He may not be old enough to gamble, but Jason Irwin doubled down at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Not only did the 17-year-old earn his 30th career victory at the 3/8-mile paved oval by winning the USLCI Legends class' 25-lap feature, but he added No. 31 with a win in the 35-lap NASCAR Grand American Modifieds race roughly 30 minutes later. Irwin, of Albuquerque, N.M., became the first driver to win two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races on the same night at The Bullring in 2015.
"It was pretty tough, and physically, I'm pretty wiped right now from crawling in and out of cars," Irwin said. "It was fun, and thanks to Chris Bray and the guys who put the car back together for me after that wreck a few weeks ago."
Irwin had a flare for the dramatic in the USLCI Legends feature, making a move on turn four of the final lap to slingshot past Peyton Saxton and beat him to the finish line by .093 of a second. Saxton had won the season's first three races and led most of the race as he attempted to make it four in a row before the 17-year-old Irwin made the dramatic pass.
"It was a good race, and Peyton is a fast racer," Irwin said. "Hopefully he's not mad and realizes that was just racing."
Faced with the decision between going to his high school prom and racing at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ian Anderson chose to go racing.
His decision paid off, as the Las Vegas driver won his third consecutive USLCI Thunder Cars feature to kick off another night of Whelen All-American Series racing at the 3/8-mile paved oval. Anderson, 18, showed off a tuxedo t-shirt he had been wearing under his race suit and asked on-track interviewer Hannah Rickards to be his "date" for the evening.
Rickards agreed, and Anderson produced a bouquet of flowers for her that he had carried in his car during the race.
"I thought about going to prom, but figured it would be more fun to be here racing with these fans," said Anderson, who has won all three Thunder Cars races at The Bullring this season.
The NASCAR Super Late Models anchored the night's lineup with a 40-lap feature, and five-time Super Late Models season champion Scott Gafforini easily drove to his 58th win at The Bullring to tie Phil Goodwin for the all-time track lead. The wily veteran now has two wins on the 2015 season.
"That's pretty good (having) 58 wins in this tight of a division," said Gafforini, who finished 4.655 seconds ahead of second-place Chris Trickle. "This is a great thing."
Aaron McMorran won a caution-plagued NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature - his third victory of the season - with a little help from a friend. Steve Borkowski of Henderson, Nev., was scheduled to start the race from the pole, but dropped out after loaning McMorran his radiator, a gesture of sportsmanship that was much appreciated.
"We broke our radiator in the heat race, he gave us his and we got the car in the lineup with about five minutes to go," said McMorran, who crossed the line just .383 of a second ahead of Court Connell.
McMorran also thanked the crowd for making it out to the track on a supremely busy sports day in Las Vegas.
"You all could be watching the (Mayweather-Pacquiao) fight, but you're here, so good for you," he said.
R.J. Smotherman also won his third race of the season, taking the USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature ahead of Ethan Deguevara. Aiden Green won his second USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature in a row after crossing the line .740 of a second ahead of Kyle Jacks, so both Bandolero class champions will enter the next race weekend looking to extend winning streaks.
NEXT RACE - Saturday, May 16 - The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series continues with Lucas Oil Presents Military Appreciation Night. Special guests from Nellis Air Force Base will be on-hand to participate in an extended Opening Ceremonies, and all active-duty and retired military personnel and their families will be granted free admission with a valid military ID.
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.
Results from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series¬†race No. 4 at The Bullring at LVMS
USLCI Thunder Cars 20-lap feature
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature
USLCI Legends 25-lap feature
NASCAR Grand American Modifieds 35-lap feature
NASCAR Super Late Models 40-lap feature