Chris Trickle Classic returns to the Bullring Saturday
The annual Chris Trickle Classic returns to the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this Saturday night (June 19) after a two-year absence as an exciting short-track program is scheduled to salute the fallen young Las Vegas stock car star lost tragically in 1998.
Like Trickle’s rise to stardom in the 1990s, the current wave of young Las Vegas racing talent has produced sensational competition in various categories this year at the 3/8-mile paved oval including the hotly-contested Pro Late Model division with teenagers such as Tanner Reif, R.J. Smotherman, Cody Kiemele, Kyle Keller and Josh Bollman leading the way.
Trickle’s climb to short track stardom included 1992 Rookie of the Year in the Late Models at Las Vegas Speedway Park and 10 victories and 14 pole positions in the 1993 Southern California Sportsman Late Model series. In 1994, he scored eight wins and 20 poles in a Late Model machine followed up with 16 victories and 24 poles in 32 races in 1996.
In 1997, Chris was scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series but was fatally injured in a drive-by shooting near his home in Las Vegas. After a year in a coma, Trickle passed on March 25, 1998.
Trickle led the contingent of young Las Vegas racers into NASCAR national scene as a young Kurt Busch replaced Trickle in the popular No. 70 Star Nursery Southwest Tour car. Busch then captured the 1999 Southwest Tour series title, leading to his stellar stock car career which includes the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
This Saturday’s Chris Trickle Classic will have Chris’ mother and father, Barbara and Chuck, in attendance as the Las Vegas racing community pays tribute to the young racer. A full schedule of short track action is set to get underway at 7 p.m. with the young USLCI Bandolero drivers kicking off the program followed by features races in the Super Stock, USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends Cars, NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers, NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models and NASCAR Power Grand Inc. Modifieds.
“We are very excited to bring back the Chris Trickle Classic this year at the Bullring,” said T.J. Clark, Bullring race organizer and former NASCAR driver. “Chris’ racing career was cut short so tragically, but he has left a legacy for short-track racing in Las Vegas.
“His career vaulted other Las Vegas drivers into national prominence and Chris should be saluted annually. We have new young racers ready to follow in Chris’s footsteps now and the racing this year at the Bullring has been fantastic. We hope these youngsters continue to show their talent in the future.”
Reif, age 15, collected his first Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model main event victory in the last Bullring competition on June 5 in his No. 43 Boulder Boats stock car in a dramatic, wheel-to-wheel battle with Smotherman, the 16-year-old who has placed runner-up in the last two Pro Late Model features. Veteran Jeffrey Peterson, a two-time 2021 Bullring feature winner, should be among the contenders as well as Keller, Jaron Giannini, Scott Gafforini, Mike Weimann and Johnny Spilatro in the 30-lapper this Saturday.
The Power Grade Inc. Modified division has been a duel this year between multi-time track champion Doug Hamm, a three-time 2021 winner, and two-time victor Justin Johnson, both of Las Vegas, leading the open-wheel class along with Giannini, Keller, Scott Osborne and female racer Kayli Barker for the 30-lap finale this Saturday.
Branden Giannini of Henderson, the feature winner on June 5, is expected to lead the USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legend Cars field along with Enzo Lalama, Cody Brown, Brenden Ruzbarsky and Amileo Thomson for the 25-lap feature.
In the 25-lap Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers main event, watch for multi-time winner Adam Simon, Jacob Quartaro, Court Connell, Michael Miller and Pete Meyer to contest for the victory lane appearance, while Connell tops the 20-lap Super Stock feature along with Mike McKearn, Jason and Anthony and Mann.
Young Ashton Leonard of Henderson has scored four USLCI Bandolero victories in 2021 and he’ll continue his quest for more wins against the likes of Keller Meechudhone, Logan Gresser, Quinn Davis and Logan Chambers.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with practice rounds for all categories underway also at 5. Opening ceremonies will take place at 6:50 p.m.
Children 12 and under will be admitted free with a ticketed adult on Saturday and throughout the 2021 Bullring season. Purchase tickets in advance by visiting or calling the LVMS ticket office at 800-644-4444 or online at LVMS.com.
The Bullring “Chris Trickle Classic” Schedule - Saturday, June 19
5:00 p.m. Spectator gates open
5:00 p.m. Practice for all classes begins
6:50 p.m. Opening Ceremonies/National Anthem
7:00 p.m. USLCI Bandolero Bandits Feature (12 laps or 15 minutes)
Super Stock Feature (20 laps or 20 minutes)
USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends Feature (25 laps or 25 minutes)
NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers Feature (25 laps or 25 minutes)
NASCAR Signa Performance Services Pro Late Models Feature (30 laps or 30 minutes)
NASCAR Modifieds Feature (30 laps or 30 minutes)