KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Matt Covington did not expect to win Friday night’s Amercian Sprint Car Series feature at Lakeside Speedway.
Yet, while still nursing injuries suffered in a crash during the Knoxville Nationals, Covington defied the odds and landed in victory lane.
“This honestly not what I was expecting tonight. I was just hoping I could be here at all, but really, right now, I feel pretty good. My back is sore, and my chest is a little more sore after that, but I couldn’t be happier,” said Covington. “I got Matthew Howard back out here and glad to get him back in victory lane, and Steven [Lane] for everything. Those two have worked their butts off.”
Winning three times with the National Tour this season, all three have come at Kansas tracks, with his win at Lakeside the first time that Covington’s has topped the famed half-mile to bring his overall total to 19.
Taking the green from third, Covington battled pole sitter Wayne Johnson into the first two turns. Nearly wheel-to-wheel through the first five laps, Johnson rocketed off the low side of the second turn to take the point just as the top two completed the fifth revolution.
Keeping Covington at by for two more laps, the T&L Foundry/XXX Chassis No. 95 reclaimed the lead on Lap 8. Able to pull away in traffic, Covington’s advantage grew to 1.-978 seconds before red lights came on with five to go when Daryn Langford tangled with Kade Morton.
Pulling away on the restart, Covington gapped the field by 2.177 seconds over the final five laps. Going for broke on the restart around the top of turns three and four.
Ayrton Gennetten mounted a charge on lap 23 for second, and his career fourth podium finish with the National Tour.
Wayne Johnson ended up third for the 58th time. Rolling back to seventh on the start, Landon Britt clawed his way back to fourth, with Jordon Mallett in fifth.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington; 2. 19-Ayrton Gennetten; 3. 2C-Wayne Johnson; 4. 10-Landon Britt; 5. 14-Jordon Mallett; 6. 55B-Brandon Anderson; 7. 44-Chris Martin; 8. 98P-Miles Paulus; 9. 36-Jason Martin; 10. 87J-Jace Park; 11. 45X-Kyler Johnson; 12. 1E-Ian Madsen; 13. 7C-Chris Morgan; 14. 6-Christopher Townsend; 15. 91-Michael Day; 16. 8M-Kade Morton; 17. 32D-Daryn Langford; 18. 3-Howard Moore; 19. 2-Whit Gastineau; 20. 111-Chad Frewaldt; 21. 2P-Chase Porter; 22. 11X-Garet Williamson; 23. 3Z-Zach Davis