Through a haze of diesel smoke and a melody of blaring horns, Las Vegas' introduction to the spectacle that is Big Rig racing lived up to the hype on Saturday night.
Isaac Harder of Crossfield, Alberta, Canada, held off Corry McMeakin of Calgary, Alberta, in the North American Big Rig Racing's 40-lap feature at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, much to the delight of an enthusiastic and vocal crowd. Twelve of the association's 3,000-horsepower behemoths took to the 3/8-mile oval for the night's featured race, and the drivers did not disappoint.
Harder and his 1963 Peterbuilt 381 finished 1.123 seconds ahead of McMeakin, who led most of the first half of the race and also won a four-lap trophy dash to kick off the night's festivities in his 1995 Kenworth. He was thrilled with the group's first-ever experience at The Bullring.
"It was a smooth track and fast and was good for the trucks that have big power, and it worked out tonight," Harder said after treating the crowd to a billowy burnout near victory lane following the win. "It's been awesome, we've had a great time down here, and I hope we can come back again."
Glen Creed, who finished third, enjoyed his week in Las Vegas as well.
"It's been quite an exciting time, and we've always wanted to come to Vegas," he said. "I'd like to thank my wife for putting up with me for so many years. It just keeps getting better."
Ian Anderson of Las Vegas made it 2-for-2 on the 2015 season with a win in the 20-lap Thunder Car feature, with his father, Mark, finishing 1.303 seconds behind in second.
"It feels great," Ian Anderson said. "I've never had a car handle this good before. I'd like to thank everyone for coming out, and it's a great pleasure to have all of you here."
Henderson's Phil Goodwin used a great restart with seven laps remaining to grab the lead in the Super Stocks' 25-lap feature and held off Jason Kiser for yet another victory at The Bullring. It was Godowin's second victory of the 2015 season.
"I knew my only shot was to get them on the restart, because I didn't have anything for the No. 21 car," Goodwin said. "We've been struggling the last couple weeks, the guys stepped up and helped me out quite a bit today, and I appreciate it. This is a great win for us."
Peyton Saxton of Las Vegas survived the field and a massive 10-car pileup on the front stretch on the race's second lap to win the 25-lap Legends feature. Nick Halen, who led early, finished a close second by .356 of a second.
"Nick made me do some work with my car to get around him," Saxton said. "It was a good, clean race, and I've got to thank my teammate, Cameron Morga in the 54 car. He really helped me out and gave me a push there."
The Bombers feature was also interrupted by a red flag after 15 laps because of oil on the track, and Henderson's Aaron McMorran fought his way through some intense racing to pick up his second victory of the season. Nate Boss was the runner-up, crossing the line .959 of a second behind McMorran.
"It's really fast," McMorran said of his No. 22 car. "A guy tried killing me on the backstretch, and we still got to the front. I guess that made it exciting for everybody, so I'll try to keep it up."
Las Vegas' Doug Hamm added another Bullring victory to his resume by taking the Grand American Modifieds' 30-lap feature. Jason Irwin, who won the first two races of the 2015 season, wrecked on the second lap and did not finish.
Hamm pulled away from the field despite not having the luxury of power steering in his No. 4 car.
"We started at the back because we had no power steering, and it looked easy, but I'm tired," Hamm said. "It was a handful inside that car, but we motored on and we'll take them when we can get them."
The Bandoleros provided a pair of entertaining races early in the night. Ethan Deguevara broke R.J. Smotherman's two-race win streak in the Bandits' 12-lap feature by .304 of a second, while Aiden Green earned his first career win at The Bullring in the Outlaws' 12-lap feature.
Complete results from North American Big Rig Racing Night at The Bullring at LVMS
North American Big Rig four-lap Trophy Dash
Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature
Thunder Cars 20-lap feature
Super Stock 25-lap feature
Legends 25-lap feature
Bombers 25-lap feature
Grand American Modifieds 30-lap feature
North American Big Rig 40-lap feature