ASCS Recap by Bryan Hulbert
SPENCER – The Clay County Fair Speedway may not host weekly dirt-track racing action, but it sure knows how to put on a show for racers and fans alike.
The latest example: the “Battle of the Blue Ribbon” held Tuesday night during the World’s Greatest County Fair. The headline race was the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series, but the Tri-State Late Model Series and IMCA stock cars were definitely worth the price of admission, as well.
Picking up win No. 4 of the season, Matt Covington had to hold off Blake Hahn for the victory in the debut of the Lucas Oil ASCS at Clay County Fair Speedway:
“Man, this was an awesome track tonight, and the fans really made it a great show. It was perfect for how we like it with a bottom, slick to the top, and technical. Being open on one end, and a wall on the other made it interesting, but just glad we could get the win here, especially with these massive trophies. I had to hold on and get one for my buddy, Josh [Hegwood].”
Leading every lap of Tuesday’s “Battle of the Blue Ribbon”, Covington never had much of a cushion to lean on as Hahn stalked him into slower traffic. Taking second on Lap 15, the CSR Garage No. 52 showed a nose to Covington a few times, but never could get the pass. Chasing to the white flag, the caution lights came on for the stalled No. 6 of Jeremy McCune as the leaders raced into the first two turns.
Back to the last fully complete lap, the race set up into a green, white, checkered dash to the finish.
Working the top of the three-eighths mile oval, Covington held Hahn to try and make the bottom work on the restart. Getting bite off the second turn, the pair rode the wall off the fourth turn to the wave of the white flag. Another run off the bottom, Hahn pulled back into Covington’s tire tracks before peeling to the hub of the final two turns.
Matching the A-Rock Material No. 95 in the middle of the third and fourth turns, the top proved to be the place to be as Covington held on by a couple car lengths:
“I was worried on the restart. I knew I had to time it and get the best restart I could to get the gap and hustle it. Blake’s been fast all year and he already showed me a nose a few times in traffic, so I knew it was going to be a fight to the finish.”
Dylan Westbrook held on for third with J.J. Hickle crossing fourth. Using the restart to his advantage, Skylar Prochaska grabbed fifth with Terry McCarl likewise picking up positions to finish sixth. Ryan Timms slipped back to seventh, with Ryan Bickett eighth. Kaleb Johnson and Brandon Stevenson completed the top ten.
The field of 22 was divided into three SCE Gaskets Heat Races with wins going to Ryan Timms, Skylar Prochaska, and Matt Covington. No provisionals were needed.
Earlier in the evening, in the $1,000-to-win stock car finale, Derek Green ran the high side to take the lead midway through the race, then held off second-place finisher Brandon Beckendorf for the win. The early race leader, outside polesitter Donavon Smith, settled for third, while Cody Nielsen and Jake Bruns rounded out the top five. Heat winners were Chance Larson, Jeff Larson, and Green.
The Tri-State Late Model Series victory went to Justin Zeitner, who clawed his way to the lead from his eighth starting position in just two laps. He then held off his closest challenger, series points leader Blair Nothdurft, the remaining 23 laps. JC Wyman, Corey Zeitner, and Nick Beyenhof rounded out the top five. Heat winners were Beyenhof, Nothdurft, and Gary Brown Jr.
Click HERE for full results from MyRacePass.com.
Racing action at the 2021 Clay County Fair will continue Wednesday night with the Blue Ribbon Showdown, featuring the IMCA modified, stock car, northern sportmod, hobby stock, and sport compact divisions. The grandstand opens at 6 p.m. with hot laps starting at 7 and racing to follow at approximately 7:15. The action will be broadcast live on Advantage Racing TV.
(Photo provided by Lucas Oil ASCS; photographer Rob Kocak)
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