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Morgan Masters ASCS Midwest Opener at I-80 Speedway!

Lonnie Wheatley, GREENWOOD, Neb. (April 16, 2010) – Dustin Morgan made the 400-mile trek from Tulsa, OK, to Nebraska Raceway Park’s I-80 Speedway well worth it by racing to his first career American Sprint Car Series feature win in Friday night’s season-opening ASCS Midwest 25-lapper.

With Hall of Famer Kenny Woodruff massaging the Wesmar-powered Ark Wrecking Co. of Oklahoma No. 93 Maxim, Morgan led all but three circuits in the opening feature of the weekend double atop the 4/10-mile dirt oval.

“It’s a big relief to get this first one,” the Lucas Oil ASCS National contender commented after knocking off the Regional field of 34 entries. “We’re gonna try to make it two in a row tomorrow night.”

After pacing the initial 13 circuits from the pole starting position, Morgan surrendered the lead to Billy Alley upon the completion of the 14th round as the lead trio that also included Jack Dover began dicing for the point in heavy traffic just before the night’s only red flag flew when Mitch Runge tagged the turn two wall and flipped.

Alley, a former ASCS Midwest champ, set sail on the restart. It was just for a pair of laps however, as a broken spindle on the 17th lap sent a front wheel flying and ended Alley’s night prematurely.

“Billy kinda checked out there on that restart, I really don’t know if we had much for him at that point,” Morgan commented.

Back in front, Morgan fought off a couple of bids from fellow Lucas Oil ASCS National contender Jack Dover en route to taking the checkered flag by four car-lengths.

Moonlighting in Gary Swenson’s No. 24a entry, Dover settled for runner-up honors with two-time Northern Plains champ Lee Grosz gaining a half-dozen positions to take the show position.

Ryan Roberts advanced from 10th to fourth, with 13th-starter Gregg Bakker rounding out the top five.

Chad Humston rallied from 19th to sixth, with Ryan Bickett, defending ASCS Midwest champ Jason Danley, Bryan Dobesh and Jody Rosenboom completing the top ten.

Mike Boston, Dover, Morgan and Alley topped heat race action, with Dobesh victorious in the 12-lap “B” Main.

Morgan raced from eighth to win his heat race and then drew the number one pill in the feature redraw for the pole starting position. Up to second in one lap of his heat race, Morgan took the win when leader Thomas Kennedy’s engine went up in smoke on the sixth round. Kennedy’s father, Lou Kennedy, Jr., held the fifth position in the feature until running short of fuel just three laps shy of the checkered flag.

The ASCS Midwest Region wraps up the opening weekend of the 2010 season on Saturday night at Nebraska Raceway Park’s I-80 Speedway, with action set to go green at 7:00 p.m.

ASCS Midwest Region Results from I-80 Speedway:

First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 51-Mike Boston, 2. 18-Ryan Roberts, 3. 82-Jason Danley, 4. 28-Mitch Runge, 5. 2-Don Droud, Jr., 6. 43-A.J. Selenke, 7. 10-Josh Higday, 8. 25-Dylan Peterson, 9. 05-Justin Wolf-Medlock.

Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 24a-Jack Dover, 2. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 3. 4j-Lee Grosz, 4. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 5. 54-Bryan Dobesh, 6. 1m-Chad Humston, 7. 5-Eric Lutz, 8. 35-Trevor Grossenbacher, 9. 77-John Klabunde.

Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan, 2. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 3. 44-Doug Lovegrove, 4. 20k-Thomas Kennedy, 5. 10d-Danielle Ossenfort, 6. 17-Gage Dorr, 7. K9-John VandenBerg, 8. 76-Jay Russell.

Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 22-Billy Alley, 2. 32-Toby Chapman, 3. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 4. 14-Jody Rosenboom, 5. 7k-Robby Wolfgang, 6. 71-Tige Jensen, 7. 2d-Dusty Ballenger, 8. 98-J.D. Johnson.

“B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 54-Bryan Dobesh, 2. 14-Jody Rosenboom, 3. 1m-Chad Humston, 4. 43-A.J. Selenke, 5. 71-Tige Jensen, 6. 98-J.D. Johnson, 7. 10-Josh Higday, 8. 2d-Dusty Ballenger, 9. 25-Dylan Peterson, 10. 76-Jay Russell, 11. K9-John VandenBerg, 12. 17-Gage Dorr, 13. 05-Justin Wolf-Medlock, 14. 10d-Danielle Ossenfort, 15. 51-Mike Boston, 16. 35-Trevor Grossenbacher, 17. 77-John Klabunde. DNS: 20k-Thomas Kennedy.

“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan, 2. 24a-Jack Dover, 3. 4j-Lee Grosz, 4. 18-Ryan Roberts, 5. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 6. 1m-Chad Humston, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. 82-Jason Danley, 9. 54-Bryan Dobesh, 10. 14-Jody Rosenboom, 11. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 12. 7k-Robby Wolfgang, 13. 44-Doug Lovegrove, 14. 21k-Lou Kennedy, Jr., 15. 51-Mike Boston, 16. 2-Don Droud, Jr., 17. 22-Billy Alley, 18. 28-Mitch Runge, 19. 43-A.J. Selenke, 20. 32-Toby Chapman.

ASCS Midwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Dustin Morgan 150, 2. Jack Dover 142, 3. Lee Grosz 135, 4. Ryan Roberts 130, 5. Gregg Bakker 125, 6. Chad Humston 122, 7.. Ryan Bickett 119, 8. Jason Danley 116, 9. Bryan Dobesh 113, 10. Jody Rosenboom 110.