PEORIA, Ariz. — Besting a stout field of 51 drivers at Canyon Speedway Park, the first payday of the season for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network went to Matt Covington, who led all 25 laps on Friday night.
Having to chase the line around the one-third mile oval as it moved top to bottom through the 25-lap preliminary feature, Covington held on through several late-race restarts to collect the night’s $3,000 paycheck.
“Several times when the track gets like that and moves around, I’ve made the wrong choice and tonight I made the right choice,” Covington said. “The car felt good all night, and I had a lot of fun. I didn’t really need to start babying it until right there at the end. It felt like my right rear was starting to go down about the last five laps, but Mike [Davenport] did a great job on the car tonight and I’m glad we were able to put on a show for these fans.”
Taking the lead from the pole, Covington kept pace over John Carney II. Working the bottom of the Speedway, Carney tried for the lead on lap 12 but hooked the inside berm off the exit of the second turn; sending the No. J2 skyward before slamming hard on the front suspension. Dropping to third in the process, Carney went three-wide with the Scelzi brothers before going around on lap 13.
Taking off with Sanders and Scelzi in tow, the race for the runner-up spot was stout as Dominic and Giovanni battled back-and-forth with Giovanni finally getting the advantage on lap 16. Leaving Dominic to content with Justin Sanders, the No. 17s was able to keep the No. 41x at bay as Giovanni set his sights on the lead.
Taking a shot on a lap 17, Scelzi came up short on the pass. Getting another restart on lap 18, Covington was able to pull away with his advantage growing to nearly a second at the drop of the checkered flag.
Giovanni Scelzi crossed second with Justin Sanders third. Dominic Scelzi in fourth was trailed by Colby Copeland to complete the top five.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 95-Matt Covington; 2. 41S-Giovanni Scelzi; 3. 17S-Justin Sanders; 4. 41X-Dominic Scelzi; 5. 01-Colby Copeland; 6. 17W-Harli White; 7. 47X-Dylan Westbrook; 8. 18S-Jason Solwold; 9. 11-Roger Crockett; 10. 88N-DJ Netto; 11. 52-Blake Hahn; 12. 5H-Michael Faccinto; 13. 41-Colton Hardy; 14. 14-Jordon Mallett; 15. 28-Scott Bogucki; 16. 37-Mitchell Faccinto; 17. 21K-Thomas Kennedy; 18. J2-John Carney II; 19. 9-Chase Randall; 20. 83T-Tanner Carrick; 21. 17-Seth Bergman; 22. (DNF) 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 23. (DNF) 21P-Robbie Price; 24. (DNF) 77X-Alex Hill