Derek Thorn is beginning to make this a habit. Thorn, from Bakersfield, Calif., led the final 71 laps of Saturday night's Spears Southwest Tour Blackjack 121 and earned his sixth career SWT victory at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Although Thorn was the fastest qualifier, he started the race in 11th because of a field inversion. It took him all of 17 laps to race into the top five, 14 more laps to move into second place and 21 more laps to assume the lead.
"It always keeps it interesting, that's for sure," Thorn said of starting 11th and having to race to the front. "I'm just glad we came home in one piece and brought this team home a win."
Despite his history at The Bullring, Thorn said he wasn't overconfident going into the 121-lap race.
"I try to always stay open-minded," Thorn said. "As soon as you think you've got it handled, there's always somebody else right behind you - like Jeremy Doss. He raced me clean, thankfully."
Doss, who entered the race with a share of the series points lead after two races, was practically glued to Thorn's rear bumper for the final 25 laps, but could never make a move to pass Thorn and had to settle for a second-place finish.
"It's going to take a lot of races like this, just finishing up front and not tearing up your stuff," Doss said of what it will take to stay at the top of the series standings. "You've got all these fast guys and they all run up front every weekend. It's going to be tough but I think we can get them."
Brandon White, who shared the points lead with Doss going into the race, finished third, Garrett Archer was fourth and Scott Sanchez took fifth.
In the 35-lap SRL S2 Late Model feature, Ryan Cansdale of Laguna Beach, Calif., overtook race leader Trevor Huddleston on lap 17 and held on for the win. Huddleston was second and Brandon Weaver took third.
Jason Irwin grabbed the lead on the ninth lap of the 40-lap NASCAR Grand American Modified feature and pulled away for his second win of the season. Blake Dunkelberger was second and Scott Osborn took third. Mark Allison and Jerry Toporek rounded out the top five.
Don Sargent held off a hard-charging Aaron McMorran in the final six laps of the 25-lap NASCAR Bombers feature and earned his second straight victory. Sargent and McMorran swapped the lead twice after Sargent grabbed the lead on the seventh lap. McMorran settled for second and Martin Sullins was third. Jim Merlino and Nathan Boss rounded out the top five.
Zane Smith took the lead two laps into the 25-lap Legend Car feature and maintained that lead through five caution periods and earned his third victory of the season and second in a row. Jason Irwin was second, Peyton Saxton took third, Bryan Grandin was fourth and Noah Gragson was fifth.
Mason Sargent earned his fourth victory of the season by leading all 12 laps of the Bandolero Bandits feature. Dezel West was second and Gianna Marretti was third.
In the 12-lap Bandolero Outlaws feature, Kyle Jacks led flag to flag for his second victory of the season. Joey Paonessa was second and Caden Carlin finished third.
NEXT RACE - Saturday, May 17 - NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Lucas Oil Night at The Bullring: Lucas Oil Modified Series, NASCAR Super Late Models, NASCAR Super Stocks, NASCAR Bombers, USAC Ignite Midget Series, USLCI Legend Cars, Bandoleros. Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. The Bullring's concession stand features $1 hot dogs, $1 Coca-Cola products and $2 Budweiser beer on each NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race night.
For more information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.
Saturday night's Spears Southwest Tour/NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature-event results from The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
121-lap Spears Southwest Tour feature (results unofficial): 1. Derek Thorn, 2. Jeremy Doss, 3. Brandon White, 4. Garrett Archer, 5. Scott Sanchez, 6. Carlos Vieira, 7. Tracy Bolin, 8. David Ross, 9. Cole Loftsgard, 10. Ross Strmiska, 11. Greg Voigt, 12. Keith Spangler, 13. Jeff Bischofberger, 14. Donny St. Ours, 15. Jonathan Mawhinney, 16. Matthew Meech, 17. Bob Lyon, 18. Jacob Gomes.
35-lap SRL S2 Late Model feature (results unofficial): 1. Ryan Cansdale, 2. Trevor Huddleston, 3. Brandon Weaver, 4. Bill Waters, 5. Johnny Butler, 6. Chris Morrison, 7. Dave Lowenstein, 8. Carlos Quintero, 9. Nastasia Dodd, 10. Karon Lowenstein.
40-lap NASCAR Grand American Modified feature: 1. Jason Irwin, 2. Blake Dunkelberger, 3. Scott Osborne, 4. Mark Allison, 5. Jerry Toporek, 6. Marty Deluca, 7. Tom Pfundstein, 8. Steve Durbin, 9. Doug Hamm, 10. Jim Rogel.
25-lap NASCAR Bomber feature: 1. Don Sargent, 2. Aaron McMorran, 3. Martin Sullins, 4. Jim Merlino, 5. Nathan Boss, 6. Jason Merlino, 7. Pat Petrie, 8. Adam Simon, 9. Rich Ham, 10. Jeff Bargerhuff, 11. Lorin Bronston, 12. Anthony Riegert, 13. Wade Pearson, 14. Gary Griffiths, 15. Justin Griffiths.
25-lap Legend Car feature: 1. Zane Smith, 2. Jason Irwin, 3. Peyton Saxton, 4. Bryan Grandin, 5. Noah Gragson, 6. Tony Mangini, 7. Jordan Dean, 8. Brecken Snow, 9. Riley Herbst, 10. TJ Clark, 11. Tim Mangini, 12. Ricky Schlick, 13. Eric Olson, 14. Devin Lane, 15. Brandon Snow, 16. Donna Gunther, 17. Brandon Weaver, 18. Billy DeLong, 19. Eddie Garone, 20. Brian Lane, 21. Lawless Allen, 22. Michael Todd Glazier, 23. Cheyanne Schindler, 24. Chris Trickle.
12-lap IAPMO/Silver Star Plumbing/LasVegasTool.com Bandolero Outlaws feature (results unofficial): 1. Kyle Jacks, 2. Joey Paonessa, 3. Caden Carlin, 4. Philip Root, 5. Dylin Smotherman.
12-lap IAPMO/Silver Star Plumbing/LasVegasTool.com Bandolero Bandits feature: 1. Mason Sargent, 2. Dezel West, 3. Gianna Marretti, 4. Gino Marretti, 5. Kyle Keller, 6. RJ Smotherman, 7. Tye O'Hanley, 8. Austin Snyder, 9. Ethan DeGuevara.