Ash headlines local winners in West Coast Short Track Championships
Veteran racers Dustin Ash, Kyle Tellstrom and Don Holtz used experience and patience Saturday at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to capture the three 123-lap main events in the 2021 season finale, the Sigma Performance Service’s West Coast Short Track Championships.
The three drivers held off the challenges of the younger competitors as they wheeled their machines to a big jackpot at the fast 3/8-mile paved oval north of the famed Las Vegas Strip.
Ash, a multi-time feature winner this year at the Bullring in several divisions, drove his No. 11 Sigma Performance Services stock car to an impressive win in the SPS Pro Late Model 123-lap main event despite a couple of late races restarts which nearly took away his $10,000 top prize.
Tellstrom, the 26-year-old Boise State grad and PFC racing representative, led wire-to-wire in his No. 5K modified machine to take home $5,000 in the caution-filled 123-lap SPS Modified contest in a great battle with West Coast racing star Jeremy Doss.
Holtz, the two-time Mesa Marin Super Late Model track champion, battles his way against young Kyle Keller, local favorite Chris Clyne and Las Vegas veteran Jim Wulfenstein to collect the $5,000 top price in the SPS Super Late Model finale.
In addition, 14-year-old Tyler Reif of Henderson, NV, jumped to the lead early and held off pole winner Jake Bollman of Huntington Beach, CA, also 14, to score the $1,000-to-win American Southwest Electric feature win in his quick No. 7 Legends car.
Lee Keach took top honors Saturday in the 35-lap Late Model Truck Series main event with a close victory over 2021 Series champion Stan Mullis and 2020 Series titleholder Mark Allison.
In the SPS Pro Late Model feature, the story was Ash, the SPS race builder during the day who took the lead on lap 25 from early lead Doss, the Spears SRL Pro Late Model Series champion this year.
Dustin, also the Bullring Legends champion in 2021, found himself in a tight battle with Doss with Parker Malone, Dylan Cappello, Tyler and Tanner Reif in the first half of the event.
The Las Vegas veteran was able to open up a several car-lengths lead by lap 75 as he maneuvered his way through lapped traffic. Doss’ challenge for the win was halted on lap 98 when his No. 75 S & S Sports Enterprises stock car cut a right front tire, forcing him to the pit area for replacement rubber.
On the double-file restart, Ash’s machine bogged on the front straight and Cappello jumped to the lead before Ash took the lead on the next lap. A 110-lap caution forced Ash into another restart with five drivers battling for the lead.
However, Dustin held his advantage and took the 1.246-second win over 2021 Bullring feature winner Jeffrey Peterson, Tyler Reif, Tanner Reif and a hard-charging Doss.
It was an impressive finish for the Reif brothers as they started in the rear of the 21-car field due to their stock cars’ smaller fuel tanks. They pitted on a caution at lap 23 to add fuel and drove back up the field to third and fourth at the checkered flag.
“We had a really good race car tonight,” said Ash, after third Bullring Pro Late Model win in 2021. “We tried to give it away a few times on the restarts. I’m so excited to win the $10,000 for the team. I have finished second so many times in these big races and only won twice. It feels so good to win the final race of the year too.”
For Tellstrom, the 123-lap SPS Modified triumph was his sixth feature win in eight starts in 2021 and the pole winner jumped to the front spot at the drop of the green flag. But six caution periods in the first 36 laps kept Kyle from getting a solid advantage over the strong 22-car field.
Constant pressure from Doss’ No. 75 machine filled Tellstrom’s rearview mirror as the two racers pulled away from the rest of the pack. A red flag with two cars locked together in turn four on lap 66 shut down track for ten minutes before action could resume.
The duel with Tellstrom and Doss continued as they diced their way through lapped traffic in a nose-to-tail battle. Several times Doss made dives into turns one and three but to no avail, as the Idaho veteran kept up a strong pace.
At lap 115, it looked like Doss, the 2021 Spears SRL Modified series champion, might slide inside of Tellstrom, but Kyle had excellent drives out of the corners and stayed in front. At the checkered flag, Tellstrom led Doss by 0.632 seconds with a solid performance by local racer Jaron Giannini rounding out the victory podium.
Fourth in the SPS Modified race was Idaho’s Shelby Stroebel with fifth to Nick Gibson.
“It was a gunfight there tonight,” said Tellstrom. “We were running wide open all race long. This year’s competition in the West Coast Modified has really become competitive. A few years back, you could save the car and run hard for the win at the end. But now, it’s tough. I think Jeremy and I were giving everything we had all race. We made the right changes on the car, and I could run wide open all of the time. We haven’t done that here at the Bullring before. I love winning and tonight was a big one. Thanks to the whole crew and my family for their support. I might put some money on roulette tonight.”
In the 123-lap Super Late Model feature, California’s Holtz proved to be the class of the field after qualifying fourth Friday evening at the Bullring.
Pole winner Jimmy Parker Jr. paced the Super Late Model field in the first 50 laps with Keller and Holtz ready to pounce for the lead. Keller took the top spot on lap 51 and held off Holtz’ challenge until lap 60 when the driver known as “Hollywood” took the lead until lap 103 when the red flag came out for Nick Cooper’s incident in turn one.
On the restart, Clyne came from the outside to vault into the lead and held off Holtz until lap 116 when Dan slide under Chris for the No. 1 position. In the meanwhile, another veteran driver, Wulfenstein, who started ninth, made a sensational charge to second and pressured Holtz to the checkered flag.
At the finish, it was Holtz, Wulfenstein, Clyne, Andre Prescott, Keller and John Dillion.
“My crew is so great,” said Holtz. “They take away all of my excuses. Hamke cars are amazing. Willie Allen and WAR shocks are awesome. I want to thank Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, so I can still compete at this age. I really appreciate all of the people who help us compete out here.”
Another great wheel-to-wheel duel Saturday at the Bullring was the USLCI Legend Cars 23-lap finale with Reif and Bollman, both age 14, putting on a great show in the bumper-to-bumper feature. Tyler defeated Jake by just 0.330 seconds with a close third to Brenden Ruzbasky followed by Enzo Lalama and Amileo Thomson.
“That was one of the most difficult Legends races I have had out here at the Bullring,” said Reif. “I had to keep my head into it with the pressure from Jake. He was fast too. Thanks to my family and sponsors like Dewar Farms. They are the best.”
In the 35-lap Late Model Truck Series main event, Keach started sixth and grabbed the lead on lap 12 with Mullis applying the pressure. The two veteran racers fought for the lead through the race before Keach took the 0.783 second margin at the finish. Allison rounded out the truck podium with fourth to Gary Wyatt and fifth to Jim Putman.
The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Season Championship Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the South Point Hotel and Casino (Sonoma Ballroom). The celebration with including honoring the 2021 series champions with dinner, music and the 2021 presentation. For information, please call (702) 632-8363.
West Coast Short Track Championships at The Bullring at LVMS
American Southwest Electric Legends (23 laps)
- Tyler Reif; 2. Jake Bollman (-.0330 seconds); 3.Brenden Ruzbarsky (-0.409); 4. Enzo Lalama (-1.266); 5. Amileo Thomson (-1.904); 6. Ethan Nascimento (-2.234); 7. Lonnie Hochstetler (-3.126); 8. Bruce Silver (-3.440); 9. Chloe Lynch (-4.115); 10. T.J. Roberts (-5.587); 11. Jeff Regier (-8.090); 12. Landon Gresser (-12.920); 13. Kayci Phillips (-18.842); 14.Byson Brown (-1 lap); 15. Jordon Holloway (- 2 laps); 16. Sean Hingorani (- 5 laps).
Late Model Truck Series (35 laps)
1.Lee Keach; 2. Stan Mullis (-0.783); 3. Mark Allison (-1.008); 4. Gary Wyatt (-2.422); 5. Jim Putman (-3.802); 6. Curtis Burns (-4.911); 7. Arlie Daniel (- 5 laps); 8. Mike Riefler (-23 laps).
Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models (123 laps)
- Dustin Ash; 2. Jeffrey Peterson (-1.246); 3. Tyler Reif (-1.452); 4. Tanner Reif (-1.776); 5. Jeremy Doss (-2.443) 6. Parker Malone (-3.423,); 7. Dylan Cappello (-4.163); 8. Matt Erickson (-4.407); 9. Dylan Zampa (-4.919); 10. Robbie Kennealy (-5.522); 11. Howard Holden (-7.562); 12. Aaron McMorran (-9.042); 13. Matt Frady (- 2 laps); 14. Kylie Ith (- 2 laps); 15. Ethan Cheek (- 8 laps); 16. Tyler Monroe (- 15 laps); 17. Kenna Mitchell (- 22 laps); 18. Alex Eskandari (-49 laps); 19. Jadan Walbridge (-71 laps); 20. Zach Telford (-89 laps); 21. Chris Trickle (-101 laps).
Sigma Performance Services Modifieds (123 laps)
1.Kyle Tellstrom; 2. Jeremy Doss (-0.632); 3. Jaron Giannini (-4.370); 4. Shelby Stroebel (-7.277); 5. Nick Gibson (-11.944); 6. Eddie Secord (-14.919); 7. Jeff Longman (- 1 lap); 8. Kayli Barker (- 1 lap); 9. Jimmy Sloan (-1 lap); 10. Dylan Caldwell (- 1 lap); 11. Wyatt King (- 2 laps); 12. Rosalee Weller (-2 laps); 13. Mike Neilson (- 9 laps); 14. Aaron McMorran (-65 laps); 15. Justin Johnson (-71 laps); 16. Scott Osborne (-76 laps); 16. Darrin Sullivan (-78 laps); 17. Sam Jacks (-78 laps); 18. Kylei Keown (-79 laps); 19. Kyle Latham (-97 laps); 20. Tom Pfundstein (-109 laps); 21. Kyle Jacks (-116 laps).
Sigma Performance Services Super Late Models (123 laps)
1.Dan Holtz; 2. Jim Wulfenstein (-1.137); 3. Chris Clyne (-1.659); 4. Andre Prescott (-6.241); 5. Kyle Keller (-12.445); 6. Jim Dillon (-31.837); 7. Any Allen (-36.313); 8. Nick Cooper (- 20 laps); 9. Nick Joanides (-24 laps); 10. Eric Schmidt (-26 laps); 11. Jimmy Parker Jr. (-41 laps); 12. Jeffrey Peterson (-104 laps).