The wind blew, engines roared and fans helped celebrate Armed Forces Day at The Bullring on Lucas Oil Presents Military Appreciation Night on Saturday.
Active-duty and retired military personnel and their families were given free admission to Las Vegas Motor Speedway's 3/8-mile paved oval for a full night of racing, and distinguished representatives from Nellis Air Force Base were on-hand to participate in the night's festivities.
Col. Ross Anderson, the base's 926th Wing Commander, performed a swearing-in ceremony for new recruits, the Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors, Chaplain Glen Harris gave the invocation and 2nd Lt. Daniel Vargas belted out a beautiful rendition of the national anthem to begin the evening.
"This sort of thing is very important to all of us, and recognition for our contributions is massive for our people," said Col. Anderson, who waved the green flag to kick off the night's first race. "It just means a lot for our team, and I hear about it many times down the road. The swearing-in is not just for the kids who signed up to join the Air Force ‚Ä¶ it's a public statement of support for everything that's going on right now."
The Lucas Oil Modifieds made one of their two annual appearances at The Bullring, anchoring the night's schedule with a 75-lap feature that will be shown on MAVTV. Reigning Lucas Oil Modified Series Champion Dylan Cappello of Peoria, Ariz., out-raced 29 other cars to cross the finish line first and was all smiles during his victory lane interview.
"That thing just drove itself, practically," said Cappello, said of his No. 11C STR Chevrolet. "My right foot is a little sore, but that's about it (for negatives tonight)."
Jason Irwin, who has 31 career Bullring victories, was second, followed by Jimmy Mardis in third and Las Vegas' Doug Hamm in fourth.
Scott Gafforini easily won the 40-lap NASCAR Super Late Models feature to break a tie with Phil Goodwin for most Saturday night victories at The Bullring since 2000 with his 59th. The talented veteran has more than 500 career wins since beginning his racing career at the age of 13.
Peyton Saxton took advantage of a final-lap mistake by Cameron Morga and passed his good friend on the final turn to win his fourth USLCI Legends feature of the year. Saxton was energized by the hardfought victory.
"That was one heck of a race," said Saxton, of Las Vegas. "We're out here for the military and the veterans, so why not put on a show? It was really fun racing with Cameron, and I thought he had me, but he just made a little mistake coming out of (turn) two and I was able to get underneath him."
Las Vegas' Jason Kiser earned his second Bullring victory of the season by taking the 30-lap NASCAR Super Stocks feature ahead of Matt Larsen of St. George, Utah.
Dennis Rock Jr. held off Andre Prescott in the NASCAR Super Late Models four-lap trophy dash to begin the night's slate of races, with Will Guevara of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., winning the Lucas Oil Modified B feature. R.J. Smotherman won his fourth USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits feature of the season, while Aiden Green ran his winning streak to three races in the USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws division.
NEXT RACE - Saturday, May 30 - The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series continues with Hometown Heroes Night Presented by K&N Filters. Special guests from local law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency services will be on-hand to participate in an extended Opening Ceremonies, and all area police officers, firefighters and first responders and their families will be granted free admission with a valid 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.
Lucas Oil Presents Military Appreciation Night
NASCAR Super Late Models 4-lap trophy dash
1. Dennis Rock Jr.; 2. Andre Prescott (-.106 seconds); 3. Stan Mullis (-1.035); 4. Scott Gafforini (-1.383).
Lucas Oil Modifieds 40-lap B feature
1. Will Guevara; 2. Jeff Longman (-3.014 seconds); 3. Jerry Toporek (-23.301); 4. Dave Arce (DNF); 5. Eric Hamilton (DNF); 6. Steven Durbin (DNF); 7. Denis Thomas (DNF).
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
1. R.J. Smotherman; 2. Ethan Deguevara (-2.351 seconds); 3. Kyle Keller (-4.313); 4. Jaron Giannini (-4.681); 5. Brock Rogers (-5.384); 6. Amilleo Thomson (-6.767); 7. Brodey Warren (-12.387); 8. Matthew Cunningham (-1 lap).
USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature
1. Aiden Green; 2. Philip Root (-2.328 seconds); 3. Kyle Jacks (-3.107).
NASCAR Super Stocks 30-lap feature
1. Jason Kiser; 2. Matt Larsen (-3.169 seconds); 3. Steve Smith (-3.522); 4. Ryan Vargas (-6.344); 5. Kolleen Dresser (-11.953); 6. Mark Balconi (-13.903); 7. Robert Negrete (-15.574); 8. Nick Tierno Jr. (-3 laps); 9. Rich Ham (DNF); 10. John Spilotro (DNF).
USCLI Legends 30-lap feature
1. Peyton Saxton; 2. Cameron Morga (-.120 seconds); 3. Bryan Grandin (-2.622); 4. Michael Todd Glazier (-3.733); 5. Jordan Dean (-3.818); 6. Ryan Eyer (-5.778); 7. Kaeen Honeycutt (-6.279); 8. Devin Lane (-6.548); 9. Randy Beddow (-12.318); 10. Brian Lane (-1 lap); 11. Gina Tillman (-3 laps); 12. Brian Williams (-3 laps); 13. Ricky De LeRee (DNF); 14. Dezel West (DNF); 15. David Saxton (DNF); 16. Caden Carlin (DNF).
NASCAR Super Late Models 40-lap feature
1. Scott Gafforini; 2. Jim Wulfenstein (-5.098 seconds); 3. Dennis Rock Jr. (-6.446); 4. Barry Karr (-7.831); 5. Kayli Barker (-8.709); 6. Stan Mullis (-10.602); 7. David Brandon (-2 laps); 8. Chris Trickle (-3 laps); 9. Andre Prescott (DNF).
Lucas Oil Modifieds 75-lap feature
1. Dylan Cappello; 2. Jason Irwin (-.828 seconds); 3. Jim Mardis (-1.480); 4. Doug Hamm (-1.960); 5. Larry Gerchman (-2.160); 6. Kyle Tellstrom (-3.136); 7. Taylor Miinch (-3.388); 8. Shelby Stroebel (-3.438); 9. Scott Winters (-3.609); 10. Jack Madrid (-3.879); 11. Chris Cook (-4.192); 12. Chase Catania (-5.193); 13. Eric Hamilton (-6.081); 14. Eddie Secord (-6.370); 15. Austin Barnes (-6.432); 16. Jason Patison (-6.772); 17. Jimmy Sloan (-8.659); 18. Travis Irving (-1:37.923); 19. Pat Petrie (-1 lap); 20. Doug Carpenter (-2 laps); 21. Blake Rogers (-2 laps); 22. Denis Thomas (-2 laps); 23. Dave Arce (-2 laps); 24. Matt Hicks (DNF); 25. Marty Deluca (-5 laps); 26. Dustin Tillbury (DNF); 27. Colby Potts (DNF); 28. Steven Durbin (DNF); 29. Eric Rhead (DNF); 30. Linny White (DNF).