LAS VEGAS – Scott Gafforini and David Anderson have been running first and second in the NASCAR Super Late Model points standings this season, so it was no surprise that they continued their battle on the race track Saturday night at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Anderson was spun out in the second turn of the first lap, but the race was restarted after a brief caution. He then grabbed the race lead from Stan Mullis on lap 37 of the 40-lap feature and held off a hard-charging Gafforini for his third victory of the season on the first night of the Labor Day Weekend Special. Gafforini led the first five laps, but Mullis moved in front on the sixth lap and appeared to be the class of the field, leading the next 31 laps.
Anderson, who had been running second since the eighth lap, made his move and passed Mullis with three laps remaining and brought Gafforini with him. The two ran bumper-to-bumper for the remaining laps and Gafforini tried a bump-and-run on the final lap but couldn’t rattle Anderson and pull off the pass.
“It was definitely a hard race and Scotty (Gafforini) put up a heck of a battle there,” Anderson said. “When he started fading the brakes on his car, I wasn’t sure if I could stay in front of him. I was doing everything I could to hang on in the middle of the corner.
“Obviously, it didn’t help being spun out at the beginning there. It always makes you wonder what happened to the car but, luckily enough, it didn’t cause any damage that I could tell and we went on for another win.”
Mullis finished third, Steve Anderson was fourth and Kayli Barker took fifth.
Two teenagers who made their Super Late Model debuts on Saturday, Chris Trickle and Noah Gragson, had mixed results. Trickle, 14, ran fifth most of the race before suffering a brief mechanical issue late in the race. He recovered, however, and finished sixth. Gragson, 15, had mechanical trouble from the outset and had to pull off the track.
Justin Johnson of Las Vegas, who won the 76-lap Super Late Model feature at The Bullring on July 3, made his first NASCAR Grand American Modified start of the season and led all 50 laps for the victory.
“These (Modified) cars are awesome,” Johnson said. “It’s my first time in one and I’m out of breath.”
Jason Irwin, who had won all four previous Modified features at The Bullring this season, finished second and Pat Petrie was third.
Irwin did find victory lane in his Legend Car, leading all but the first two laps of the 25-lap feature.
Michael Greve was declared the winner of the 25-lap NASCAR Bomber feature after Court Connell, who took the checkered flag, was disqualified when his car failed the post-race technical inspection. Vinny Raucci Jr.’s victory in the 25-lap NASCAR Super Stock feature also was disallowed when his car failed the post-race inspection and Jason Kiser was declared the winner.
Thomas Patterson passed Shawn Buckley for the lead on lap 10 and stayed out front and won the 30-lap USAC HPD Midget Series feature. Christine Breckenridge, who has two wins this season at The Bullring, was second and Jeff Kelley was third.