Bullring's 2019 season titles decided on Championship Night
Saturday night was a special one for 10 Bullring drivers, who took home season titles on Championship Night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway short track.
NASCAR 602 Modifieds star Doug Hamm added to his Bullring legacy, tying Phil Goodwin for third all-time on the short track's wins list with 58 en route to his sixth career track championship. Hamm - who also won a title before the 3/8-mile paved oval was reconfigured in 2000 - won his seventh race of the season and completed a successful title defense in the competitive division.
"It feels awesome, and I've got so many people to thank because there are so many people who work on this car, sponsor me and help out with everything," Hamm said. "I've got a strong family that's behind me 100 percent, and it's just great to be in my shoes. I've had the same collection of people who helped me back in '99 when I got my first one, and I love to be around them."
In the always entertaining NASCAR Bombers division, Adam Simon picked up his third career Bullring victory, and Vinny Raucci Jr. secured his second consecutive track championship despite being black-flagged for causing a wreck on Lap 3.
"This feels amazing," said Simon, who finished second to Raucci Jr. in the season points race. "It just makes me want to come back stronger next year, and hopefully I can come away with a championship."
Raucci Jr. was happy to celebrate his second straight title.
"I'd like to thank my mom and dad, because without them, I wouldn't be here," he said. "Thank you to my sponsors and everyone who's helped me get the championship this year and last."
Chris Clyne had already clinched his first career NASCAR Super Late Models Bullring season championship in August, and Tyler Fabozzi won for the first time in a year by taking the checkered flag in the final 50-lap race of the regular season. Fabozzi will be back at The Bullring for The Fall Classic Oct. 11-12 and was excited to return to the Winner's Circle.
"We got probably 25 laps into that thing, and the car was just stuck on a rail," said Fabozzi, who now has 12 career Bullring victories. "We were able to get out in front, and then we were able to calm down and take the win. I think we know we've got a really good setup for (The Fall Classic), and I'm pretty confident going into it."
For Clyne, he was all smiles after being able to celebrate with the other track champions.
"Oh, this is great, and it was a lot of fun this year," Clyne said. "I want to thank all my guys for putting in a lot of work all year long. It was fun, and we had a good time."
Sam Jacks had already wrapped up the NASCAR Super Stocks season title heading into Championship Night, but put an exclamation point on his season with his eighth victory of the season and 25th overall at The Bullring. Jacks now has three career season crowns at the short track.
"The car's been absolutely amazing every week, and tonight's the best the car's been all year," Jacks said. "There have been a lot of late nights working in the garage, and we're always looking for every little thing we can to make these cars go as fast as they can."
The track's closest battle came in the Skid Plate Cars division, where Dennis Dowell used a third-place finish to edge defending champion - and his girlfriend - Cindy Clark by just two points for the season title. Ben Williams earned his first career Bullring win by taking the checkered flag in the night's 12-lap feature, nearly lapping the field on his way to the Winner's Circle.
"It feels really good, and it's my first win, too," Williams said. "It's pretty hard (to drive) when you are first starting out, but once you get going and learning, it's pretty easy to figure out how to drive them. I want to thank my mom, my dad and my brother for giving me so much support and my dad for helping me build this car."
It was Dowell's first career track championship.
"It was close, wasn't it?" Dowell said. "I spun out on the back straighaway, and I thought it was over with, but I just kept digging and never gave up. This is really special.
"My brother and I, when the track was first built, used to sit over in the stands, watch these races and tell each other 'We could do that.' It took a long time, but I finally did it."
Ronnie Davis made a last-lap pass to take the checkered flag from Ron Nava in the Southwest Tour Trucks' 30-lap race, crossing the line just .065 of a second ahead of Nava. Gary Howard was a close third .176 of a second back, and Davis earned the win after making a heroic save after getting loose early in the race.
"It feels good, and the truck handled great all day," said Davis, of Whittier, Calif. "They should have put a wide load sign on that red truck (of Ron Nava), but we got it done. It was fun beating and banging and short track racing."
Jaron Giannini secured his second straight USLCI Legends track championship in August as well and finished third behind Cameron Morga and Jonathan Mawhinney in the season's final feature on Saturday night. It was the second consecutive victory and 18th overall for Morga, who is considering a full-time schedule at The Bullring in 2020.
"I hope (to run full-time) in either this class or the Modifieds," said Morga, a two-time track champion. "Those are the two most fun classes to run here, and I've always been fast in both. So, hopefully we can put something together and run full-time in at least one series next year here."
Giannini was able to officially celebrate with the track's other nine champions from 2019.
"It feels really great, and this is the second year in a row getting the championship in the Legends," he said. "Maybe we can do it next year and get three in a row. It's been really hard doing the race prep every single race, and I want to thank everyone who helps me."
Landon Gresser won the USLCI Bandolero Outlaws' 12-lap feature, his 16th career Bullring win, but Chloe Lynch clinched the season crown despite an early race crash that ended her night.
"It feels pretty good, and I'm happy with what I did this year," Lynch said. "I think I had 12 wins, nine seconds, a third and a fourth, so I'd say that's a pretty good season. I'd like to thank (my sponsors) and especially my mom and dad, because they're the ones who do everything for me."
Hank Hall picked up his sixth USLCI Bandolero Bandits race win of the year, and Ashton Leonard secured his first career season title thanks to a sixth-place finish. The Thunder Cars (Chris Bosley) and Jr. Late Models (Jadan Walbridge) titles were already decided before Championship Night, and those champions will be honored along with the track's other top performers at the annual Bullring Banquet at Sam's Town on Oct. 5.
NEXT RACE: The Bullring's postseason begins with The Fall Classic Oct. 11-12. Super Late Models, Late Models, 602 Modifieds and Bandoleros will be in action, and kids 12 and under get in free with a ticketed adult.
The Bullring at LVMS
Saturday, Sept. 21
USLCI Bandolero Outlaws 12-lap feature
- Landon Gresser; 2. Brendan Tracy (-.687 of a second); 3. Skyler Meisenbach (-1.663); 4. Haylee Morris (-2 laps); 5. Owen Romzek (-2 laps); 6. Chloe Lynch (-11 laps); 7. Katie Crouch (-11 laps).
*2019 season champion: Chloe Lynch
USLCI Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
- Hank Hall; 2. Gage Jarvis (-3.281 seconds); 3. Tuscan Nuccitelli (-4.641); 4. Alexis Bjork (-12.392); 5. A.J. Blackwill (-12.555); 6. Ashton Leonard (-13.715); 7. Sabastian Lafia (-14.107); 8. Tanner Ash (-15.560); 9. Max Romzek (-16.486); 10. Logan Gresser (-18.188); 11. James Starcher (-19.316); 12. Kyle Crouch (-21.764).
*2019 season champion: Ashton Leonard
NASCAR Bombers 30-lap feature
- Adam Simon; 2. Michael Miller (-1.896 seconds); 3. Steve Durbin (-10.704); 4. Matthew Cunningham (-15.944); 5. Carl Duryee (-16.478); 6. Rob Pea (-1 lap); 7. Steve Dewey (-2 laps); 8. Kirk Hance (-3 laps); 9. Tia Guy (-5 laps); 10. Anthony Mann (-7 laps); 11. Anthony Riegert (-12 laps); 12. Vinny Raucci Jr. (-22 laps); 13. Jacob Quartaro (-22 laps); 14. Kyle Jacks (-24 laps); 15. Marty DeLuca (-24 laps).
*2019 season champion: Vinny Raucci Jr.
Southwest Tour Truck Series 35-lap feature
- Ronnie Davis; 2. Ron Nava (-.065 of a second); 3. Gary Howard (-.176); 4. Donnie St. Ours (-.944); 5. Curtis Burns (-4.251); 6. Steve Reeves (-5.685); 7. Katie Schlarbaum (-12 laps).
NASCAR 602 Modifieds 35-lap feature
- Doug Hamm; 2. Eddie Secord (-4.458 seconds); 3. Brian Reed (-6.887); 4. Jason Kiser (-9.335); 5. Jacob Bishop (-13.049); 6. Kyle Keller (-13.801); 7. Mason Sargent (-14.053); 8. Pat Petrie (-16.138); 9. Zachery Nicholls (-1 lap); 10. Jimmy Petrie (-1 lap); 11. Tom Pfundstein (-2 laps); 12. Jason Irwin (-17 laps).
*2019 season champion: Doug Hamm
NASCAR Super Stocks 25-lap feature
- Sam Jacks; 2. Camden Larsen (-2.246 seconds); 3. Billy Paddack (-4.511); 4. Jim Merlino (-7.423); 5. Chuck DeGuevara (-2 laps).
*2019 season champion: Sam Jacks
Skid Plate Cars 12-lap feature
- Ben Williams; 2. Cindy Clark (-23.371 seconds); 3. Dennis Dowell (-24.773); 4. Robert Leany (-1 lap); 5. Larry Dowell (-1 lap); 6. John Petsco (-1 lap); 7. Scott Stockwell (-3 laps); 8. T.J. Cotter (-12 laps).
*2019 season champion: Dennis Dowell
USLCI Legends 25-lap feature
- Cameron Morga; 2. Jonathan Mawhinney (-.593 of a second); 3. Jaron Giannini (-1.403); 4. Tyler Reif (-3.834); 5. Enzo Lalama (-4.240); 6. John Hans (-4.513); 7. Gary Wegener (-6.229); 8. Bruce Silver (-6.993); 9. Brian Williams (-9.023); 10. Cody Brown (-1 lap); 11. Pinky White (-1 lap); 12. Amilleo Thomson (-23 laps); 13. Branden Giannini (-24 laps).
*2019 season champion: Jaron Giannini
NASCAR Super Late Models 50-lap feature
- Tyler Fabozzi; 2. Tanner Reif (-3.322 seconds); 3. Brandon Farrington (-7.324); 4. Jim Wulfenstein (-8.607); 5. Scott Gafforini (-9.812); 6. Chris Clyne (-11.198); 7. Kayli Barker (-13.890); 8. David Anderson (-1 lap); 9. Johnny Spilotro (-1 lap); 10. Dylan Fabozzi (-1 lap); 11. Donna Gunther (-2 laps); 12. Charlie Pike (-2 laps); 13. Steve Anderson (-2 laps); 14. Dylan Lupton (-13 laps).
*2019 season champion: Chris Clyne