 
BMRS B-Main (Top 6 advance to the A-Feature)
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 33M-Mason Daniel, ; 2. 40-Howard Moore, ; 3. 9JR-Derek Hagar, ; 4. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 5. 5J-Jamie Ball, ; 6. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 7. 17W-Harli White, ; 8. 6-Sean Hosey, ; 9. (DNF) 1-Travis Rilat, ; 10. (DNF) 21B-Brandon Hinkle, ; 11. (DNF) 14B-Bo Barber, ; 12. (DNF) 8Z-Zach Pringle, ; 13. (DNF) 21K-Kevin Hinkle, ; 14. (DNF) 21-Robbie Price, ; (DNS) 84-Brandon Hanks, ; (DNS) 07T-Brandon Taylor, ; (DNS) 2H-Wally Henson,
Protect the Harvest A-Feature:
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington, ; 2. 14-Tony Stewart, ; 3. M1-Mark Smith, ; 4. 23-Seth Bergman, ; 5. 2C-Wayne Johnson, ; 6. 52-Blake Hahn, ; 7. 21X-Carson Short, ; 8. 40-Howard Moore, ; 9. 1X-Tim Crawley, ; 10. 10M-Morgan Turpen, ; 11. 45X-Johnny Herrera, ; 12. 9JR-Derek Hagar, ; 13. 1-Travis Rilat, ; 14. 5J-Jamie Ball, ; 15. 77X-Alex Hill, ; 16. 99-Skylar Gee, ; 17. (DNF) 11-Roger Crockett, ; 18. (DNF) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr, ; 19. (DNF) 33M-Mason Daniel, ; 20. (DNF) 17W-Harli White, ; 21. (DNF) 23B-Brian Bell, ; 22. (DNF) 44-Chris Martin, ; 23. (DNF) 10-Terry Gray, ; 24. (DNF) 28-Scott Bogucki, 
Lap Leader(s): Mark Smith 1-6; Matt Covington 7-25
2018 ASCS National Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Seth Bergman 484; 2. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 472; 3. Johnny Herrera 472; 3. Blake Hahn 467; 5. Matt Covington 455; 6. Wayne Johnson 451; 7. Roger Crockett 423; 8. Jamie Ball 423; 9. Skylar Gee 417; 10. Scott Bogucki 407; 11. Sammy Swindell 399; 12. Robbie Price 379; 13. Harli White 374; 14 Tony Stewart 372; 15. Alex Hill 359;
2018 ASCS National Tour Wins: Roger Crockett - 1 (3/16 - Devil's Bowl Speedway); Seth Bergman - 1 (4/6 - Texas Motor Speedway); Brady Bacon - 1 (4/7 - Texas Motor Speedway); Matt Covington - 1 (Paducah International Raceway);
American Sprint Car Series: http://www.ascsracing.com