Bullring champs honored at year-end awards ceremony
After a year layoff from on-track competition due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the popular Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway returned to action with a spirited 2021 10-event campaign which saw outstanding wheel-to-wheel duels in all six regular divisions at the fast 3/8-mile paved oval. The 2021 Bullring Champions were feted Saturday at the South Point Casino.
Coordinated by former NASCAR racer T.J. Clark and his superb staff, the Bullring was brought back to life this year after the Pandemic shutout for its 37th racing season with a great blend of young drivers and veteran competitors visiting the winner’s circle and podium each Saturday night.
“We made the decision to come back to the Bullring later than usual due to the Pandemic,” said Clark. “But we were able to put together a solid racing program for the 2021 season. I want to thank the drivers, crews, sponsors, fans, Bullring and Las Vegas Motor Speedway staffs for their involvement in an outstanding racing season and we look forward to establishing the 2022 schedule in the near future.”
When the final checkered flag was flown in September, the Bullring legend Doug Hamm of Las Vegas secured his seventh NASCAR Power Grade Inc. Modified series championship in his famous No. 4X machine with five victories and four runner-up finishes in ten features. Hamm totaled 214 to easily scored the title over another veteran Justin Johnson at 156 (3 main event wins) followed by youngster Kyle Jacks (1 main event win) at 104, female driver Kayli Barker at 102 and Jaron Giannini at 97.
In the highly competitive Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model division, it was the talented teenager, Tanner Reif of Henderson, NV, piloting his No. 43 Boulder Boats/Undaunted Apparel stock car to four feature victories and four second place finishes in ten main events to win the coveted point championship over veteran Jeffrey Peterson of Grand Terrace, Calif. The Foothill High School student collected 201 points over Peterson’s 169 markers with third going to another teenager, R.J. Smotherman of Pahrump, NV, and fourth and fifth to Scott Gafforini and J. Giannini.
The 11-race USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends series, multi-time Bullring champion Dustin Ash of Las Vegas, a race car builder for Sigma Performances Services during the week, scored his fifth Bullring series championship with his ultra-quick No. 11 Legends car, winning five of seven features in 2021. Ash, with 158 points, held off a quartet of teenagers in points with Tyler Rief (135), Enzo Lalama (134), Jordon Holloway (130), and Cody Brown (125) rounded out the top five.
A heartfelt story took place in the NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers class when Michael Miller of Las Vegas, who started working on Chuck Trickle’s race cars at the Bullring at age 11, captured his first Bullring series title in 2021. Miller, driving the No. 96 with a salute to his late friend, Spencer Clark, on the front hood of his race car, recorded two victories and four runner-up placings in 2021. Miller totaled 178 to defeat Jacob Quartaro at 167, Court Connell at 163, Adam Simon at 124 and Pete Meyer at 107.
The always-popular Full Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate Cars category saw a battle right down to the final race with young Ben Williams of Las Vegas collecting two wins and four seconds to take the Bullring season title over early series leader Dennis Dowell, 162-157. Dowell won three Skid Plate features in 2021 with Smotherman, third in the final points, capturing two main events.
The winningest driver at the Bullring this year was young Ashton Leonard of Henderson, NV, with seven feature triumphs in the USLCI Bandoleros Bandits division and claiming a dominating series championship with 211 over Keller Meechudhome’s 177. Third went to Logan Gresser with 131.
In the limited Super Stock series, veteran Connell took two main event wins in the three events and won the title with 66 points followed by Mike McKearn at 56, Anthony Mann at 37 and Jason Kiser at 25.
37th Short Track Season Final Point Standings at The Bullring at LVMS
USLCI Bandolero Bandits
1.Ashton Leonard, 211 (7 wins); 2. Keller Meechudhone, 177 (2 wins); 3. Logan Gresser, 131; 4. Alexis Bjork, 62; 5. Quinn Davis, 61 (1 win); 6. Tanner Ash, 60.
Full Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate Cars
- Ben Williams, 162 (2 wins); 2. Dennis Dowell, 157 (3 wins); 3. R.J. Smotherman, 138 (2 wins); 4. Dylin Smotherman, 79; 5. Larry Dowell, 74; 6. Robert Leany, 71; 7. Danger Logan, 45; 8. Jeff Bargerhuff, 31; 9. Zack Airth, 8; 10. Racer X, 0.
1.Court Connell, 66 (2 wins); 2. Mike McKearn, 56; 3. Anthony Mann, 37; 4. Jason Kiser, 25 (1 win); 5. Eric Martin, 20; 6. Robert Schumacher, 16. 7. David Quartaro; 13.
USLCI M & H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends
- Dustin Ash, 158 (5 wins); 2. Tyler Reif, 135 (5 wins); 3.Enzo Lalama, 134; 4. Jordon Holloway, 130; 5.Cody Brown, 125; 6. Braden Giannini, 118 (1 win); 7. Amileo Thomson, 86; 8. Lonnie Hochstetler, 76; 9. Chloe Lynch, 69; 10. Bruce Silver, 66.
NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers
- Michael Miller, 178 (2 wins); 2. Jacob Quartaro, 167 (2 wins); 3. Court Connell, 163 (1 win); 4. Adam Simon, 124; (3 win); 5. Pete Meyer, 107; 6. Rob Pfaffly, 104; 7. Dylan Reinke, 92; 8. Carl Duryee, 88; 9. Aaron McMorran, 54; 10. Tia Guy, 27.
NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models
- Tanner Reif, 201 (4 wins); 2. Jeffrey Peterson, 169 (2 wins); 3. R.J. Smotherman, 110, 4. Scott Gafforini, 89; 5. Jaron Giannini, 77; 6. Kyle Keller, 67 (1 win); 7. Johnny Spilatro, 66; 8. Matt Frady, 55; 9. David Anderson, 52; 10. Dustin Ash, 50 (2 wins).
NASCAR 602 Power Grand Inc. Modified
1.Doug Hamm, 214 (5 wins); 2. Justin Johnson, 156 (3 wins); 3. Kyle Jacks, 104 (1 win); 4. Kayli Barker, 102: 5. Jaron Giannini, 97; 6. Sam Jacks, 96; 7. Eric Rhead, 72 (1 win); 8. Scott Osborne, 63; 9. Brian Williams, 48; 10. Jim Petrie, 47.