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Berryhill and Johnson dueled for the lead over more than half the distance before Berryhill finally took command on the 29th of 30 laps, taking the checkered flag aboard the Wesmar-powered Americash Advance No. 97 Eagle in front of 17th-starter Gary Wright, who relegated Johnson to third on the final lap.
"Wow, I'm pretty fired up right now!" Berryhill exclaimed in victory lane. "This is my first ASCS win, it's been a long time coming."
After gridding the feature field inside the fourth row, Berryhill had scratched his way into second behind pole starter and race long leader Jason Johnson by the time the race's final caution flag flew after 16 laps.
And an epic battle was on from there, with Johnson riding a perilous cushion as Berryhill treaded lightly on the low side, all the while with Zach Chappell and "B" Main transfer Gary Wright in their wake.
"I kept working and working on the bottom and then I caught up to him (Johnson), that's when I started thinking he was beatable," Berryhill explained.
Berryhill proved it to be true, willing his way into the lead on the bottom side of turns one and two as the leaders battled through traffic on the 29th lap and holding the advantage over the final lap and a half to become the ninth different ASCoT National feature winner through eleven events this year.
The feature got off to an awkward start when front row outside starter Jonathan Cornell bicycled in turns one and two, sending the balance of the field scrambling. While Cornell saved his machine, Eric Todd spun to the infield exiting turn two with race-ending front-end damage.
The second try to get the race was successful, with Johnson gunning into the lead. Johnson never had a chance to rest easy though, as third-starter Nick Smith immediately applied the pressure as he chased a second consecutive series win with fifth-starter Chappell right there with the lead duo.
Smith pulled alongside Johnson a time or two before clipping an infield tire and knocking off a torsion stop eight laps in, falling back in the field a lap before Mark Shirshekan spun in turn two.
After Smith made a quick trip to the work area, Johnson led the way in front of Chappell, Berryhill and Wright, who had needed just nine laps to blitz from 17th to fourth. With Chappell testing the flexibility of the retaining walls a time or two, Berryhill moved into second on the low side and was already harassing Johnson for the point when the caution flew after 16 laps for Curtis Evans, who spun to stop in turn one with front end woes.
With Johnson on the top side and Berryhill down low, little more than a car-length ever separated the duo over the final rounds. Berryhill edged ahead of Johnson to officially lead lap 18, with Johnson back in front the next time by as they surged back and forth throughout each lap.
Berryhill found the break he needed in lapped traffic entering turn one on the 29th lap and wrestled the lead away from keeps. Wright, who had battled past Chappell for third and stalked the lead duo in the final laps, slid under Johnson on the final lap to take runner-up honors aboard the Wright-Cooper Motorsports Carry All Services/Richwood Construction No. 01 Maxim.
Johnson settled for the show position in Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle, with Chappell fourth in the Legend's Bar-B-Que No. 50z Maxim.
Transferring from "B" Main action along with Wright, Wayne Johnson charged from 20th to round out the top five aboard Mike and Tim Hammers' Fisher-powered H&H Enterprises No. 94 Maxim, outdueling Nebraska's Jack Dover over the final rounds for the position.
Dover was sixth, while Tim Montgomery raced from 19th to seventh in a one-night stand aboard the Sparks No. 91. Travis Rilat crossed the stripe eighth, with Garry Lee Maier charging from 25th to ninth after a blown engine while leading the fifth heat race forced the use of a provisional. Jonathan Cornell completed the top ten in his first ASCS National Tour feature start.
J. Kinder, Chappell, Berryhill, Dover, Smith and Eric Baldaccini topped heat race action for the 47-car field, with Wright and Randy Martin winning the twin "B" Mains.
Rex Combs flipped on the opening lap of the first heat race. Combs was uninjured, but done for the night. Brad Roberts also escaped injury when he flipped on the final lap of the second "B" Main.
O’Reilly ASCoT Lake Ozark Speedway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in passing points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 "B" Mains)
Brodix Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 88-J. Kinder, 2. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 3. 2w-Kenneth Walker, 4. 11-Tyler Thompson, 5. 8-Jeff Wingate, 6. 13-Kathryne Minter, 7. 1x-Brad Ryun, 8. 4-Rex Combs.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 3b-Brad Greer, 3. 33-Austin Alumbaugh, 4. 2-Ryan Marsch, 5. 19s-Steven Cross, 6. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 7. 1-Brad Roberts, 8. 18w-Chris Walker.
Brodix Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 3x-Matt Sutton, 4. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 5. 48-David Brown, 6. 71-Chris Tarrant, 7. 9c-Tony Crank, 8. 93-Taylor Walton.
Wesmar-Shaver Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 29T-Eric Todd, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 1p-Curtis Evans, 5. 22-Dustin Barks, 6. 43-Frank Brown, 7. 11x-Garry Lee Maier. DNS: 10T-Clint Todd.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 21h-Terry Hinck, 3. 4J-Jon Corbin, 4. 01-Gary Wright, 5. 94-Wayne Johnson, 6. 91-Tim Montgomery, 7. 86-Josh Fisher, 8. 61a-Toby Brown.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 2. 18-Tim Newman, 3. 14-Randy Martin, 4. 6-Bryan Grimes, 5. 23F-Matt Fox, 6. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 7. 14k-Kyle Bellm.
"B" Mains – Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 01-Gary Wright, 2. 91-Tim Montgomery, 3. 6-Bryan Grimes, 4. 71-Chris Tarrant, 5. 11-Tyler Thompson, 6. 23F-Matt Fox, 7. 2-Ryan Marsch, 8. 10T-Clint Todd, 9. 93-Taylor Walton, 10. 9c-Tony Crank, 11. 1x-Brad Ryun, 12. 86-Josh Fisher, 13. 13-Kathryne Minter, 14. 48-David Brown, 15. 3x-Matt Sutton. DNS: 4-Rex Combs.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 14-Randy Martin, 2. 94-Wayne Johnson, 3. 2w-Kenneth Walker, 4. 4J-Jon Corbin, 5. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 6. 19s-Steven Cross, 7. 43-Frank Brown, 8. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 9. 8-Jeff Wingate, 10. 61a-Toby Brown, 11. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 12. 1-Brad Roberts, 13. 18w-Chris Walker, 14. 22-Dustin Barks. DNS: 11x-Garry Lee Maier.
O’Reilly ASCoT "A" Main Event:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 2. 01-Gary Wright, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 50z-Zach Chappell, 5. 94-Wayne Johnson, 6. 53-Jack Dover, 7. 91-Tim Montgomery, 8. 29-Travis Rilat, 9. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 10. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 11. 88-J. Kinder, 12. 33-Austin Alumbaugh, 13. 15s-Nick Smith, 14. 6-Bryan Grimes, 15. 86-Josh Fisher, 16. 2w-Kenneth Walker, 17. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 18. 3b-Brad Greer, 19. 18-Tim Newman, 20. 14-Randy Martin, 21. 1p-Curtis Evans, 22. 21h-Terry Hinck, 23. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 24. 13-Kathryne Minter, 25. 29T-Eric Todd.
Lap Leaders: Jason Johnson 1-17, Aaron Berryhill 18, Johnson 19-28, Berryhill 29-30.
Note: Garry Lee Maier and Kathryne Minter utilized O'Reilly ASCOT provisionals and Josh Fisher used an O'Reilly WOW provisional to start the "A" Main.
O’Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Gary Wright 1,277, 2. Wayne Johnson 1,221, 3. Jason Johnson 1,217, 4. Zach Chappell 1,131, 5. Travis Rilat 1,084, 6. Garry Lee Maier 1,072, 7. Eric Baldaccini 980, 8. Nick Smith 948, 9. Kenneth Walker 904, 10. Jason Sides 888, 11. Don Droud, Jr., 827, 12. Jack Dover 751, 13. Kathryne Minter 748, 14. Gary Taylor 699, 15. Chris Tarrant 641.