LAS VEGAS — David Anderson grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Dennis Rock Jr. nine laps into Saturday night’s 40-lap super late model feature and held off furious challenges by Romain Thievin and Scott Gafforini to win the NASCAR Whelen Series season opener at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Anderson, who qualified fourth for the feature event, was running second to Rock at the conclusion of the first lap and methodically reeled in Rock and took the lead nine laps into the feature. Anderson pulled away from the field in the early going but by the mid-point of the race, was running bumper-to-bumper with Thievin, Gafforini and Rock. Thievin finished second, Gafforini was third and Rock took fourth, with Anderson claiming a two-car-length margin of victory.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to get these cars in victory circle,” Anderson said. “We’ve been working really hard over the winter and my dad (Steve, who finished seventh) more than I can even say to get these cars up into running order. We’re just going to take them one at a time and see how many more wins we can pull off.
“It’s a great way to start the season. The last time I started the season with a win, I won a championship so I hope (this is a sign) and I hope (my dad) is the guy I have to beat, as well.”
Phil Goodwin won the super stock feature after taking the lead from Matt Cunningham eight laps into the 25-lap race. Cunningham finished second and Vinny Raucci Jr. was third.
Aaron McMorran took the lead on the second lap of the 25-lap bomber feature and cruised to a comfortable win, finishing ahead of Don Sargent and defending class champion Pete Meyer.
Jason Irwin nudged race leader Zane Smith in the final turn of the final lap to pass Smith and take the checkered flag in the 25-lap Legend Car feature. Smith took second and was followed to the finish line by Noah Gragson, Chris Trickle and Tony Mangini.
Mason Sargent survived being spun out on the sixth lap and roared back to win the 12-lap Bandolero Bandits feature, finishing ahead of Gino Marretti and R.J. Smotherman.
Kyle Jacks led wire-to-wire in the 12-lap Bandolero Outlaws feature, but still had to hold off a hard-charging Philip Root. Caden Carlin took third.
Ian Anderson, who won all 12 Thunder Car features en route to the track championship in 2013, continued his winning ways by capturing the 20-lap Thunder Car main event after passing race leader Ron Reed on the seventh lap. Reed took second and Joshua Quartaro was third.