Bryan Hulbert – ELDON, Mo. (May 26, 2019) In a thriller that had everyone guessing who would take the win at Lake Ozark Speedway, El Paso’s John Carney II held off the hard-charging duo of Jonathan Cornell and Matt Covington for his first victory of the season with the American Sprint Car Series on Sunday night. Carney stated in Victory Lane :
“Man this feels good. We’ve been working hard, and we’ve had a fast car. Just haven’t caught any breaks and I guess we did catch at least one tonight, but this car was great. Every who helps me, South Plains Auto Transport, Danny Sander Construction, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Jackson Compaction….just everyone it means a lot. It takes lots of help to operate up and down the road, and without them, I couldn’t be here racing. It’s a lot of fun to get to come out here and do this,”
Carney’s fourth career victory with the American Sprint Car Series, the battle between he and early race leader, Matt Covington, saw the duo trade the lead nearly a dozen times with each answering the other’s slide job over the course of the $5,000 to win feature event.
Taking the point after a second attempt at the start, Covington led the way with the race halted on Lap 6 when Sam Hafertepe, Jr. and Kyle Bellm came together battling for third; sending the pair flipping violently into the third and fourth turns. Both drivers were unharmed but unable to continue. Restarting with Jamie Ball and John Carney II in tow, Covington held the point as Carney worked to second on a Lap 7 restart for a stopped No. 28 of Scott Bogucki.
Working the low side of the Lake Ozark Speedway, Carney advanced to the point on Lap 10 with the pair exchanging the position several times before Carney was able to get some breathing room. Short-lived as the pair hit traffic, Carney found his line blocked; allowing the Triple X Race Co. No. 95 to make the high line pass working Lap 20, but the caution would bring the field back to Lap 19, and the Danny Sander Construction No. J2 back to the lead.
Keeping pace on the field at the restart, Carney continued to work the hub as Covington railed the cushion. Going after the lead with five to go, the pair were joined by Jonathan Cornell with the No. 35m looking anywhere they weren’t. Slide for slide, Carney, and Covington exchanged the lead with Cornell nearly taking it away several times as the laps clicked by. To the white flag, and still anyone’s race, Carney made his car as wide as possible as the trio dove into the final two turns. A drag race to the checkered flag, Carney snagged the win by 0.194 seconds with Jonathan Cornell getting the last lap pass for the runner-up spot. Matt Covington in a close, and badly needed third after flipping on Saturday night, trailed by a mere 0.911 seconds. Running inside the top five nearly the entire race, Paul Nienhiser held on to fourth with Jamie Ball making a nice rebound run to fifth.
Advancing 14 positions after having to race his way in through the second B-Feature, Blake Hahn was the night’s hard charger in sixth. Terry McCarl was seventh with Sean McClelland eighth. Retaking the point’s lead, Roger Crockett rallied from 14th to ninth for a pair of top tens on the weekend. Finishing 10th for the second night in a row was Jordon Mallett.
Seeing several weekly competitors for Knoxville Raceway make the trip on Sunday, 38 drivers broke down into five Heat Races that went to Kyle Bellm, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Matt Covington, Jamie Ball, and Carson McCarl. A pair of B-Features were topped by Chris Martin and Scott Bogucki. Three drivers utilized provisionals with Harli White using a National Owner Point’s Provisional. Miles Paulus entered on the ASCS Warrior Region Provisional with Aryton Gennetten gifted a Promoter’s Provisional.
The next event for the American Sprint Car Series is Saturday, June 1 at Route 66 Motor Speedway in Amarillo, Texas. Fans not able to attend can find the weekend broadcast live at http://www.racinboys.com.
For other news, notes, and information on the American Sprint Car Series, from the National Tour to any of the nine Regional Tours that make up ASCS Nation in 2019, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com, follow on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter.