Ash returns to Victory Lane at the Bullring
Short-track racing competition always produces heated battles last Saturday night at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was no different.
Saluting the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy opened the special activities Saturday with a moment of silence and remembering the fallen heroes that day as well as accolades for late young Las Vegas racing star Spencer Clark who passed in 2006 in a highway accident.
Spencer’s parents, Debbie and T.J. Clark, spoke about the Spencer Clark Driven Foundation and Spencer’s love for the Bullring. Donations were accepted during the evening and T-shirts were given for donations.
On Saturday evening, many Bullring point championships were determined and the action proved to be hot and heavy in all classes. Rubbing fenders and wheel-to-wheel battles produced some of the best racing of the 2021 Bullring season.
As 15-year-old Tanner Reif sought his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model main event victory Saturday, the Foothill high school student took his popular No. 43 Boulder Boats/Undaunted Apparel stock car to the front in the 40-lap feature and looked on his way to the checkered flag. But veteran Dustin Ash had other ideas in a thrilling last lap pass.
Multi-time NASCAR Power Grade Inc. Modified track champion Doug Hamm returned to victory lane with his No. 4X Mojave Masonry machine while Michael Miller, Ben Williams and Ashton Leonard clinched 2021 Bullring class titles.
In the Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model feature, Reif took the lead early and continued his dominance at the Bullring, seeking win No. 5 in a row. But the action was tight with Tanner, Ash, Bullring race winner Jeffrey Peterson and veteran Justin Johnson all fighting for positions.
Ash, the longtime Bullring competitor who has won in the Legends class this year, stalked Reif right to the final lap. A late-race yellow flag period put Ash in position to challenge Reif for the win. On the final circuit, Ash nudged Tanner to slip by for the 0.126-second win in the 11a Sigma machine.
Reif continued to expand his point lead with the runner-up spot followed by Peterson, Johnson, Jimmy Parker Jr. and Scott Gafforini.
“This is awesome,” said Ash. “I roughed him up a little bit but that’s short-track racing. I expect it back from him at some point. I have to thank everybody at the SPS shop. This is the car’s first full race, so that’s pretty awesome, I’m super happy.”
Reif knew Ash might have an advantage on the late restart and accepted his finish.
“The car was good the entire time,” said Reif. “I had a good long-run car, I had a half a straight-away lead on the long run. But, on that last yellow, that was like our ‘sayonara’ song there. It just played right into his hands, nothing we could have done different. I want to thank our sponsors, Competition Carburetor, Undaunted Apparel, Boulder Boats, PGC. Thanks to all of the fans for coming out.”
Hamm, with several 2021 Bullring feature wins already, returned to his familiar finishing spot with a 1.810-second victory over Sam Jacks with Jaron Giannini, Kayli Barker and Johnson rounding out the top-five slots. The caution-filled 40-lapper saw Hamm start from the pole and never look back. But it was wild behind the Las Vegas racer with plenty of paint swapping.
“That was pretty awesome,” said Hamm. “I have to thank Mike Crisp, from Crispy Critters, Ewing Brothers Towing, they do everything for me. Mojave Masonry, without them, I wouldn’t be here. I still have the tribute to Dick Cobb, he was driving this thing tonight, not me. This is for all the guys and women who perished in the 9/11 attacks. They are in our hearts and prayers, and the families. And a special thanks, and a guy we dearly miss, Spencer Clark. I’d like to give his old man a big hug right now.”
Jacks talked about the wild racing he was involved in throughout the 40-lap feature.
“Whew! That was a wild race,” Jacks said. “I’m just glad I have all four quarter panels still on the car. I want to thank Bill Paddock. He works his tail off to make sure we get here and get to race I want to thank my brother, Kyle, as we are always working on the cars together. It’s a lot of fun.”
Tyler Reif, the 14-year-old racer from Henderson, NV, drove his No. 7 mount to victory lane again in the 25-lap USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends main in holding off Ash, a multi-time Legends winner this year, followed by young Jordon Holloway, Tanner Reif, Amileo Thomson and Cody Brown.
“This car is really good,” said Tyler Reif. “It feels amazing to beat Dustin Ash. He has been one of my idols since I was little. Really good competition tonight. I’m just really happy right now. I want to thank CSM Graphics, Shreddy, Undaunted Apparel, all my other sponsors, all the friends and fans that came out. My whole team has great people who make these cars rocket ships tonight.”
In the 25-lap NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers final, the battle was won was Jacob Quartaro in his No. 44 machine, but Michael Miller and his No. 96 car won the war and the division series championship. Quartaro was 16 points out of the title lead and he did what he need with the victory, but with Miller finishing second in the feature, he clinched the title by 11 points.
“It was definitely a good race, good to have this car back in victory lane,” said Quartaro. “We have been fighting it a little bit this season. Congratulations to Michael Miller for a championship. It was a good race. I’d like to thank all my sponsors, especially Sheri Goldstrom and Nostalgia Street Rods, Johnson Unlimited sponsored my brakes, Chris Clyne Motorsports, my dad, my mom, my brother and glad to have all the fans in the grandstands.”
It was a hard-fought chase for the Bombers championship with Miller scoring his first title.
“This means a lot,” said Miller. “Congratulations to Jacob on his win tonight, he deserves it. He has been working hard. I want to dedicate this championship to Spencer Clark and my mom and Karen Roberts who passed away this week. I want to thank Steve Durbin, Vinny Raucci, Jr., Aaron McMorran, Houston and Dallas Simonette, who helped me out with tires all year, and the whole VegasMade group. I got my family down here with me.”
With two 15-lap Full-Send Cleaning Skid Plate Car Features Saturday, the category’s point chase was going to be determined and Dennis Dowell had the lead when the night started. But a first feature crash took the personable Dowell out of contention, and he had to attempt to gain points driving his brother Larry’s car in the second main event.
Teenager R.J. Smotherman scored both Skid Plate wins Saturday night and Ben Williams recorded both runner-up spots to secure the series championship. Again, Smotherman ended the night to a crowd-pleasing smoky burnout in the winner’s circle.
“That was pretty exciting,” said Smotherman. “What a way to end the year, two wins in a row. I can’t thank everybody enough, Wolfenstein Construction, Hear Clear Ear Buds, Wells Motorsports, my dad, my grandpa, my grandma, my sister, everyone that helps me out.”
Williams knew Saturday’s double feature would decide the series point battle.
“It was intense trying to pass RJ,” said Williams. “This is my first championship, and it feels awesome. I want to thank my mom, my dad and my brother.”
Rob Leahy garnered his first podium finish in 3rd in the Skid Plate cars.
“It was a fun race. I was disappointed to see Dennis not be able to race his own car, but it was fun to come out here. My car costs $200 so everyone needs to go get one and come out here.”
Young Leonard won another USLCI Bandoleros feature to clinch the series crown. Ashton defeated Logan Gresser and Keller Meechudhome.
“It feels really good to win,” said Leonard. “I’d like to thank my dad for being my mechanic and my mom and grandma for being my biggest fans. And my friends for coming out here and all the fans.”
Parker Jr. captured the Sigma Performance Service Pro Late Models eight-lap Dash Saturday over Chris Bray and Matt Frady.
NEXT RACE: The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be a part of the big South Point 400 weekend set for Thursday, Sept. 23, with the Star Nursery 150 ARCA Menards Series main event as well as features with the NASCAR Power Grade Inc. Modifieds, NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models and USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends. Action begins at 7 p.m. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with practice in all classes set for 5:15 p.m. Opening ceremonies will take place at 6:50 p.m. Children 12 and under will be admitted free with a ticketed adult through the 2021 Bullring season. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting or calling the LVMS ticket office at 800-644-4444 or online at LVMS.com.
Results for Saturday, September 11, 2021
USLCI Bandolero Bandits 15-lap feature
1.Ashton Leonard; 2. Logan Gresser (-13.789 seconds); 3.Keller Meechudhone (-19.478 seconds).
Full Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate 15-lap feature – No. 1
- R.J. Smotherman 2.Ben Williams (-3.797 seconds); 3. Robert Leany (-1 lap); 5. Danger Logan (-3 laps); 6.Dylin Smotherman (-3 laps); 7.Dennis Dowell (-11 laps).
Full Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate 15-lap feature – No. 2
- R.J. Smotherman 2.Ben Williams (-16.237 seconds); 3. Robert Leany (-1 lap); 4. Dennis Dowell (-1 lap) 5. Danger Logan (-2 laps); 6.Dylin Smotherman (-6 laps).
USLCI M & H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends Electric 25-lap feature
1.Tyler Reif; 2.Dustin Ash (-0.576 seconds) 3.Jordon Holloway (-0.766) ; 4.Tanner Reif (-3.486); 5.Amileo Thomson (-6.869); 6.Cody Brown (-8.023); 7.Chloe Lynch (-10.643). 8.Bruce Silver (-11.221) 9. Jeff Regier (-13.018); 10. Lonnie Hochstetler (-14.312); 11.T.J. Roberts (-16.845) 9.Brenden Ruzbarsky (-14.214); 10.Chloe Lynch (-14.882); 11.Jeff Regier (-15.144); 12.Brendan Tracy (-17.553); 13.Landon Gresser (-35.167 lap); 14.Enzo Lalama (-15 laps).
NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers 25-lap feature
- Jacob Quartaro ; 2.Michael Miller (-3.533 seconds); 3.Aaron McMorran (-5.601); 4. Court Connell (-6.676); 5.Rob Pfaffly (-11.465); 6.Carl Duryee (-15.320); 7. Dylan Reinke (-1 lap); 8.Arizona Shea (-5 laps).
NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models 40-lap feature
1.Dustin Ash; 2.Tanner Reif (-0.126); 3.Jeffrey Peterson (-0.709); 4.Justin Johnson (-1.742) 5.Jimmy Parker Jr. (-3.536); 6.Scott Gafforini (-4.240); 7.Jacob Smith (-4.680); 8.Chris Bray (-4.941); 9. Alex Eskandari (-5.330); 10.Tyler Reif (-6.320); 11.Derik Burns (-8.320); 12.Dave CampoVerde (-9.918); 13.Matt Frady (-5 laps); 14.Steve Anderson (-16 laps); 15. Johnny Spilatro (-32 laps);
NASCAR 602 Power Grand Inc. Modified 40-lap feature
1.Doug Hamm; 2. Sam Jacks (-1.810); 3. Jaron Giannini (-2.181); 4. Kayli Barker (-3.291); 5. Justin Johnson (-3.567); 6. Brian Williams (6.494); 7.Jim Petrie (-7.278); 8.Kyle Jacks (-10.690); 9.Scott Osborne (-1 lap); 10. Tom Pfundstein (-3 laps)