Reif Brothers dominate throwback night at the Bullring
There was plenty of nostalgia Saturday night at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when outstanding short-track action returned to the fast 3/8-mile paved oval after a two-month absence in the popular “Throwback Night” celebrating Las Vegas’ past racers from the old Craig Road Speedway.
More than 70 former Craig Road Speedway participants and fans including past champions, racers and crew members from the old ¼-mile paved track just a few miles south of the current Bullring were honored in the opening ceremonies. Title-winning racers such as Dick Attisani, Phil Hayes, Dick Cobb, Randy Swalwell, Billy Newman, Jimmy Sanderson, Mike Ray and Bobby Ruppert were all on hand. Many cars also featured paint schemes for the Craig Road Speedway days.
In addition to the big “Throwback Night,” the action on the track was hot and heavy despite the two-month layoff due to the summer heat and the complete racing program saw its usual wild wheel-to-wheel competition.
While it was an evening of nostalgia for Las Vegas’ past short-track racing, the current young talent again produced sensational results including winner’s circle celebrations by the Henderson brother duo of Tanner and Tyler Reif.
Tanner captured his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Model main event last Saturday in his No. 43 Boulder Boats/Undaunted Apparel stock car to expand his series point lead, while Tyler took top honors in the USLCI M&H Building Specialites/JBM Underground Legends feature.
In the 40-lap NASCAR Power Grade Inc. Modified finale, veteran Eric Rhead of West Jordan, Utah, the two-time Magic Valley Speedway champion in Idaho, recorded the main event win in a tight win with his No. 66X Redbone Trucking machine over Jaron Giannini of Las Vegas by a slim 0.736 seconds at the checkered flag.
Other main event winners in “Throwback Night” at the Bullring were veteran Stan Mullis in the Late Model Truck Series, Michael Miller in the NASCAR Nostalgia Street Roads Bombers, point leader Dennis Dowell in the popular Skid Plate Cars and young Ashton Leonard in the USLCI Bandoleros.
Saturday’s Pro Late Model victory wasn’t an easy one for Tanner Reif, who started fifth and had to slide by leader Jeffery Peterson with just two laps remaining and crossed the finish line 0.369 seconds ahead of the veteran California racer. Tanner, the 15-year-old Foothill High Schooler, had a tough weekend with mechanical problems early before scoring his fourth Bullring feature in 2021. The Reif team, led by Johnny Blankevoort and Tony Jackson, changed out the car’s differential right before the main event.
And 14-year-old Tyler Reif drove in his first Pro Late Model event of the season at the Bullring and scored an outstanding third place from the sixth starting spot. After his Legends final win Saturday night, he quickly jumped in his No. 7R Undaunted Apparel stock car and made podium finish in his Pro Late Model debut. Fourth went to another teenager Kyle Keller followed by Justin Johnson and Jimmy Parker Jr. Craig Road Speedway honoree, Donna Gunther, finished 11th on the lead lap in the 17-car field.
“The car was good, and I was able to stick with him with Jeff,” said Tanner Reif. “I bumped him once coming through turn three but had to bump him again through one to get by him. I stuck to the bottom, and he (Peterson) was all over me. He did such a good job. I’d like to thank my crew, Tony, Aaron, Tyler for coming out and racing with us and Jeffrey for doing such a good job. Thank you fans for coming out and thank you to all my sponsors, Boulder Boats, Undaunted Apparel and everyone.”
In the 25-lap USLCI M&H Building Specialties/JBM Underground Legends feature, it was all Tyler Reif in his No. 7 Undaunted Apparel machine with an impressive 4.073-second victory over Brandon Giannini with older brother, Tanner, in third place. Rounding out the top-five in the Legends main was Cody Brown and Amileo Thomson.
Rhead defeated a 14-car field in the 40-lap Modified main event in a good race with J. Giannini, Sam Jacks, Justin Johnson and Kyle Jacks. Kylie Barker placed sixth with multi-time track champion Doug Hamm taking seventh Saturday night.
“Thank you to everyone that came out tonight,” said Rhead. “I’d like to thank our sponsors, Fat Boy Ice Cream, Redbone Trucking, Desert Dog signs and graphics and Arcy Race Engines. And we have ice cream for all of the fans who drop by our hauler tonight. Thank you so much for everything you do for me.”
Veteran Mullis of Las Vegas enjoyed a dominating win in the 35-lap Late Model Truck Series final at the Bullring with a ninth starting spot and capturing the race by 7.543 seconds by Gary Wyatt and Mark Allison, another of the Craig Road Speedway honorees at “Throwback Night.”
“The truck was flawless, thanks to Mike McKearn,” said Mullis. “I want to thank the Late Model Truck Series and LV.net for supporting this series.”
Michael Miller returned to the winner’s circle in the NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers for his second Bullring main event victory of the year over early leader Court Connell, Jacob Quartaro, Aaron McMorran and Rob Pfaffaly. Dylan Reinke’s No. 94 car took “best-in-show” for his “Throwback” paint scheme.
“My car started sputtering last night so Aaron McMorran switched cars with me,” said Miller. “And it didn’t look like that was bad luck at all. I’d like to thank my wife and kid, Houston and Dallas Simonette, the whole Vegas-made crew and Pete Meyer for giving me this opportunity. This is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was six years old.”
One of the hottest racers at the Bullring this year might be Dennis Dowell of Las Vegas with another strong performance in the crowd-pleasing Skid Plate Car 15-lap finale Saturday night. Dowell, starting at the rear of the Skid Plate car field, maneuvered his way through the lineup to take a 6.793-second win over multi-time Bullring race winner Ben Williams. Third went to teenager R.J. Smotherman followed by Danger Logan and Robert Leany.
“You can’t have this much fun for as little money as these cars cost to run,” said Dowell. “More people need to come out and do this. I’d like to thank my sponsors, The Hearing Center, Justice Brothers, The Coffee Cup in Boulder City and my girlfriend, Cindy. This is awesome!”
One of the highlights of the evening was the spectacular smoky burnout by Smotherman as he returned to the victory lane for the podium presentations.
Leonard, one of the winningest Bullring racers in 2021, continued his victory celebrations with another 15-lap win over Keller Meechudhone, Logan Gresser and Amelia Suell, who made her Bullring racing debut Saturday.
“It’s always fun to take the win and get to victory,” said Leonard. “We cooled the car down and it ran good all race long.”
In the opening events of the “Throwback Night,” the two Late Model Truck Series heat races were won by Mullis and Gary Wyatt.
NEXT RACE: The Bullring returns to action this Saturday, Sept. 11, for the annual “Spencer Clark Driven Night” saluting the talented young racer from Las Vegas who lost his life in a highway accident in 2006. The Spencer Clark Driven Foundation now supports young Las Vegas racing drivers in their quest to become a professional racer. Racing divisions compete in the “Spencer Clark Driven Night” will be the Sigma Performance Service Pro Late Models, NASCAR Power Grade Inc. Modifieds, USCLI M&H Building Specialites/JBM Underground Legends, NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers, Super Stocks, Full-Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate Cars and USCLI Bandoleros. Theis Saturday’s event will begin with feature races set for 7 p.m. Gates will open at 5:00 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.
37th Short Track Season Opener at The Bullring at LVMS
Saturday, September 4, 2021
USLCI Bandolero Bandits 15-lap feature
1.Ashton Leonard; 2.Keller Meechudhone (-9.758 seconds); 3.Logan Gresser (-1 lap); 4.Amelia Suell (-1 lap).
Full Send Cleaning Service Skid Plate 15-lap feature
- Dennis Dowell 2.Ben Williams (-6.793 seconds); 3.R.J. Smotherman (-18.171); 4.Danger Logan (-1 lap); 5.Robert Leany (-1 lap); 7.Jeff Bargerhuff (-2 laps); 7.Dylin Smotherman (-2 laps); 8.Larry Dowell (-6 laps).
USLCI M & H Building Specialists/JBM Underground Legends Electric 25-lap feature
1.Tyler Reif; 2.Brandon Giannini (-4.073 seconds) 3. Tyler Reif (-4.550); 4.Cody Brown (-4.707); 5.Amileo Thomson (-9.160); 6.Bruce Silver (-9.467); 7.T.J. Roberts (-9.996); 8.Enzo Lalama (-12.423); 9.Brenden Ruzbarsky (-14.214); 10.Chloe Lynch (-14.882); 11.Jeff Regier (-15.144); 12.Lonnie Hochstetler (-15.406) 13.Jeffrey Erickson (-15.816); 14.Brendan Tracy (-1 lap); 15.Landon Gresser (-1 lap); 15.Jovon Fox (-1 lap); 16.Jordon Holloway (-22 laps).
NASCAR Nostalgia Street Rods Bombers 25-lap feature
1.Michael Miller 2.Court Connell (-1.318 seconds); 3.Jacob Quartaro (-3.917); 4.Aaron McMorran (-4.514) 5.Rob Pfaffly (-9.584); 6.Carl Duryee (-18.025); 7. Dylan Reinke (-1 lap); 8.Arizona Shea (-10 laps).
Late Model Truck Series 35-lap feature
1.Stan Mullis 2. 3.Gary Wyatt (-7.543); 3.Mark Allison (-8.264); 4.Billy Grasser (-9.071); 5.Andy Sole (-12.945); 6.Lonnie Hochstetler (-12.945); 7.Curtis Burns (-13 laps); 8.Michael Riefler (-13 laps); 9.Brandon Schilling (-16 laps);
NASCAR Sigma Performance Services Pro Late Models 40-lap feature
1.Tanner Reif; 2.Jeffrey Peterson (-0.369); 3.Tyler Reif (-0.645) 4.Kyle Keller (-2.359); 5. Justin Johnson (-2.523); 6.Jimmy Parker Jr. (-3.685); 7.Robbie Kennealy (-4.325); 8.Matt Frady (-5.558); 9.Johnny Spilatro (-6.153); 10.Chris Bray (-8.183); 11.Donna Gunther (-9.015); 12.Hailey Liles (-9.484); 13.Alex Eskandari (-2 laps); 14.Dave CampoVerde (-2 laps); 15.Derik Burns (-24 laps); 16.Aaron McMorran (-33 laps); 17.Scott Gafforini (-34 laps).
NASCAR 602 Power Grand Inc. Modified 40-lap feature
1.Eric Rhead; 2.Jaron Giannini (-0.736 seconds); 3.Sam Jacks (-1.363); 4.Justin Johnson (-3.); 5.Kyle Jacks (-4.134); 6.Kayli Barker (-6.275); 7.Doug Hamm (-6.535); 8.Kyle Keller (-8.056); 9.Scott Osborne (-8.320); 10.Brian Harrington Jr. (-11.089 lap); 11.Brian Williams (-13.569); 12. Tom Pfundstein (-2 laps); 13.Cheyanne Schindler (-21 laps); 14.Aaron McMorran (-38 laps).