Bill Black of Phoenix added his name to the list of Late Model Truck Series race winners at the season-opener at Havasu 95 Speedway on Saturday night.
Black, driving the Empire Cat-sponsored No. 9 black truck, made his way to the front after starting in the rear of the 10-truck field. He edged 2018 LMTS Champion Mark Allison – who also started at the back – by 1.158 seconds to take the checkered flag in the 35-lap race, which was presented by Bearing King.
Aaron McMorran – a four-time track champion at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – finished third, 3.394 seconds off the pace. John Nahoopii of Tucson, Ariz., and Andrew Porter of Irwindale, Calif., are back for another year of LMTS racing and followed in fourth and fifth, respectively, with Mike McKearn, LMTS co-manager Gary Wyatt, Ken Smith, Pat Petrie and LMTS co-manager Mike Riefler rounding out the top 10.
Black won both the heat race and main event, earning him a custom race ear bud from Hear Clear, a LMTS sponsor that makes hearing aids and custom race ear buds. Saturday’s event was the first of two LMTS stops at Havasu 95 Speedway in 2019, with the second set for Nov. 2.
“It was an exciting race, with trucks going three-wide at times,” Riefler said. “All of the drivers and teams put on a great show for the fans, and we always have a great time at Havasu 95 Speedway. This was a great kickoff to our 2019 season, and we can’t wait to run at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 20.”
The region’s truck racing lineage dates back to the Speed Truck Series that originated in 1997 under the American Speed Association (ASA). MechanixWear gloves and Go Fast! energy drinks sponsored the class throughout the years, and the trucks raced at up to 10 different tracks in California, Arizona and Nevada before the ASA disbanded in 2013.
The series trucks feature a full-tube chassis, a 330-horsepower sealed V-8 spec engine and two-speed direct-drive transmission, with a clutch pedal dump valve, coupled to an aluminum quick-change rear end. The trucks sport replica fiberglass bodies of the Chevrolet S-10, Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma.
Series partners include the On Wheels Now online radio show – the longest-running motorsports radio show in Las Vegas – Melling Performance Racing, The Bomber Nation, KO Mechanical Services, Gary’s Trailer Repair, Nevada Pic-A-Part, The “Racer’s Rewards” Contingency Connection, Richmond Gear, Campout, ReliableBanner.com, Bearing King AZ and Hear Clear.
Havasu 95 Speedway
Saturday, March 23
Late Model Truck Series 35-lap race
1. Bill Black; 2. Mark Allison (-1.158 seconds); 3. Aaron McMorran (-3.394); 4. John Nahoopii (-4.108); 5. Andrew Porter (-4.965); 6. Mike McKearn (-7.923); 7. Gary Wyatt (-1 lap); 8. Ken Smith (-1 lap); 9. Pat Petrie (-2 laps); 10. Mike Riefler (-2 laps).
Remaining Late Model Truck Series 2019 schedule
April 20 The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas
June 29 Orange Show Speedway San Bernardino, Calif.
Aug. 31 The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas
Oct. 12 The Speedway at Willow Springs Rosamond, Calif.
Nov. 2 Havasu 95 Speedway Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Nov. 23 The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas