LAS VEGAS -- Tyler Fabozzi was more like an astronaut than a race car driver at The Bullring on Saturday night.
The Brea, Calif., resident got behind the wheel of an absolute rocket ship on Pack the Track Night, gliding to the 50-lap NASCAR Super Late Models feature victory by 7.540 seconds. Fabozzi lapped everyone except second-place Jimmy Parker Jr. and third-place Scott Gafforini and picked up his first win since April 21 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway short track.
“The car worked great, and I can’t thank the crew enough for that,” said Fabozzi, who now has 11 career Saturday night wins at the 3/8-mile paved oval. “It feels great to get back here (in the Winner’s Circle), and we definitely had a dry spot there for a while. I think we’ve got everything figured out, and I think we should have something good for The Open Comp (on Oct. 20).”
In one of the most competitive Bullring races of the season, Dustin Ash held off Bob Santa Maria in a photo finish in the Late Model Truck Series’ 35-lap race. Ash and Santa Maria traded the lead dozens of times before Ash nipped him at the line by .037 of a second.
“This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to drive one of these trucks,” said Ash, who tied Phil Goodwin for second in all-time Bullring wins with 58. “We build these trucks to go to Tucson every week, and what an awesome class. I’m just grateful to run it. Bob (Santa Maria), he’s one of the teammates, and man, he races hard.
“He had way more horsepower than I did, and all I could do was get through the corners the best I could. I gave it everything I could.”
Cameron Morga endured lap traffic and a multitude of late-race re-starts to win the 35-lap NASCAR Modifieds race, his 15th Saturday night triumph at the LVMS short track. Morga held off 53-time race winner Justin Johnson by 1.139 seconds to punch his ticket to the Winner’s Circle for the third time this season.
“We got into that (lap traffic), but thankfully we got our spot back,” said Morga, who has won two features in a row. “I knew it was going to be tough there with J.J. right behind me on the re-starts, and I knew he was going to give me a run for my money. I just had (spotter) Charlie Wall in my ear telling me, ‘Just hit your marks and don’t make any mistakes.’
“(Johnson is) such a great driver and is so good that you know you can’t make any mistakes and hit your marks on every lap. This is definitely going to be one of my favorite wins.”
Points leader Sam Jacks out-dueled Mason Sargent down the stretch in the NASCAR Super Stocks race, taking his 16th career Bullring win by 1.057 seconds. It was Jacks’ fifth win of the year.
“I have enough of a (points) cushion where I could have just come out here and cruised, but that’s not what we’re out here to do,” said Jacks, who broke a tie with his younger brother, Kyle, for career Bullring wins. “We’ve been fighting the car all year, where we’re real good right off the bat and kind of fall off toward the end of the race. After the last race, we were really struggling, so we got some help from some people and the car seemed to be doing much better today.”
Adam Simon ended a four-year winless drought in the NASCAR Bombers division, picking up his second career Bullring win and giving the class its fifth different winner in 2018. He held off Zachery Nicholls by .643 of a second and was filled with relief in the Winner’s Circle.
“That was the longest race of my life,” said Simon, whose first Bullring victory came on Aug. 31, 2014. “I was trying not to look at the (rear-view) mirror, because it makes me more nervous. It’s been four years since I won last, so this is definitely nice.”
Jason Irwin made it six in a row in the USLCI Legends division, taking the checkered 1.560 seconds ahead of Cameron Morga to earn his 43rd career Bullring win. Irwin was testing a new ride on Pack the Track Night and was happy with it as he chases another Legends national title.
“We built a brand new car, and this was our first weekend with it,” said Irwin, who ranks sixth on The Bullring’s all-time wins list. “We got some good notes and will be back here in a couple weeks. We’re chasing the national title, and with the win tonight, it’s going to put us really close."
Ed Hohman executed a dramatic last-lap pass of Chris Bosley and edged the points leader by .102 of a second in the USLCI Thunder Cars’ 15-lap feature. John Petsco made his maiden trip to the Winner’s Circle in the Skid Plate Cars division, winning a trophy for his grandson in his shark-themed No. 27 car.
In the USLCI Bandolero divisions, Landon Gresser kept his perfect season intact after cruising in the Bandits feature, while Dezel West used a late-race pass of Kaden Crouch to earn his 10th career Bullring Saturday night triumph.
Next event: The Bullring will crown nine of its 10 track champions for 2018 on Championship Night on Saturday, Oct. 6. Points battles will come down to one final race, and children 12 and under can see it all for free when accompanying a ticketed adult.
Tickets are available on www.LVMS.com or by calling 800-644-4444.
-Las Vegas Motor Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Las Vegas Motor Speedway