TULSA, Okla. – Sometimes time away is what’s needed. Taking on the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real for the first time in 2010, Matt Covington spliced regional and national events into his schedule for the next two years; picking up two National Tour wins in the process.
The start of the 2012 season, however, was when things changed.
Pulling off the road to regroup his operation following a rough finish in the season’s ninth event at the Salina Highbanks Speedway, Covington returned to the Lone Star and Sooner Regions. It paid off with a sweep of the regional titles.
Focusing again on the regions in 2013, Covington repeated his success of a regional sweep.
With crew and cars in place, the 2014 season will see the Oklahoma driver making a return to the national scene. Asked how he feels about returning to the road, Covington’s reply was simply, “I’m very excited.”
Concerning his goals for the year, the 24-year old driver’s goals revolve around self-improvement, “I’m just looking to better myself, like I’ve been doing and finish in the top five.” Highlighting specific points for the year, Covington stated making the A-Features at the Knoxville Nationals as well as the Short Track Nationals, “I didn’t do it last year, but I did the year before that and the year before that, so I definitely want to get back on that page.”
“We’ve experimented and for me, it really kinda let me to focus more on dialing in my car,” explained Covington when questioned about using his regional success to prepare for his return to the road.
“I remember a couple years ago, especially the first year I ran the National Tour; I didn’t know the first thing about setting up a Sprint Car. We didn’t have a professional crew chief, you know, it was really just a father/son deal trying to figure this thing out so running two years of regional, yeah, it does take some of the pressure off; competition’s not quite as stiff and running the same tracks you’re used to running. When you do that, it helps you to feel what your car is doing, and helps you figure out what little things you need to do to make it better.”
Asked whom Covington is taking on the road with him this year, he will have the help of his Father and younger Brother. “I’m confident in what we can do feel like we’re going in the right directions to make a run for the top-five.”
Covington’s two National Tour wins have come at first time visits to the facilities. The Lone Star Speedway was the sight of his first triumph in Kilgore, Texas on April 9, 2010 when the track was still a half-mile configuration. His second came on November 12, 2011 at the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.
Covington has five ASCS Regional titles to his credit in the past three years with a trio of titles with the Smiley’s Racing Products Lone Star Region plus the past two championships in the American Bank of Oklahoma Sooner Region.
Overall in 2013, Covington entered 46 events with three wins, 18 top five, and 23 top-ten appearances. Covington finished in the top -five on four occasions, including six top tens’ with the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real in 2013, in 14 A-Feature starts.