Covert rallies from 13th, wins Nininger Memorial
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (June 19) — Three times the first-year Three State Flyers series has come to Hagerstown Speedway. And three times Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., has left holding the trophy.
Rallying from his 13th starting spot, Covert overtook Tommy Armel of Winchester, Va., just before the halfway point in the 43-lap feature and went on to cross the finish line four seconds ahead of Armel. Covert, who has four victories overall at Hagerstown and is the only multiple-race winner in 2009, pocketed $4,000 for his victory in the second annual Red Nininger Memorial.
Covert showed his appreciation after the race to Glenn Nininger, the son of the race's honoree and the owner of Gary Stuhler's fourth-finishing car.
“In remembrance of your dad and how much a part of racing you were and are, it’s an honor to win this race in his memory," Covert said.
“I appreciate Jason being here and putting on a good show for us. He could have slowed down a little bit though,” Glenn Nininger quipped.
Greencastle, Pa., drivers D.J. Myers and Stuhler were third and fourth at the half-mile oval while Andy Anderson of Martinsburg, W.Va., rounded out the top five.
Frankie Plessinger of Big Cove Tannery, Pa., led the opening lap, but polesitter Tyler Armstrong of St. Thomas, Pa., took over when Plessinger washed up the track. Armstrong stayed out front through the 17th lap, but Armel took control after the leaders entered lapped traffic.
Covert quickly followed Armel past Armstrong, then raced into the lead on the 20th lap. Cautions for Tyler Hershey on the 23rd lap and J.T. Spence on the 29th lap slowed the action, but Covert stretched his lead each time.
Before taking command, Covert was picking off drivers as fast as he could.
“I didn’t really know who was leading,” he said. “I’d just get to a car, get them, go to another, get them and go, but once I got free and didn’t see anyone, I thought I must be in the lead, then the yellow came out and I said, ‘I have to get going again.’ ”
Notes: Covert's Barry Klinedinst-owned Rocket Chassis has a Hershey Racing Engine and sponsorship from Red Wing Shoes, Kuppy's Diner and Bam Auto Center. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Ronnie DeHaven Jr., Brian Booze and Randy Burkholder. ... Glenn Elliott won the sportsman feature. ... The Three State Flyers complete the Red Nininger Memorial weekend with a $4,000-to-win event at Winchester (Va.) Speedway. Tommy Armel won last week's regular-season feature at Winchester.
Red Nininger Memorial: (1) Jason Covert, (2) Tommy Armel, (3) D.J. Myers, (4) Gary Stuhler, (5) Andy Anderson, (6) Jim Yoder, (7) Frankie Plessinger, (8) Tyler Armstrong, (9) Darryl Hills, (10) Jeremy Miller, (11) Bo Feathers, (12) Devin Friese, (13) Marvin Winters, (14) Roy Deese Jr., (15) Greg Fetters, (16) Al Shawver Jr., (17) Rusty Sites, (18) Billy Wampler, (19) Scott Cross, (20) J.T. Spence, (21) Brent Smith, (22) Nick Dickson, (23) Nathan Durboraw, (24) Tyler Hershey, (25) Booper Bare, (26) Mike Lupfer. Heat race winners (among 36 cars): Plessinger, Stuhler, Myers, Armstrong. Consolation winner: Dickson.