Ryan Cansdale and Taylor Miinch now have even more to be thankful for heading into Thanksgiving week.
Cansdale, of Laguna Beach, Calif., had a dominant car down the stretch in the Spears Southwest Tour Series 125-lap feature, taking his first checkered flag of the season nearly two seconds ahead of Bobby Hodges. Derek Thorn was the leader early, but had to visit the pits during the race's first caution at the 50-lap mark before finishing a lap down in 14th.
"I'm at a loss for words right now and don't even know what to say," said Cansdale, a Spears Southwest Tour Series rookie. "That race was crazy, and we played it perfectly. I'm so excited."
Jacob Gomes secured the series' season championship by 39 points ahead of Greg Voigt, who had engine issues and finished a lap down in 15th.
Miinch, of El Cajon, Calif., took the checkered flag in the 75-lap Lucas Oil Modifieds feature, a 30-car race that quickly became a crash-filled affair. Miinch passed two-time Lucas Oil Modifieds season champ Jim Mardis on a lap-51 re-start and never looked back en route to a $4,000 pay day.
"I got into the 12 car (Mardis) on one of the re-starts, and I'm sorry about that," Miinch said of the non-points race. "Overall, I thought we had a better car, and I was just trying to stay patient. Four thousand bucks is cool, and I'll probably just give it to my dad to pay some of the bills."
In the SRL S2 Tour Series feature, race leader Kenny Smith spun in turn two on lap 14, and that opened the door for top qualifier and Bullring regular Ryan Vargas. Vargas grabbed the lead and sped to the 35-lap feature victory, his third win of the year at the LVMS short track.
"We had a car that was phenomenal all day," said Vargas, who won two races in the NASCAR Super Stocks division at The Bullring this season. "I'm just so thankful to have the opportunity to race here this weekend. This is just awesome."
SRL S2 Tour Series season points leader Johnny Butler spun in turn two on the last lap, and it ended up costing him. Dylan Garner slipped in and won the season championship by five points thanks to a second-place finish behind Vargas.
California's Cody Jessop took the lead on lap 13 of the 30-lap USAC HPD Midgets feature and never looked back, grabbing the checkered flag by more than three seconds ahead of Jeff Kelley. Jessop was the 2013 USAC HPD Midget Series Rookie of the Year at The Bullring.
"With all the trouble I've had throughout the year, I'm just so glad to finally pick up my first pavement win of the year," Jessop, of Madera, said. "I saw (Kelley) go up the track, and I knew that, if I didn't make the move then, I'd never make it. I was like, 'Oh, come on. You can do it.' I finally got around him and then put it on cruise control and just tried to stay out front as long as I could."
The night's drama was not reserved for the feature races.
Ryan Partridge's 14.993-second qualifying lap set a Lucas Oil Modifieds record at The Bullring & was the third track record of the day for the class. Linny White (15.038 seconds) and Matthew Hicks (15.046) had also lowered the track record earlier in the same qualifying session.
The annual Bullring Awards Banquet will take place Saturday, Dec. 5, at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino, where the season champions will be honored. Doors open at 6 p.m. Pacific Time, dinner will be served at 7 and the awards will follow at 8. Tickets are $35 per person or $300 for a table of 10 and can be purchased by calling LVMS Ticket Services Coordinator Jessica Canning at 702-632-8059.
Lucas Oil Modifieds 75-lap feature
1. Taylor Miinch; 2. Jimmy Mardis (-.828 of a second); 3. Ryan Partridge (-1.900); 4. Kyle Tellstrom (-2.268); 5. Matthew Hicks (-4.557); 6. Austin Barnes (-4.807); 7. Dylan Cappello (-5.449); 8. Jeff Connors (-6.085); 9. Eddie Wilcox (-9.150); 10. Brian Nestor (-9.951); 11. Linny White (-10.101); 12. Aaron McMorran (-11.597); 13. Greg Fullarton (-12.187); 14. Trevor Huddleston (-13.781); 15. Shelby Stroebel (-14.555); 16. Scott Osborne (-1 lap); 17. Darrin Knight (-1 lap); 18. Jerry Toporek (-1 lap); 19. Doug Hamm (-9 laps); 20. Lynn Hardy (-15 laps); 21. Rich Lingren (-18 laps); 22. Eric Holmes (-21 laps); 23. Eddie Secord (-28 laps); 24. Scott Winters (-34 laps); 25. Peyton Saxton (-34 laps); 26. Steve Durbin (-52 laps); 27. Mark Ith Jr. (-53 laps); 28. Dave Arce (-64 laps); 29. Pat Petrie (-65 laps); 30. William Guevara (-72 laps).
SPEARS Southwest Tour Series 125-lap feature
1. Ryan Cansdale; 2. Bobby Hodges (-1.665 seconds); 3. Linny White (-2.992); 4. Jacob Gomes (-5.727); 5. Eric Schmidt (-6.938); 6. John Moore (-10.120); 7. Craig Raudman (-10.781); 8. Jeff Bischofberger (-13.104); 9. Parker Stephens (-15.678); 10. Blaine Rocha (-15.916); 11. Austin Barnes (-16.616); 12. Jason Gilbert (-1 lap); 13. Cole Moore (-1 lap); 14. Derek Thorn (-1 lap); 15. Greg Voigt (-1 lap); 16. Carlos Vieira (-1 lap); 17. Austin Reed (-1 lap); 18. Trevor Christiani (-1 lap); 19. Brandon White (-2 laps); 20. Bob Lyon (-3 laps); 21. Matthew Meech (-3 laps); 22. Dan Holtz (-15 laps); 23. Christian McGhee (-45 laps); 24. Ken Benhamou (-46 laps); 25. Dominic Ursetta (-79 laps).
USAC HPD Midgets 30-lap feature
1. Cody Jessop; 2. Jeff Kelley (-3.106 seconds); 3. Toni Bredinger (-3.430); 4. Dezel West (-3.931); 5. Annie Bredinger (-4.207); 6. Mike Daniels (-4.779); 7. Jimmy Waters (-6.493); 8. Courtney Krone (-11.244); 9. John Waters (-2 laps); 10. Anthony Quintana (-21 laps).
SRL S2 Tour Series 35-lap feature
1. Ryan Vargas; 2. Dylan Garner (-3.643 seconds); 3. Kenny Smith (-13.367); 4. Dave Lowenstein (-16.328); 5. Johnny Butler (-27.429); 6. Craig Yeaton (-1 lap); 7. Bryan Dunn (-2 laps); 8. Brian Good (-2 laps); 9. Karon Lowenstein (-3 laps).