LAS VEGAS – Derek Thorn is beginning to make winning a habit. Thorn, from Bakersfield, Calif., led the final 71 laps of Saturday night’s Spears Southwest Tour Blackjack 121 and earned his sixth career SWT victory at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Although Thorn was the fastest qualifier, he started the race in 11th because of a field inversion. It took him all of 17 laps to race into the top five, 14 more laps to move into second place and 21 more laps to assume the lead.
“It always keeps it interesting, that’s for sure,” Thorn said. “I’m just glad we came home in one piece and brought this team home a win.”
Despite his history at The Bullring, Thorn said he wasn’t overconfident going into the 121-lap race.
“I try to always stay open-minded,” Thorn said. “As soon as you think you’ve got it handled, there’s always somebody else right behind you, like Jeremy Doss. He raced me clean, thankfully.”
Doss, who entered the race with a share of the series points lead after two races, was on Thorn’s rear bumper for the final 25 laps, but could never make a move to pass Thorn and had to settle for a second-place finish.
“It’s going to take a lot of races like this, just finishing up front and not tearing up your stuff,” Doss said. “You’ve got all these fast guys and they all run up front every weekend. It’s going to be tough but I think we can get them.”
Brandon White, who shared the points lead with Doss going into the race, finished third, Garrett Archer was fourth and Scott Sanchez took fifth.