LAS VEGAS – Lee Keach enjoyed some “home cookin’” at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, winning the Late Model Truck Series race after 35 hard-fought laps.
The Las Vegas veteran driver fought off a number of different challengers throughout the feature at the 3/8-mile paved oval before edging Matt Daly of Minot, N.D., by .853 of a second for the checkered flag. Daly did his best to get around the 63-year-old and his United Nissan-sponsored truck down the stretch, but had to settle for second place.
“We were saving our truck most of the race,” said Keach, who won races in the truck series when it was known as the American Speed Association Truck Series in the late 1990s. “I won in this series years ago, but this is actually my first (Late Model Truck Series) race. I’d like to thank my crew and all my sponsors.”
Andrew Porter of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., fought his way to a third-place finish, just .913 of a second off the pace, while defending series champion Mark Allison took fourth 1.816 behind Keach. John Nahoopii of Hereford, Ariz., who won the first six-lap heat race earlier in the night, was fifth.
The race was part of The Bullring’s third NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing weekend of the year and was the “Your Insurance Dude Weekend” for the LMTS.
“We had a great turnout of talented drivers, and it was great to see a veteran like Lee Keach make his way back to the Winner’s Circle,” LMTS Co-Manager Mike Riefler said. “It was a great race, and Lee really had to earn it against a strong field. Gary Wyatt and I always love bringing the Late Model Truck Series to The Bullring, and we can’t wait to make our debut at Orange Show Speedway on June 29.”
Nahoopii won the heat race by just .091 of a second ahead of Porter, while Sean Davis took the second heat race by .265 of a second ahead of Allison. Ricky Bogart finished sixth in the feature, with defending Bullring Skid Plate Car champion Cindy Clark taking seventh, Dow Woerner coming across eighth and Mike McKearn finishing ninth.
Davis had to settle for 10th place 10 laps down, while a blown right front tire sent Pat Petrie to the pits just 14 laps into the race.
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 and Bearing King AZ.
Late Model Truck Series 35-lap feature
1. Lee Keach; 2. Matt Daly (-.853 of a second); 3. Andrew Porter (-.913); 4. Mark Allison (-1.816); 5. John Nahoopii (-7.405); 6. Ricky Bogart (-9.830); 7. Cindy Clark (-16.265); 8. Dow Woerner (-1 lap); 9. Mike McKearn (-1 lap); 10. Sean Davis (-10 laps); 11. Pat Petrie (-21 laps).
Remaining Late Model Truck Series 2019 schedule
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