LAS VEGAS – On an evening designed to honor public service personnel, Ivins, Utah, police officer Nick Nuccitelli raced to victory on Hometown Heroes Night Presented by K&N Filters at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Nuccitelli held off Martin Sullins by .342 of a second in the first NASCAR Bombers feature of the night to secure his second career win at the famed 3/8-mile short track. Nuccitelli was in high spirits after his storybook triumph.
“It’s awesome,” said Nuccitelli, whose son, Tuscan, competes in the Bandolero Bandits division. “Thank you to all of the public safety workers out there, I know how hard you work. The biggest (key to success) is the people who surround you, and I have Dennis Thomas from Red Rock Garage who helps me.”
LVMS paid tribute to police, firefighters, EMTs and first responders on the special night, which included static vehicle displays, giveaways, interactive activities and a full schedule of 11 feature races. Representatives from numerous jurisdictions participated in opening ceremonies – which included an appearance from the Nevada Police and Fire Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band – drove pace laps and waved green flags during the festivities.
Travis Boyle held off Chris “Spanky” Bosley by a nose to win the second USLCI Thunder Cars 20-lap feature of the night and deny Bosley a sweep of the division’s races. Boyle’s .074 margin of victory was easily the slimmest of the night.
“It was good, hard racing,” said Boyle, who also won the track’s season-opening Thunder Cars race on March 26. “I knew that, if Spanky got underneath me, I’d be washing up, so I tried to protect that corner on the last lap.”
Bosley won the first 20-lapper of the evening to secure his first Bullring win since 2014.
Noah Gragson gave his mother, Jill, a great birthday present by winning the first of two NASCAR Super Late Model 35-lap races. It was a milestone victory at The Bullring for the budding star.
“This is my first Super Late Model win here, so it’s special,” said Gragson, the 2015 K&N West Series runner-up.
Justin Johnson won the second Super Late Model race to move into a tie with Doug Hamm for fourth place all-time on The Bullring wins list with 44. It was Johnson’s first win at the track since 2014.
“This win is memorable because of all of the police, paramedics and everyone coming out tonight,” said Johnson, a two-time Bullring season points champion. “Most importantly, Chris Bray and Phil’s Fabrication, John Boy Keller and J&S Machines put a heck of a car together.”
Martin Sullins, the 2014 NASCAR Bombers Bullring champion, followed Nuccitelli into the winner’s circle after crossing the line .425 of a second ahead of Kyle Jacks.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and you just never give up,” Sullins said. “I want to thank my family and friends who come to the stockyard every single race.”
“Girl power” was on display at the paved oval as well, as Kayla Eschelman (USLCI Bandolero Outlaws) and Toni Bredinger (USAC HPD Midgets) won their classes’ features. Eschelman set a track record in qualifying, and Bredinger finished 2.858 seconds ahead of her twin sister, Annie.
Cameron Morga passed Brian Grandin on the 22nd lap of the 25-lap USLCI Legends feature to pick up his third consecutive win and fourth in five races dating back to the 2015 season. Peyton Saxton (NASCAR Grand American Modifieds) and R.J. Smotherman (USLCI Bandolero Bandits) also made their way to the winner’s circle on the special evening, earning their 15th and 13th career Saturday night victories, respectively.
NEXT EVENT: The Bullring will host College Night on Saturday, April 30, and Las Vegas-area college students, staff and faculty with valid IDs will receive free admission for themselves and a guest. North American Big Rig Racing, NASCAR Super Stocks (Twin 25s) and Bombers, Southwest Tour trucks, USLCI Legends, Bandoleros and Thunder Cars and Skid plate cars all will be in action.
-Las Vegas Motor Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Jeff Speer