Two locals track champions crowned National champions at the Bullring LAS VEGAS--The 2004 Bullring Semi-Pro Legends Cars champion Dustin Ash of Las Vegas and the 2004 Bullring Thunder Roadsters champion Dave Green of Henderson both were...
Two locals track champions crowned National champions at the Bullring
LAS VEGAS--The 2004 Bullring Semi-Pro Legends Cars champion Dustin Ash of Las Vegas and the 2004 Bullring Thunder Roadsters champion Dave Green of Henderson both were crowned National champions at the 13th Annual Legends Cars and 4th Annual Thunder Roadsters Asphalt Nationals at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night after the three-day event in which 233 drivers participated from across the nation and Canada.
Ash was crowned the National Semi-Pro Legends Cars champion after a top-notch performance all-round in the three-day show. The 16-year-old took top honors (out of 70 drivers overall) by posting the fastest qualifying time, winning the Race of Champions and winning the Championship A-Main event at the prestige event. Ash started second, on the outside of C.E. Falk from Virginia Beach, Va. in the 40-lap A-Main event. Ash took advantage of Falk going to the high side in turn two on lap 10 to take command with Mark Whitley of Charlotte, N.C. in tow. The local driver pulled to a great lead and was untouchable, while the race was for the second position between Whitley and Dillon Oliver from Bowling Green, Ky. In the end Ash took the checkered flag followed by Whitley, Chris Cable of Griffin, Ga., Oliver and Scott Knox of Cornelius, N.C.
"This is great. This is the one race that I've always wanted to win," said an ecstatic Ash in Summit Racing Equipment Victory Lane. "This is a great place to have it (nationals) home track I had the advantage, but these guys are tough coming from back east. These guys were fast the first couple laps. I got this WestCor (Construction) car out front and didn't look in my mirror. I give these guys so much credit for coming down here, they are fast. This is a big one and I wanted it."
Green was crowned the National Thunder Roadsters champion after holding off Las Vegan Mike Montes by two hundredths of a second for the win in the A-Main event. Green started on the outside of pole setter Montes and quickly took command of the 23-car field. The 34-year-old held a substantial lead through a good portion of the 40-lap event. By lap 35 Montes was racing side-by-side with Green for the lead. Montes almost took the lead from Green until a caution was thrown. In the five-lap shootout, Montes and Green battled wheel-to-wheel. At the checkered flag, Green won by a small margin and Montes finished second followed by Matt Lassiter of Grifton, N.C.
"That was a long race and I wanted it bad," said Green in Summit Racing Equipment Victory Lane. "Mike (Montes) ran me clean and I thought he had me. Do you know how many times Mike and I have finished like that? I came out on top this time."
Clay Hair of Mt. Pleasant, N.C. was crowned the National Master Legends Cars champion for the second-consecutive year. The 46-year-old started second next to local driver T.J. Clark in the 40-lap A-Main event and led the 33-car field until lap when Roberto Aguirre of Albuquerque, N.M. took command on lap 30. Hair and Aguirre battled back and forth for the lead until Hair took command for the final time by taking the inside line of Jan Ingram of Asheboro, N.C. Hair took the checkered flag to win the National championship while Aguirre finished second followed by Dennis Lovelady of Las Vegas, Nev. and Ingram. Hair also won the Race of Champions Friday. There were 76 Master drivers overall.
"I have raced all over the United States and this is one of the toughest bunch of guys I've ran with in my life. I'm glad to see a couple of other North Carolinians in this bunch. I don't like racing with them, but I'm glad they are here," said Hair in Summit Racing Equipment Victory Lane."I have a great crew at the shop; I just drive the car. My girlfriend helped me drive the rig down here. We drove 2400 miles straight through."
Beau Slocumb of Juliette, Ga. was crowned the Pro Legends Cars National champion after winning the hard-fought battle in the 40-lap A-Main event. Slocumb, the fastest qualifier, was able to maintain the lead of the 37-car field until lap 24 when Doug Stevens of Lovejoy, Ga. took command. Both drivers battled back and forth for the lead along with Keeton Hanks of Auburn, Ky. and Thomas VanWingerden of Huntersville, N.C. In the end, Slocumb took the checkered flag followed by Stevens, Hanks and VanWingerden. There were 62 Pro drivers overall.
"I want to thank Doug Stevens and Thomas VanWingerden for driving me clean," said Slocumb in Summit Racing Equipment Victory Lane. "They got to running real long and the car got to pushing real bad and they all got by me. If would have never won it without that yellow, the car was great after that."
In the 20-lap Bandolero Cars main event John Davis of Las Vegas took top honors followed Chris Buescher of Plano, Texas, Jeremiah Wagner of Las Vegas and Dallas Colodny of Carson City, Nev.