LAS VEGAS — A year after settling for a disappointing second-place finish, Jeremy Doss got a great dose of redemption at the Senator’s Cup Fall Classic on Saturday night.
The Upper Lake, Calif., driver executed a last-lap pass of Gracin Raz, then held off a charging Austin Herzog to take the checkered flag in the 150-lap Open Comp and earn a check for $15,000. Herzog was subsequently disqualified after failing post-race tech inspection, leaving Raz in second place, .197 of a second back.
Doss came up on the losing end to Derek Thorn via a late-race pass a year ago, but this year was his.
“I just couldn’t let that happen two years in a row,” said Doss, who leads the SRL Spears Southwest Tour standings. “I’m just so happy to get the win this year, and this is some redemption for me. I’d like to thank all the fans for coming out and everyone who helps us with this project.”
Raz led most of the early laps and was up front at the 75-lap break, before Trevor Cristiani took the lead and held the top spot through lap 100. Doss overtook Cristiani on lap 103 and was the leader down the stretch until Raz caught him with two laps remaining.
After relinquishing the lead to Raz, Doss regained it in Turn 2 on the final trip around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway three-eighths-mile paved oval and held on for the big win.
“(Raz) saved his stuff a little bit, and he had something there at the end,” Doss said. “I feel like, with these races, you have to save a little bit and can’t go hard the whole time. We used that to our advantage, played our cards right and came out on top.”
Linny White, the Open Comp champion in 2015 and 2016, finished third, while Las Vegas native Noah Gragson – during a break from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs – ended up fourth.
Kyle Keller of Las Vegas clinched the Jr. Late Models season championship by finishing third in night’s the 35-lap feature. He finished 12 points ahead of R.J. Smotherman for the season title and will be honored along with the rest of The Bullring’s 2018 champions at the annual awards banquet at Sam’s Town Live! on Nov. 3.
“It feels really good because this is my home town, and I’ve been racing here since I was 8,” Keller said about his first Bullring season crown. “I want to thank my crew, my mom and dad, Billy Paddack for helping me this year and all my sponsors.”
Tanner Reif of Henderson, Nev., won the evening’s 35-lap race by .917 of a second over Smotherman. It was Reif’s third Bullring win of the season and second in two nights.
“It feels good to be in my hometown and win at my home track,” Reif said. “I want to thank my mom and dad, my sponsors and my crew.”
Justin Johnson made his way there again on Saturday night. The 2017 NASCAR Super Late Models track champion survived multiple re-starts to take the checkered flag ahead of 2018 NASCAR Modifieds track champ Doug Hamm in the night’s 100-lap feature.
“The car was so good, it made it kind of easy,” said Johnson, who ranks fourth all-time with 53 regular-season Bullring wins. “I’ve got to thank Chris Bray for really working on this car and making it right the last couple races. We won at Madera two weeks ago and are running second in points, so hopefully we can pull it off.
“It’s great to keep racking up all these wins, and I’ve got to thank my wife, because I wouldn’t be able to get these wins without her letting me go to the track and race.”
Blaine Perkins passed Zachary St. Onge for the lead on lap 67 and held on for a .328 margin of victory in the 100-lap Late Models feature. The Shafter, Calif., driver benefited from a mid-race caution that tightened up the field after St. Onge built a sizable lead over the course of the first half of the race.
“We just had a rocket ship, and it was fun racing with Zach and everybody else out there,” Perkins said after earning his first Bullring win. “This is my first time back with this team (in a while), and I’m so proud of these guys. There was definitely some tire management there, and I think I used up the right front a little bit too much, but I guess we had a little bit left in it.
“I’m just so proud of these guys and am ready to celebrate with them.”
Las Vegas’ Sam Jacks, the 2018 Bullring Super Stocks track champion, won the 50-lap Super Stocks feature by 1.769 seconds ahead of Howard Holden of Clovis, Calif. The 17-time Bullring race winner was thrilled to pick up a win against a talented Senator’s Cup Fall Classic field.
“I’m really happy,” Jacks said. “Those guys should be racing in the Late Models division, so I’m really happy I was able to get out on those guys and finish first. This is by far (my biggest win).”
Kasey Kleyn held off Ethan Cheek by .407 of a second to win the Bandoleros’ 20-lap race and earn his first trip to the Winner’s Circle at The Bullring.
Fall Classic (100 laps): 1. Jeremy Doss; 2. Gracin Raz; 3. Linny White; 4. Noah Gragson; 5. Dezel West; 6. Kole Raz; 7. Trevor Cristiani; 8. Tyler Fabozzi; 9. Scott Gafforini; 10. Jimmy Parker Jr.; 11. Brittney Zamora; 12. Trent Seidel; 13. Kyle Neveau; 14. Chris Clyne; 15. Logan Jewell; 16. Mitch Kleyn; 17. Kayli Barker; 18. Charlie Pike; 19. Brandon White; 20. Billy Mitchell; 21. Mark Neff; 22. Toni McCray; 23. Andy Sole; 24. Chris Trickle. DQ: Austin Herzog.