Victory tasted so sweet to Aaron McMorran at the Keith Danser Kids Candy Toss presented by Whelen Engineering on Saturday night that he went back for seconds.
The reigning NASCAR Bombers track champion swept both 25-lap features at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the flat black No. 22 car he drove to the divisional title in 2015. McMorran held off 2016 points leader Sam Jacks in the first race and used lap traffic to pass Jacks on the 21st lap in the second en route to the sweet sweep.
"I've been coming here since I was 13 or 14, and they've always had the (Keith Danser Kids Candy Toss) since I've been coming around, so it's always a special night," said McMorran, who now has 15 career Saturday night victories at LVMS' 3/8-mile paved oval. "I'm surprised I won that (second race), but (Jacks) got hung up in some lap traffic on the outside and we got another one. I'll take it."
Justin Johnson won a battle with Stan Mullis and a stacked field of NASCAR Super Late Models drivers to win for the fourth time in 2016. He continues to lead six-time track champion Scott Gafforini in the season points standings with two racing weekends remaining.
"Al Budd got me brand new tires, and the brand new tires just let me stay on the bottom and drive by Stan Mullis," said Johnson, who is fourth all-time at The Bullring with 48 career Saturday night victories. "So, thank you Al Budd, thank you Chris Bray and thank all of the fans who came tonight."
Matt Larsen of St. George, Utah, grabbed the lead on lap 23 in the 30-lap NASCAR Super Stocks race and crossed the line ahead of Joe DeGuevara for win No. 2 of the season. Larsen gained some ground on divisional points leader Don Sargent, who had car trouble and finished seventh.
"That was a rough one," said Larsen, who nipped DeGuevara by .938 of a second. "I had a good car tonight, and I want to thank all of these fans. This is awesome!"
After pulling off a daring first-lap pass between two cars, points leader Vinny Raucci Jr. held off Peyton Saxton to earn his second NASCAR Grand American Modifieds win of the season. He finished .601 of a second ahead of Saxton in the 25-lap feature.
"When the green came out, I looked to my left side and saw the hole," Raucci Jr. said of his lap-one pass. "So, I drove it up in there, and it stuck. The car was fast on Friday night, so I was confident it would be good enough to make it stick."
USLCI Legends-Pro points leader Cameron Morga out-dueled second-place Tyler Fabozzi after a re-start with three laps left in the 25-lap feature to notch his sixth Saturday night win of the year. Morga was the division's Young Lions champion last year and is looking to claim his first Pro division crown.
"I definitely didn't want to see the (late) caution and knew (Fabozzi) was going to be pushing me," said Morga, who edged Fabozzi by just .261 of a second. "He was definitely pressuring me getting into the corners and gave me a good bump that moved me up and got underneath me, but luckily I was able to cross him over and hold him off on those last two laps."
Sage Karam of Nazareth, Pa., who has competed in the last three Indianapolis 500s, finished fourth in his first trip to The Bullring.
Chris Bosley, who entered the night seven points behind leader Travis Boyle, passed Boyle on the ninth lap of the 20-lap USLCI Thunder Car feature en route to his sixth Saturday night victory of 2016. Bosley has won five of the last six races at The Bullring.
"It took a lot of patience to get by (Boyle), and we raced clean," said Bosley, of Las Vegas. "We'll basically just change (the car's) oil and check the tire pressure (the rest of the season), and there's no reason to tinker with it if it's good."
Kayla Eshleman of Twin Peaks, Calif., pulled away in the USLCI Bandolero Outlaws' 15-lap feature to take her seventh Bullring win of the season. She entered the race a single point behind Camden Larsen, who finished fourth, and has won three of the last four races at the LVMS short track.
It was win No. 8 on the season for R.J. Smotherman in the USLCI Bandolero Bandits division, and the defending season champion added to his points lead heading into the final two race weekends of 2016. Smotherman now has 19 career Saturday night wins at The Bullring.
R.J.'s father, Robert, stayed undefeated in the track's skid plate car division with win No. 5 of the year. He crossed the line just before his fuel pump went out to widen his lead in the points standings.
NEXT RACE: Racing returns to The Bullring on Saturday, Sept. 10, for Back to School Night, where all students, faculty and staff from area schools, colleges and universities will gain free admission to the short track. The NASCAR Super Late Models will have twin 35-lap features to anchor a full night of action in eight different classes.
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature No. 1
1. Aaron McMorran; 2. Sam Jacks; 3. Kyle Jacks; 4. Martin Sullins; 5. Michael Greve; 6. Nick Nuccitelli; 7. Robert Schumacher; 8. Adam Simon; 9. Jason Merlino; 10. Bob Rynda; 11. Mark Skinner; 12. Jim Merlino; 13. Gary Wyatt; 14. Kirk Hance; 15. Rich Ham; 16. Anthony Mann; 17. Arlie Daniel; 18. Scott Bradbury; 19. Cody Maserang; 20. Michael Thompson; 21. Anthony Riegert; 22. Scott Crane; 23. Bradley Thompson; 24. Dennis Feldman; 25. Billy Hern; 26. Michael Riefler; 27. Justin Griffiths.
USLCI Thunder Cars 20-lap feature
1. Chris Bosley; 2. Travis Boyle (-2.411 seconds); 3. Ed Hohman (-2.731); 4. Doug Germano (-3.432); 5. John Clute Jr. (-9.277); 6. Darin Callaway (-2 laps).
USLCI Bandolero Outlaws 15-lap feature
1. Kayla Eshleman; 2. Ethan DeGuevara (-6.485 seconds); 3. Tia Guy (-11.290); 4. Camden Larsen (-12.174); 5. Matthew Cunningham (-12.448); 6. Cameron Guy (-1 lap); 7. Katie Schlarbaum (-1 lap).
USLCI Bandolero Bandits 15-lap feature
1. R.J. Smotherman; 2. Jaron Giannini (-2.984 seconds); 3. Amilleo Thomson (-3.708); 4. Cody Kiemele (-12.665); 5. Cody Brown (-13.765); 6. Sabastian Lafia (-16.379); 7. Tuscan Nuccitelli (-2 laps).
NASCAR Grand American Modifieds 25-lap feature
1. Vinny Raucci Jr.; 2. Peyton Saxton (-.601 of a second); 3. Doug Hamm (-1.400); 4. Pat Petrie (-4.473); 5. Tom Pfundstein (-5.925).
NASCAR Super Stocks 30-lap feature
1. Matt Larsen; 2. Joe DeGuevara (-.938 of a second); 3. Johnny Spilotro (-2.523); 4. Chris Bray (-3.252); 5. Dylin Smotherman (-4.045); 6. Justin Kiser (-4.551); 7. Don Sargent (-7 laps).
USLCI Legends 25-lap feature
1. Cameron Morga; 2. Tyler Fabozzi (-.261 of a second); 3. T.J. Clark (-1.227); 4. Sage Karam (-1.863); 5. Devin Lane (-2.307); 6. Michael Todd Glazier (-3.088); 7. Brian Williams (-5.985); 8. Justin Spencer (-15.154); 9. Terry Sykes (-1 lap); 10. Jagger Jones (-3 laps); 11. Caden Carlin (-4 laps); 12. Brian Lane (-5 laps); 13. Donny St. Ours (-23 laps); 14. Peyton Saxton (-24 laps).
NASCAR Super Late Models 40-lap feature
1. Justin Johnson; 2. Stan Mullis (-.800 of a second); 3. Chris Clyne (-1.079); 4. Scott Gafforini (-1.515); 5. Chris Trickle (-1.736); 6. David Anderson (-1.957); 7. Dennis Rock Jr. (-2.255); 8. Steve Anderson (-2.983); 9. Warren Knipper (-3.518); 10. Kayli Barker (-3.627); 11. Ryan Vargas (-3.773); 12. Donna Gunther (-3 laps); 13. Gary Clift (-3 laps); 14. Dee Cable (-4 laps).
Skid plate cars 12-lap feature
1. Robert Smotherman; 2. Billy Paddack Jr. (-26.601 seconds); 3. Wyatt Harwood (-l lap).
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature No. 2
1. Aaron McMorran; 2. Sam Jacks (-3.018 seconds); 3. Michael Greve (-4.144); 4. Martin Sullins (-7.733); 5. Adam Simon (-11.506); 6. Kyle Jacks (-12.089); 7. Robert Schumacher (-12.655); 8. Mark Skinner (-14.840); 9. Nick Nuccitelli (-15.117); 10. Jason Merlino (-15.541); 11. Bob Rynda (-16.605); 12. Cody Maserang (-20.397); 13. Michael Riefler (-1 lap); 14. Anthony Mann (-1 lap); 15. Jim Merlino (-1 lap); 16. Rich Ham (-1 lap); 17. Arlie Daniel (-1 lap); 18. Scott Crane (-1 lap); 19. Gary Wyatt (-1 lap); 20. Scott Bradbury (-1 lap); 21. Kirk Hance (-1 lap); 22. Anthony Riegert (-1 lap); 23. Billy Hern (-2 laps); 24. Dennis Feldman (-3 laps); 25. Bradley Thompson (-17 laps); 26. Matt Frady (-17 laps); 27. Justin Griffiths (-25 laps).