Jeff Peterson scores 1st double win in "Hometown Heroes Night", Cody Brown wins wild Legends feature Saturday at the Bullring
Veteran Jeff Peterson achieved a career first Saturday night in the “First Responders/Hometown Heroes Night” at the Bullring at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway when the California racer scored a “Double” main event victory evening at the fast 3/8-mile paved oval in Round Six of the 10-race Star Nursery Series.
Peterson, of Grand Terrace, CA, recorded the 30-lap and 35-lap “Twin” Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model division feature wins before a big crowd and many of the “First Responders” on hand to celebrate their service to the local Las Vegas community. The two SPS Pro Late Model main event triumphs for Peterson vaulted his 2023 Bullring record to four wins after victories in the season opener on February 19 and April 8.
In addition, Peterson has been on the podium in each of the first eight 2023 Bullring SPS Pro Late Model main events with four wins, two seconds and two thirds.
Joining Peterson in the Bullring victory lane Saturday was another Bullring regular when young Cody Brown drove to a sensational 25-lap M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends Cars win over reigning track champion Jordan Holloway and Jaron Giannini, filling for his brother Branden in the fast No. 25 machine which won the U.S. Legends Nationals last November at the Bullring.
Other main events winners in Saturday’s great on-track action, which include fireworks on the oval and later in the sky for the fans, were Rob Pfaffly (NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rod Outlaw Factory Stocks), Sam Jacks (602 Modifieds), Greg Lee (Bullring Skid Plate Cars), Jason Kiser (NASCAR Super Stocks), Ashton Leonard (M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Bandoleros) and firefighter Johnny Patterson (Battle of the Badges).
In the opening Pro Late Model event, Peterson made a quick start from his fifth start position to grab the lead in his potent No. 90 stock car by lap four over early leader Monty Tipton. Peterson had clear sailing once he jumped to the top spot and never looked back. The battle for second was intense with fastest qualifier Jaron Giannini, former track champion Justin Johnson and young Amilleo Thomson, and a late race incident with all three left Giannini’s mount on the sidelines in turn three.
At the checkered flag, it was Peterson, Thomson, Johnson, Tipton, Enzo Lalama, Aaron McMorran, Scott Gafforini and another teenager in Kylie Ith of Utah.
In the 35-lap Pro Late Model finale, Ith, the 16-year-old from Salt Lake City, grabbed the advantage from the pole and stretched the lead to six lengths in the first five laps. Peterson, starting eighth, fought his way through some tight quarters in his trek towards Ith and the lead of the race.
Ith led for the first 22 circuits in the second feature as Peterson battled Thomson and Justin for the second spot, but, on lap 23, Jeff moved to the inside in turn three and took the lead for good with a 1.104-second win. Thomson and Johnson followed at the checkered flag with Ith taking fourth and Tipton fifth.
“One of my goals was to win two main events in one evening and we finally did it,” said Peterson, who is battling for the Bullring Pro Late Model point lead following the two wins Saturday. “We tested this week at Irwindale and learned some new things with the car, and tonight this machine was on rails. It’s the best we have ever had the car at the Bullring. I could drive it hard, and it would turn in so well. I’d love to race in two weeks, but my wife Kayli (a 602 Modified driver) is graduating with her master’s degree from Purdue University. So, we’ll be back in Indiana that weekend.”
Brown, the high school senior from Las Vegas, has been splitting his racing duties between the Legends cars and the Pro Late Models this year after capturing last year’s Semi-Pro Legends national championship including a big win in Las Vegas in the U.S. Legends Nationals in November.
On Saturday night, Brown came from a seventh starting position and made some impressive maneuvers against some of the nation’s best Legends racers including Pro National Legends champion and Bullring track champion Holloway and J. Giannini, Andy Hulcy of Texas, T.J. Roberts of Arizona, Ryan Jones of Colorado and Las Vegas’ Brendan Tracy.
Tracy was the early leader but Giannini, Holloway, Hulcy and Brown were challenging by lap four and Jaron took the lead with Jordan on his rear bumper. By lap eight, Cody got in the mix, and it was three cars train through the traffic.
One of the best Legends races in several years at the Bullring highlighted the action Saturday with three-wide competition during the 25-lap events before Brown took the lead on lap 19 from Giannini. Holloway followed Brown inside in turn three for second and they finished 1-2-3 with just three-tenths of a second apart at the finish.
Fourth went to Tracy followed by Hulcy, Jones, Roberts, Gavin Ray, Keller Meechudhone and Jeff Regier.
“Wow, that was a very intense race with Jordan and Jaron tonight,” said Brown, who graduates from high school in four weeks. “Our car was just so good against those guys, and I was able to drive it very hard. I knew they were right on my rear bumper those last five laps or so. I just love driving these Legends cars. I think I’ll compete in these cars even when I move into other racing classes. The Third Gen Race Cars team gives us great cars and I’m happy to be back in victory lane.”
The Jacks family celebrations in the Bullring Winner’s Circle continued Saturday with Sam dominating the 20-lap 602 Modified main, leading all 20 circuits in his No. 29 Battleborn Racing machine. Kayli Peterson ran second for the first 14 laps before a caution flag flew. On the restart, Brenden Ruzbarsky drove inside of Peterson for the second spot on lap 15.
At the finish, Sam Jacks won by 0.556 seconds over Ruzbarsky with Peterson third and Kyle Jacks, a four-time Bullring winner this year, fourth. Brian Williams rounded out the top-five.
“Kyle’s car has been fast this year and he has been tough to beat in the Modifieds,” said S. Jacks. “But we have worked hard on this No. 29 car with the Battleborn guys, and I think it’s right there with Kyle’s car for speed. We both had a few problems early today and fought back. I hope we get torace against each other in a good race in two weeks here.”
The Nostalgia Street Rods Outlaw Factory Stocks finale saw a popular winner with Pfaffly taking his first 2023 win in a fast No. 11 machine. “Rob P” took the lead from Brad Thompson on the fifth lap and looked to be in tough command with 1.008-second win over two-time Bullring winner Matt Frady Jr. followed by reigning track champion Michael Miller, Pete Meyer and recent Bullring winner Sheri Goldstrom.
In only his fourth event at the Bullring, Lee turned in a dominating performance in the Bullring Skid Plate main event with a 3.078-second victory over recent Bullring winner Jeff Dailey. It was Lee’s first Bullring win in the No. 21 car, formerly driven by Berenice Hernandez. The most impressive showing might have been Patterson, the Las Vegas Station 10 fireman, in his first Skip Plate main event with a third in the 12-lap feature. Rounding out the top-five were Chris Birdsong and Ken Coombs.
In the 20-lap NASCAR Super Series, Kiser recorded his third win of the season in his quick No. 49 car as the Las Vegas racer took the first spot on lap six and scored an easy win. Second went to Kyle Jacks with early leader Don Geary third. Mike McKearn and Phoenix’ Don Koll Jr and Bill Paddock Jr. rounded out the top-six.
A great battle took place in the 12-lap the M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Bandoleros with two best friends, Ashton Leonard and Logan Gresser. Gresser grabbed the leader early but Leonard, the defending Bullring champion, was about to let his friend pull away as they fought for the lead throughout the event. Finally, by lap 10, Leonard opened a car length lead and took the checkered flag by 0.407 seconds with third going to recent Bullring winner Amelia Suell. Joseph Montoya and James Trimmer placed fourth and fifth Saturday night.
In the always-popular four-lap “Battle of the Badges” pitting local police officers and firefighters, Patterson scored an impressive win by 5.518 over Nevada State policeman Robert Pratt with third going to fireman Josh Ericson and fourth to Nevada Highway Patrolman Alan Young.
In Saturday’s heat race action at the Bullring, K. Peterson won the eight-lap 602 Modified race, with Miller and Pfaffly taking the eight-lap Outlaw Factory Stock contests and Gresser winning in the Bandoleros. Fast qualifiers in two-lap runs Saturday were J. Giannini with 15.430 in the Pro Late Models and Brown at 16.791 in the Legends Cars.
NEXT RACE: The 2023 Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway presented by Star Nursery race schedule continues on Saturday, May 6, with “Mother’s Day Weekend,” the seventh round of the 10-race Star Nursery Series. Remaining Bullring events in 2023 include June 3 “Summer Fun,” June 17 “A Night to Remember/Throwback Night,” July 3 “Night of Fire,” Oct. 13 “Star Nursery 150” with the ARCA Menards Series and Oct. 28 with the Star Nursery Classic. Adult general admission for the majority of the Star Nursery Series events is $8.00 with children 12 & under free at all Bullring events. For more information, please contact the LVMS ticket office at 800-644-4444 or online at LVMS.com. For stockyard passes, please call 800-644-4444, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. PST.
Bullring Racing Season, Round 6 for the Star Nursery Series
Saturday, April 22, 2023
M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground USLCI Bandoleros 12-lap feature
1.Ashton Leonard; 2.Logan Gresser (-0.407 seconds); 3.Amelia Suell (-1.223); 4.Jospeh Montoya (-3.061) 5.James Trimmer (-8.550); 6.Leila Trimmer (-16.968); 7.Piper Suell (-22.978).
NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models 35-lap feature Race 1
1.Jeff Peterson; 2.Amilleo Thomson; 3.Justin Johnson; 4.Monty Tipton; 5.Enzo Lalama; 6.Aaron McMorran; 7.Scott Gafforini; 8.Kylie Ith; 9.Jeff Schildmeyer; 10.Joe Farre; 11.T.J. Roberts; 12.Johnny Spilotro; 13.Jaron Giannini; 14.Alex Eskandari.
NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models 35-lap feature Race 2
1.Jeff Peterson; 2.Amilleo Thomson (-1.104 seconds) 3.Justin Johnson (-1.363); 4.Kylie Ith (-2.797); 5.Monty Tipton (-3.079); 6.Aaron McMorran (-4.445); 7.Enzo Lalama (-4.826); 8.Scott Gafforini (-5.108); 9.Joe Farre (-5.299); 10.T.J. Roberts (-5.868); 11.Johnny Spilotro (-6.437); 12.Jeff Schildmeyer (DNS); 13.Jaron Giannini (DNS); 14.Alex Eskandari (DNS).
NASCAR Super Stocks 20-lap feature
1.Jason Kiser; 2.Kyle Jacks; 3. Don Geary; 4.Mike McKearn; 5.Don Zoll Jr.; 6.Bill Paddock Jr.
USLCI M&H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends 20-lap feature
1.Cody Brown; 2.Jordan Holloway (-0.212 seconds); 3.Jaron Giannini (-0.313) 4.Brendan Tracy (-2.905); 5.Andy Hulcy (-3.507); 6.Ryan Jones (-3.910); 7.T.J. Roberts (-4.046); 8.Gavin Ray (-4.344); 9.Keller Meechudhone (-6.313); 10.Jeff Regier (-6.449); 11.Bruce Silver (-7.948); 12.Julian Brizzi (-17.275); 13.Rick Chelberg (-19.876); 14.Corbin Rueschenburg (-1 lap); 15.Sarah Chelberg (-1 lap); 16.Eric Sigwig (-1 lap); 17.Alex Rose (-10 laps); 18.Landon Gresser (DNS).
Skid Plate Cars 12-lap feature
1.Greg Lee; 2.Jeff Dailey (-3.078 seconds); 3.Johnny Patterson (-6.318); 4.Chris Birdsong (-10.308); 5.Ken Coombs (-11.843); 6.Jeff Bargerhuff (-30.489); 7.Greg Matta (-31.643). 8.Berenice Hernandez (-1 lap); 9.Christina Harper (-1 lap); 10.Josh Ericson (-2 laps); 11.Alan Young (-6 laps); 12.Robert Pratt (-3 laps); 13.Rich Kingham (-4 laps); 14.Jack Goslin (-4 laps); 15.Ben Williams (-6 laps); 16.Robert Leany (-8 laps).
NASCAR 602 Modifieds 20-lap feature Race
1.Sam Jacks; 2. Brenden Ruzbarsky (-0.556 seconds); 3.Kayli Peterson (-2.001); 4. Kyle Jacks (-2.304); 5.Brian Williams (-2.755); 6.Jimmy Petrie (-3.366); 7.Billy Mitchell (-4.496); 8.Ben Williams (-l lap).
Battle of the Badges (Police vs. Fire) 4-lap feature
1.Johnny Patterson (Fire); 2.Robert Pratt (Police) (-5.518)); 3.Josh Ericson (Fire) (-28.669); 4.Alan Young (Police) (-2 laps).