On a night made for kids, it was only fitting that a pair of teenagers stole the show at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Fifteen year-old Chris Trickle survived a spirited, four-lap, side-by-side battle with 17-year old Noah Gragson in the race's closing laps to claim victory in the 50-lap Super Late Model feature that highlighted the annual Keith Danser Kids' Candy Toss Night.
"It's a miracle that we won this race," Trickle said. "We didn't practice Friday, and we have been close a lot this year. It really feels good to get this win."
At the start of the evening, it appeared Trickle would run up front most of the night. He qualified third and quickly moved to second on the race's first lap. But Trickle overdrove Turn 3 a few laps later and was passed by several cars as he dropped back to seventh. But a few drivers had mechanical issues and Trickle patiently picked off the remaining cars to work his way back through the field. On lap 37, Trickle drove under Dennis Rock Jr. for the lead and Gragson followed him through the hole. Two laps later, Stan Mullis stalled on the track and brought out the caution that set up the duel with Gragson.
"Once we got shuffled back, we had to fight, fight, fight to get back to the front," Trickle said. "I knew if we could get out front and clear the other cars that we could drive away and win this, and that's exactly what we did."
While Trickle was celebrating in Victory Lane, points leader Scott Gafforini needed a tow back to the pits. The five-time track champion was forced out of the race with a blown engine just nine laps into the event. Rock's second-place finish has tightened the points race with Gafforini heading into the season fnale on Sept. 26.
In other racing action, Court Connell picked up his fourth Bomber victory, Peyton Saxton won in the USLCI Legends Cars, points leader Jason Kiser posted the win in Super Stocks, Ian Anderson recorded his eighth Thunder Cars win, R.J. Smotherman took home his 10th win in Bandolero Bandits and McKenzie Eshleman had her second win in Bandolero Outlaws.
NEXT RACE - Saturday, Sept. 26 - The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series continues with the championship points night as The Bullring will crown its 2015 season champions. The evening also will be Zero Teen Fatalities presents Clark County School District Night as hundreds of students from around the valley will be admitted free. There will be a full slate of racing on tap as drivers scramble for crucial points for the season-long points races.
The Bullring's concession stand offers $2 hot dogs, $2 Coca-Cola products and $3 Budweiser beer on each NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race night. For more information on all events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, please visit www.LVMS.com and follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Race No. 12
Complete unofficial results
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
1. R.J. Smotherman; 2. Kyle Keller (-3.297 seconds); 3. Brodey Warren (-3.590); 4. Amilleo Thomson (-3.744); 5. Matthew Cunningham (-4.514); 6. Ethan Deguevara (-5.452); 7. Dezel West (-1 lap).
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature
1. McKenzie Eshleman; 2. Kyle Jacks (-1.004 seconds); Kayla Eschelman (-1.196); Jacob Quartero (-6.984).
USLCI Thunder Cars 20-lap feature
1. Ian Anderson; 2. Travis Boyle (-4.184 seconds); 3. Chris Bosley (-4.834 seconds); 4. Josh Quartaro (-11.506); 5. Nick D'egidio (-11.629); 6. Doug Germano (-13.450); 7. Chris Trickle (DNF).
NASCAR Super Stocks 35-lap feature
1. Jason Kiser; 2. Ryan Vargas (-1.608 seconds); 3. Joe Deguevara (-2.337); 4. Matt Larsen (-5.636); 5. Robert Negrete (-9.751); 6. John Spilatro (-11.634); 7. Chad Mattos (-1 lap).
USLCI Legends 25-lap feature
1. Peyton Saxton; 2. Cameron Morga (-0.240 seconds); 3. Matt Mead (-2.070); 4. Ricky Lewis (-2.769); 5. Randy Beddow (-3.779); 6. Gary Scheuerell (-4.919); 7. Ian Anderson (-4.958); 8. Ryan Eyer (-5.194); 9. T.J. Clark (-5.763); 10. Cheyanne Schindler (-6.259); 11. Devin Lane (-6.690); 12. J.A. Junior (-6.990); 13. Mathew Barnard (-7.777); 14. Caden Carlin (-8.768); 15. Gary Wegener (-8.974); 16. Brian Williams (-9.120); 17. Justin Spencer (-13.531); 18. Ricky De LeRee (-14.285); 19. Michael Todd Glazier (-1 lap); 20. Gina Tillman (-1 lap); 21. Dezel West (DNF); 22. David Saxton (DNF).
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap breakout race
1. Court Connell; 2. Aaron McMorran (-0.433 seconds); 3. Martin Sullins (-1.260); 4. Jason Merlino (-1.706); 5. Sam Jacks (-2.157); 6. Michael Greve (-2.622); 7. Billy Hern (-3.852); 8. Gary Wyatt (-5.986); 9. Seth Ingham (-1 lap); 10. Arlie Daniel Jr. (-1 lap); 11. J.J. Nunn (0-1 lap); 12. Jim Merlino (-1 lap); 13. Justin Griffiths (-1 lap); 14. Steven Scalzo (-1 lap); 15. Justin Kiser (DNF).
NASCAR Super Late Models 35-lap feature
1. Chris Trickle; 2. Dennis Rock Jr. (-0.827 seconds); 3. Noah Gragson (-1,423); 4. Chris Clyne (-2.284); 5. Kayli Barker (-3.755); 6. Stan Mullis (DNF); 7. David Anderson (DNF); 8. Jason Kenzevich (DNF); 9. Donna Gunther (DNF); 10. Scott Gafforini (DNF).