Past track champ earns first Fourth of July weekend win, notches 10th career Bullring triumph
Gary Wyatt had already accomplished a great deal at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but never was able to claim the elusive and treasured Night of Fire victory … until now.
The Late Model Truck Series co-manager passed Bullring veteran Stan Mullis on the second-to-last lap and held him off by .373 of a second to win the 35-lap feature on Saturday, July 3, and end a winless drought of more than 13 years. Wyatt – the track’s 2005 Bombers division season champion – had never won at the Night of Fire, The Bullring’s most anticipated event, and made his way to the winner’s circle for the first time since May 31, 2008.
“It’s awesome to finally win at the Night of Fire,” said Wyatt, who now has 10 career Bullring victories. “Ken Ash did a great job as my spotter, and he definitely helped me drive that truck. It’s great that all the hard work finally paid off.
“Stan was looking on the inside going into Turn 3, but I just had a little bit more momentum than he did and was able to stay in front of him. It felt really great.”
Wyatt finished seventh in his heat race and started the feature race from the last position, 13th, due to the invert. Thanks to the help of Ash – the father of 59-time Bullring winner Dustin Ash – Wyatt was able to maneuver his way through the field and pass Mullis heading into the final lap at the 3/8-mile paved oval.
Brandon Schilling finished third, .955 of a second off the pace, with Jeremiah Wagner taking fourth and two-time and reigning LMTS season champion Mark Allison crossing the line fifth. Wyatt joined Matt Jaskol and Chris Trickle as a LMTS winner in 2021.
“I’m so happy for Gary. He’s a great driver and a wonderful partner who helped bring the Late Model Truck Series back from the dead and be a big deal again,” said Mike Riefler, the series’ co-manager who finished seventh. “It was great to see him go to the front from the back of the pack, and I know he’s excited to win on such a special night. We had a great truck count and awesome racing, and it was amazing to be part of the Night of Fire.”
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.
July 3 results
Night of Fire
The Bullring at LVMS
1. Gary Wyatt; 2. Stan Mullis (-.373 of a second); 3. Brandon Schilling (-.955); 4. Jeremiah Wagner (-1.434); 5. Mark Allison (-1.437); 6. Lisa Bogart (-1 lap); 7. Mike Riefler (-2 laps); 8. Keaton Swane (-4 laps); 9. Curtis Burns (-5 laps); 10. Sean Davis (-5 laps); 11. Arlie Daniel (-14 laps); 12. Jason Kiser (-19 laps); 13. Fred Kiser (-21 laps).
2021 Late Model Truck Series schedule
Sept. 4 Throwback Night, The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Oct. 9 Orange Show Speedway, San Bernardino, Calif.
Nov. 6 West Coast Short Track Championships, The Bullring at LVMS, Las Vegas