First-time LMTS winner takes checkers at iconic race
David Levitt’s first Late Model Truck Series race could not have ended better.
The 36-year-old from Sierra Vista, Arizona, won his heat race and then wheeled his way to the checkered flag on the Night of Fire at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Levitt – who owns Sierra Cycles with his father, Barry – fought his way to the front on lap 12 and crossed the line just .442 of a second ahead of points leader Mark Allison and another Las Vegas veteran driver, Stan Mullis, on a special night at the 3/8-mile paved oval.
“It’s a crown jewel event, and winning it is amazing, but just being able to race in front of the Las Vegas fans there was just a one-of-a-kind and special evening,” said Levitt, who races trucks in Tucson, Arizona, when he’s not running the family business. “Just being at The Bullring and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in front of a packed crowd is awesome. Gary [Wyatt], Mike [Riefler] and the other racers were just amazing, clean and fun to race with.”
Levitt joked there was only one thing wrong with is yellow No. 28 truck, which was tuned and prepped by his good friend, Jeff Spencer.
“The only thing that truck needed was a better driver,” said Levitt, who raced in the Spears Series on one occasion at The Bullring in 2019. “We unloaded from the trailer just awesome, and I couldn’t have asked for a better truck. It was just flat-out fast right from the get-go.”
Levitt’s father finished seventh in the Super Stocks race, and he also was joined at the track by his mother, Susan Brown, and wife, Cassie, so the win was a family celebration.
“To have family and friends there was great, and I just couldn’t ask for more from the whole weekend,” said Levitt, who was encouraged by Gary Cheek to race in the LMTS. “It was absolutely special, and I’m just very blessed to be able to do that.”
LMTS rookie Chloe Lynch finished fourth, with Bill Black and Gary Wyatt following in fifth and sixth, respectively. The Night of Fire was a special event for the LMTS, which will take a couple of months off before returning to action Sept. 10 at the Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway and Event Center.
“We had another great truck race with a super-close finish, and Gary Wyatt and I couldn’t be happier with the Night of Fire weekend at our home track,” said series co-manager Mike Riefler, who finished eighth. “David is a talented driver, and it was great to have him and his family join us at The Bullring. It’s been a fun season so far, and we look forward to heading back to Irwindale in September once again.”
Resurrected in 2018, the LMTS has conducted more than 20 races throughout the Southwest region in recent years, including a six-race schedule in 2021 after a year away due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allison won the series points championship in 2018 and 2019, and Mullis took home last year’s series title.
The region’s truck racing lineage dates 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.
Night of Fire
The Bullring at LVMS
Saturday, July 3
1. David Levitt; 2. Mark Allison; 3. Stan Mullis; 4. Chloe Lynch; 5. Bill Black; 6. Gary Wyatt; 7. Arlie Daniel; 8. Michael Riefler; 9. Matt Jaskol.
Remaining 2022 Late Model Truck Series schedule
Sept. 10 Irwindale Speedway and Event Center Irwindale, California
Oct. 14 LMTS Championship Night/ARCA Menards Series West race
The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, Nevada