LAS VEGAS – Nine drivers officially etched their names in The Bullring history books at Championship Night on Saturday.
Nine of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway short track’s 2018 season champions were crowned on the special evening, with six drivers earning their first career crowns. The full night of racing put the finishing touches on an eventful and exciting regular season.
Sam Jacks added a NASCAR Super Stocks championship to his career resume after winning that class’ 25-lap feature on Championship Night. The 17-time Bullring race winner won the Bombers division in 2016 and is now a two-time track champion.
“It’s so cool,” said Jacks, who bested Mason Sargent for the title. “We park right next to (the Sargents) in the pits, and we’re always bouncing ideas off each other about what to do. It’s been a lot of fun this year.”
Vinny Raucci Jr. raced to victory in a backup car in the NASCAR Bombers’ 25-lap race, clinching his first career Bullring championship in the process. He out-dueled Kyle Jacks in one of the track’s closest battles, taking the title by a mere two points.
“Today was just a headache, and we lost oil pressure in practice and thought we lost the motor, but didn’t,” Raucci Jr. said. “About three weekends into the season, I started winning some races and figuring out what we have to do to the car. I’ve got to thank Pete (Meyer) and Michael (Miller) for spending four days a week working on the cars and getting them ready for the races.”
Jaron Giannini’s third-place finish in the USLCI Legends finale propelled him to a narrow two-point season points win over his brother, Branden. It was the first Bullring season crown for Jaron Giannini.
“It feels great,” Giannini said. “I don’t know (how I did it), but we just fought as hard as we could.”
Jason Irwin was in the hunt for the Legends season title after six consecutive wins heading into Saturday night, but had to bow out with engine trouble after just a few laps. Four-time track champion Michael Todd Glazier also was in the title hunt before getting caught up in a three-car wreck on the front stretch with three laps remaining.
Chris Bosley edged Ed Hohman by .669 of a second in the USLCI Thunder Cars race to take the checkered flag and clinch his third career divisional crown at The Bullring. Bosley also won the division in 2014 and 2016 and now has 13 career Saturday night wins at the LVMS short track.
“I’ve won this every two years, so even numbers is where it’s at,” said Bosley, who topped Doug Germano by four points for the season championship. “I had a lot of complications with the car, but I just made it work, which is what I do. I want to dedicate this to a buddy of mine, a 6-year-old who passed away two Fridays ago, this is for him.”
Tyler Fabozzi appeared to have cruised to the NASCAR Super Late Models 50-lap feature win on Saturday night, but was disqualified after failing post-race tech inspection. Chris Clyne was credited for the victory, his 13th at The Bullring.
Jimmy Parker Jr. had already sewn up the track title last month and finished third in the season’s final race.
“It’s still sinking in,” Parker Jr. said of his championship. “I surrounded myself with champions this year, and it’s a special moment and has been a special year. This is a four-year project, and I’ve saved every dime I could. I wanted to quit many times, but I stuck with it and this is awesome.”
The NASCAR Modifieds title went to Doug Hamm on Sept. 22, while Cameron Morga won Saturday night’s 35-lap feature at the 3/8-mile paved oval. It was Morga’s 16th career Bullring victory and third in a row in the Modifieds class, and Hamm now has five Bullring track championships since it was reconfigured in 2000.
“I couldn’t do it without my family and my sponsors,” Hamm said. “We just had a good car thanks to Phil’s Fabrication. We all put it together for my sixth championship (dating back to 1999).”
Racer X won the Skid Plate Cars 15-lap race, and Cindy Clark clinched the season championship thanks to a third-place finish. She became the first female to win a track title at The Bullring since Kayla Eshleman won the USLCI Bandolero Outlaws crown in 2016.
“This is the best place to race in the world, it’s so exciting,” Clark said about her first track title. “I couldn’t have done it without my boyfriend, who built me a really fast race car. I bought this car for like $500 on Craigslist, so it’s a fun, affordable way to go racing.
“It’s like controlled chaos, and you just try not to spin out or hit the wall.”
In the USLCI Bandolero Outlaws division, Amilleo Thomson won the 12-lap feature, but the championship went to 16-year-old Kaden Crouch. Crouch won three races this season and now has a Bullring track championship before a driver’s license.
“It feels amazing,” Crouch said. “We definitely didn’t have the fastest car all year and had many struggles, but we just fought through them and got the best finishes we could get. I’m hoping to move up to the Super Stocks to compete with my uncle and my cousin.”
Landon Gresser completed a perfect season in the USLCI Bandolero Bandits class, going 12-for-12 in 2018 after winning the final 12-lap race of the season. Gresser clinched the championship on Sept. 22 and finished .375 of a second ahead of Sabastian Lafia on Saturday night.
“Thank you so much,” Gresser said. “I want to thank all my fellow drivers for having fun racing, all the fans, my supporters and sponsors.”
Next event: The third annual Senator’s Cup Fall Classic is set for Oct. 19-20, with a $15,000 first-place check to the winner of The Open Comp NASCAR Super Late Models feature and the Jr. Late Models division deciding its track title. As always, children 12 and under get in free with 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