LAS VEGAS — Michael Self of Park City, Utah won the 2012 Open Comp Super Late Model 150 tonight at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Chris Clyne of Las Vegas led from the opening green flag until Self drove to the inside to take the lead on lap 13. Self’s move opened the door for Dustin Ash and Dylan Kwasniewski and Clyne was “freight-trained” back to fourth place. Ash took command on lap 26 as the top three cars motored away from the field. The first caution flag flew on lap 26 when Toni McCray spun in Turn 2. Self grabbed the lead after the restart and was followed by Ash.
The caution flag flew again on lap 52 when Alex Haase, Chris Clyne and Glen Burke spun in Turn 1. Haase’s car took the worst of it and exited the track on the back of a tow truck and Burke drove to the pits. The race restarted and was slowed again on lap 53 when Bobby Hirschbock of Redbluff, Calif. and Dave Hemrich (Delta, British Columbia, Canada) crashed in Turn 4. Neither driver was injured. On the restart, Self, Ash and Kwasniewski pulled away from the pack. Self led the race to the 10-minute halfway break followed by Ash, Kwasniewski, Jay Beasley and Jack Madrid.
Self once again motored away on the restart, leaving Kwasniewski and Ash to put on the two-car, side-by-side show. Once again the caution flag flew when Toni McCray and Mark Shackleford spun coming out of Turn 2.
Kwasniewski moved into second place with 54 laps remaining and set off in pursuit of Self. The torrid pace began taking its toll as Dennis Rock Jr. retired on lap 103. Ash took his turn at racing in second place on lap 106 but the race still belonged to Self. The pace slowed once again as Kelly Admiral’s car dropped oil on the track for the entire length of the oval. Jay Beasley pulled off the track on lap 114 after running in the top five all night.
With 25 laps remaining, Kwasniewski turned up the wick and chased down Self. By lap 129, Kwasniewski was challenging for the lead after erasing Self’s comfortable advantage. Disaster struck on lap 136 as Kwasniewski was battling Self for the lead. Kwasniewski’s car made contact with the lapped car of Bob DeLorma and both crashed in Turn 1. Kwasniewski’s car suffered considerable damage and his hopes for an Open Comp $10,000 payday were dashed. With 14 laps remaining, under caution, the top five were Self, Ash, Madrid, Clyne and Jonathan Gomez of Twin Falls, Idaho.
The rest of the race was uneventful as the 22-year-old Self cruised to a $10,000 payday. Ash and Madrid could only watch from a distance as Self took the checkered flag.
“They made it kinda hard out there at the end – a lot harder than I expected,” said Self. “It was an awesome race and I can’t thank everyone enough – especially Golden Gate Racing Team, my crew chief Steve Portenga. Really excited to bring this home to the Utah guys.”
Fifteen-year-old Juan Garcia of Bogota, Colombia scored his first U.S. win when he took the lead on the final lap of the Late Model feature after Luis Martinez – who led most of the 100-circuit contest – ran out of fuel on the white-flag lap. As Martinez slowed, Garcia raced past Cole Custer to take the lead. Custer finished second and Martinez coasted home third. Taylor Miinch and Darrell Midgley completed the top five. Garcia, a go-kart racer in his native Colombia and the U.S., made his stock-car driving debut in July at Madera, Calif.
Phil Goodwin won the hotly-contested 50-lap Super Stock feature. Vinny Raucci finished second and Richard LaVallee was third. Mike McKearn and Steve Smith completed the top five.
The 50-lap Bomber feature was won by Wade Pearson. Mark Hodges finished second and Patrick Camburn was third.. Bomber heat races were won by Michael Takami and Nathan Boss.
The 20-lap Silver Star Plumbing Bandolero combined feature was won by Caden Carlin. Noah Gragson finished second and Christian Warren was third.
The USAC Ignite Midget feature was a hard-fought, side-by-side affair staged by Michael Fanelli and Jake Swanson. Bryant Dawson joined the fray over the last 10 laps and the trio battled three-wide down the back straightaway on lap 25. Fanelli, who also won on Friday night, grabbed the win ahead of Swanson and Dawson.
The 50-lap USLCI Legend Car feature was won by Dustin Ash. Brent Scheidemantle finished second and Donny St. Ours was third.