Mother Nature was the big winner at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Uncustomary rain showers kept track workers busy at the beloved 3/8-mile short track as the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series visited for the Blackjack 121, and the race was called at the 62-lap mark with all-time series winner Derek Thorn earning the rain-shortened victory. Thorn, who led the series' 125-lap feature at The Bullring in November through 50 laps before having car trouble, won for the seventh time at the track and secured his 25th career SPEARS Southwest Tour Series win.
"I'm excited! It's not the race that anybody wanted," Thorn told a Speed 51 Powered by Jegs correspondent. "It's unfortunate the race had to end how it did, but I can't thank my team enough. They put a lot of hard work into this and our season is just beginning.
"Hopefully, we can get some more wins as the year goes on."
Thorn, of Bakersfield, Calif., took control of the race within the first few laps and never looked back, easily re-taking the lead after a scheduled caution at the 25-lap mark. Rain returned to force another caution around the 40-lap mark, and Thorn led the field around the track through 62 laps before the race was called.
Thorn was racing for others, as his team supports the Race for Autism campaign.
"With our new teammate, Carlos Vieira, and the partnership with 51 Fifty, and the campaign with Race for Autism, I couldn’t be any happier for our Campbell Motorsports, 51 Fifty team," he said. "It’s our first win together and the first win for 51 Fifty in the SRL. It’s really cool to get to support and get to raise awareness for Autism during Autism Awareness Month."
The USLCI races (Legends, Bandoleros and Thunder Cars), as well as the NASCAR Bombers and Super Stocks features were canceled and will be made up at various points throughout the season. Any fans who purchased tickets for the April 9 Bullring races can use them as rain-day admission on Saturday, April 23.
NEXT RACE: The Bullring will host Hometown Heroes Night on Saturday, April 23, and all local police, fire and emergency personnel and their families will gain free admission with a valid ID. Numerous service vehicles will be on display, fans will be able to participate in a variety of activities, and first responders will be part of opening ceremonies on the special night.
SPEARS Southwest Tour Series Blackjack 121 results (Rain-shortened to 62 laps)
1. Derek Thorn; 2. Parker Stephens (-0.771 of a second); 3. Christian McGhee (-1.610); 4. Jacob Gomes (-3.563); 5. Blaine Rocha (-4.164); 6. Ryan Cansdale (-5.091); 7. Jeremy Doss (-5.682); 8. Brandon White (-6.806); 9. Bobby Hodges (-7.814); 10. Keith Spangler (-9.085); 11. Noah Gragson (-9.889); 12. Eric Richardson (-10.860); 13. Carlos Vieira (-11.777); 14. Austin Reed (-12.830); 15. Ken Benhamou (-14.961); 16. Matthew Meech (-1 lap); 17. Andre Prescott (-29 laps); 18. Trevor Huddleston (-51 laps).