Stovall outruns Looney for Muskogee victory
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (April 1) — Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., outran polesitter and fellow front-row starter Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., on Friday in the MARS DIRTcar Series return to Thunderbird Speedway for a $3,000 victory in the Azalea Nationals. | Slideshow
Stovall, driving a Steve Rushin-owned car, captured the MARS season opener for his first tour victory since 2008. Looney settled for second with six-time series champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., in third ahead of teammate Jeremy Payne. R.C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz., also driving a Rushin-owned machine, rounded out the top five finishers.
MARS was making its first appearance at the half-mile oval since 2002, when it was known as Muskogee Speedway.
Notes: Stovall's Larry Shaw Race Car is sponsored by Rushin Towing and Swafford's Amoco. ... His last MARS victory came Sept. 19, 2008, at the now-paved I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo. ... Looney was gunning for his second career series victory and first since 2007. ... Eric Turner fielded Brandon McCormick's backup car, finishing 19th. ... MARS competitors return to action April 22-23 with a weekend at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway and West Plains (Mo.) Speedway.
Azalea Nationals: (1) Jesse Stovall, (2) Brad Looney, (3) Terry Phillips, (4) Jeremy Payne, (5) R.C. Whitwell, (6) Tony Jackson Jr., (7) Jon Kirby, (8) Brandon Morton, (9) Justin Asplin, (10) Brandon McCormick, (11) Colton Dunlap, (12) Willie Gammill, (13) Dustin Mooneyham, (14) Rylan Long, (15) Jason Redman, (16) Darrell Mooneyham, (17) Houston Garrison, (18) Leroy Johnson, (19) Eric Turner, (20) Eric Brill. Heat race winners (among 22 cars): Asplin, Looney, Stovall.