Nevada State champs Las Vegas Nationals preview

Nevada champions look forward to Legends Nationals at the Bullring LAS VEGAS - Nevada State Legends champions Spencer Clark, Rick Rogas and DJ Krentz are prepared for the 10th Annual Legends Nationals at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway...

Nevada champions look forward to Legends Nationals at the Bullring

LAS VEGAS - Nevada State Legends champions Spencer Clark, Rick Rogas and DJ Krentz are prepared for the 10th Annual Legends Nationals at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Las Vegas ' Clark is both the Nevada State Semi-Pro and Young Lion Legends champion. The 14-year-old finished first in points at the Bullring and in the nation. The Semi-Pro division is designed for novice drivers while the Young Lion division is comprised of drivers ages 12-16.

Although the Semi-Pro division suggests inexperience, Clark mastered the division in his second year. His most intense competition this weekend is expected from 15-year-old David Odell of Lawrenceville, Ga. Odell is the Georgia State Legends champion and ranked second in the nation behind Clark.

"It is my home track. I think I have a better chance," Clark said. "I'm expecting more."

This will be Clark's second national event. Last year he finished in the top 10 in the B-Main at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte.

Rogas, a Henderson resident, is the Nevada State Legends champion in the Masters division. In his second year after a 25-year absence from racing, Rogas dominated the division for drivers over age 40 at the Bullring. Although ranked fourth in the nation, Rogas was the top-Masters finisher and finished third overall in the Hitchin' Post/Exiss Legends at the Bullring. Earlier this year, Rogas won the Masters national qualifier at Lakeport, Calif. After facing the competition in the national qualifier, Rogas is hopeful for a top-five finish this weekend.

"I'm excited and nervous," Rogas said. "I hope to finish in the top five."

The Las Vegas locals feel that they have the home-track advantage.

"I would like to think I have a better advantage than other drivers with the same skills and same equipment," Rogas said. "I think it is a great advantage to hold the nationals at the Bullring because the track allows passing. It is the best facility on the West Coast."

DJ Krentz of Sparks is the Nevada State Legends champion in the Pro division, a division comprised of the most experienced drivers. The 27-year-old began racing bomber cars in 1992 and began racing in the Legends division in 1996. Although Champion Speedway in Carson City is the hometown track for Krentz, he traveled to speedways in California, Utah and Nevada to compete for national points.

Krentz had access to only 35 national points races for the season, approximately 20 less than most drivers. INEX, the sanctioning body, tabulates national points from the best 30 races. Krentz's goal was to campaign for national points this year in his first full season dedicated to national competition. He finished ninth in national points.

"We had a goal and tried to accomplish it. We had to run at different tracks," Krentz said. "We're very happy. It was a great accomplishment."

INEX is the third largest sanctioning body in auto racing and sanctions over 1700 races on 200 different tracks.

Qualifying and heat races are scheduled for Friday. Spectator gates open at 3 p.m. General admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6-12 and children five and under are free.

Championship Day is Saturday. Racing begins at noon. The 30-lap A-Mains are scheduled for 4 p.m. Spectator gates open at 11:30 a.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens/military personnel and $3 children 6-12. Children five and under are free.

-LVMS-

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