Las Vegas, Bull Ring --Day 4    6/13/15

Tonight is the Chris Trickle Classic: This evening is in Memory of Racer Chris Trickle who tragically passed away in 1998 at 25 years old.  He was shot in a drive by shooting on February 9, 1997, which remains unsolved today.  He tragically died from complications of his wounds on March 25, 1998.  His nephew Chris Trickle currently races the #70 car at age 14 in the NASCAR Super Late Models.  They are both nephews of Dick Trickle who was a NASCAR racer and commited suicide in 2013.  It's a very nice tribute to Chris Trickle. 



Before the Races kicked off I walked around Pit Road, where I made my way over to Scott Gafforini and talked with him.  I asked how his car was running, he said it's running good like always!  I asked told him that I love the excitement he shows everytime he wins, he said "Yea, it never gets old, never take it for granted"  Then I walked up to Stan Mullen and talked with him about racing, he asked me if I was having a good time, I said "If it involves racing, I'm having a great day, it's a passion, it's always a good day"  Where he replied "Some days are better than most"  I asked what was wrong, replied "My car is slow, and I can't figure it out"  Then he got called away.  Walked up to RJ to say my hello, and he says his car was really good, and, it was true!!!! 

 They had an autograph session with all the drivers on the track with their cars, went down walked around, I walked up to Chris Trickle and talked to him for a few minutes.  He's driving a new car tonight, and he qualified 6th, and he doesn't think he's got the car to win tonight.  When I asked how his parents feel about him racing, he stated he's frusterated with losing, and now with this new car, it's like learning all over again....  I told him to have a good race, and wished him the best of luck!!!!  I walked up to Ian (who won his race tonight) that I loved how he dances in victory lane, and he laughed and said thank you...  I walked up to Dennis Rock Jr. and wished him luck, and told him he's doing good, and keep at it!!  Lots of autographs, and the fans got to see the cars up close and personal.  Was really great for the kids.  Great time!!!!

 Race #1 Super Stock heat race #1 (8 laps):  Winner: Ryan Vargas #23 of La Mirada, Calif.

Race #2 Super Stock heat race #2 (8 laps):  Winner:  Jason Kiser #49 of Las Vegas
Race #3 Bandolero Bandits feature (12 laps): Winner, #24  RJ Smotherman of Pahrump, Nev.  He thanked his sponcer Affortable Auto, his father, grandfather, sister, and the fans for coming out!!!
Race #4 Bandelero Outlaw feature (12 laps):  Winner, #48 Mason Sargent of Las Vegas, thanked his family, his sponsers, fans coming out, he said he was afraid, and that Kyle Jacks is a great driver, and really likes to win, so, he's thankful that he won!!!   He also thanked the fans again.

Race #5 Thunder Car feature (20 laps):  Winner, #21 Ian Anderson, of Las Vegas who does his classic dance in the Winners Circle!  That's always a good time!  He thanked his new sponser for coming on board.  He thanked his family.  He said that with the warm track the tires don't stick as well, so, you tend to go sideways more.... 
Race #6 Bomber feature (25 laps):  Winner, #22 Aaron McMorran of Henderson, Nev.  He had to race hard against 2nd place Court Connell.  Side by side for a few laps, until a crash brought out a caution, he said it was hard because the lap cars were in the way, and someone was leaking oil on the track, which made it slick.  Thankful for a safe race, and a win!  

Race #7 Grand American Modified feature (30 laps):  Winner, #9x Jason Irwin.  Thanked the fans for coming out, said it was a really fun race.  It's also his 1st of 2 races.  He hops out of the Grand American Modified cars, directly into the Legends car.  AMAZING! 
Race #8  Legends feature (25 laps):  Winner, in a shortened race with 23 of the 25 laps completed.  #10 Peyton Saxton of Las Vegas.  Rain REALLY started coming down....                                                           

 Race #9 Super Stocks feature (25 laps):  Start to this race was delayed for exactly an hour..  While the rain poured, the lightning struck, the thunder rolled (a little), the wind blew, and is still blowing, we're ready for some racing now!  We had tow trucks, tractors, many cars, even an ambulance out there helping to dry the track!!!!  Don't see that often!!!!!  The winner of this race is #49 Jason Kiser of Las Vegas!  :-)  He thanked the fans that remained here for the hour rain delay, and during the rain delay he said he took off his racing suit and cooled down.
Race #10 Super Late Models feature (70 laps): Winner #38 Scott Gafforini of Henderson, Nev.  Hard fought Battle, Chris Trickle was REALLY close to winning, a really hard fought battle!  Chris Trickle looked like he was reeling in Scott Gafforini.  He thanked the fans for sticking around!  Thanked his family, his sponsers.  Was kinda bummed Pit Boss wasn't there.  But, he did it!!  :-)

By Shannon Kelly

Media Intern for MDR Motorsports   8/22/15

3/19/16

I was excited to spend the day at the track. Starting at 8:00am, walked around a bit, and then decided to get started with my interviews. I approached RJ Sotherman, driver of the #24 Bandelaro Bandit car, for my first interview. RJ Smotherman was only 10 years old but I could tell he was a huge Jeff Gordon fan. His car proves it with the Gordon flame paint job. I asked RJ now that Gordon isn't behind the wheel, who was his favorite driver. He said he likes Ryan Blaney and Brian Scott. RJ made his first trip to the track when he was a week old and began racing at the age of 8. RJ is driven to be a NASCAR driver. His father, Robert Smotherman, races in Pahrump and sister, 20 year old Dylin Smotherman, races in Pahrump and at The Bullring in Las Vegas.  RJ’s mother said she doesn't worry much because she doesn't watch. RJ’s Grandpa also comes out to support the grandchildren at the track. RJ and his father worked a lot on their cars during the off season preparing them. It's great to see the whole family is so involved.  


Now the results from the races! 

 Semi-Pro/Young Lions 25 lap Feature:  Winner:  Parker Steele.  Parker passed Sam Mayer in the closing laps of the feature, and finished .466 of a second ahead of Kole Raz. Sam Mayer had an incident in the closing laps, as his car caught fire. Parker said that he and Sam had a good race, and he listened to Darren Amidon, who just said to race smart. Darryl Stewart finished 5th overall, and 1st among the Semi-Pro group. He said he trashed his car yesterday in qualifying, so he hopped into his father's car. Darryl said it was a fun event, they got the car decent, and they'll be back next year for more fun! 

 Thunder Cars 25 lap Feature:  Winner:  Travis Boyle.  A month ago Travis didn’t have an engine and all of their tools stolen out of his trailer. The whole team worked their butts off to get this win, so this win felt good. He wanted the trophy for this event, and he went out, and got it like all good drivers do.  He won the feature by 3.402 over Ed Hohman.

 Bandoleros 12 lap Feature:  12 laps:  Winner:  RJ Smotherman. RJ won 12 features last season, and was the 2015 champion. Way to go RJ!! He swept the weekend, picking up where he left off last year.  I'm interested to see how far this kid will go in his career. He won his race by 6.600 over Headen Plybon.  He felt his car was dialed in and his car was just fast all weekend like a rocket. 

 Pro/Master 25 lap Feature:  Winner:  Cameron Morga.  This talented teen won the 25 lap feature, sealing his deal with the U.S. Legends Cars' Pro division. He was the Young Lions track Champion last season and passed race leader Nick Halen on the 23rd lap. Cameron finished 1.397 ahead of Darren Amidon. He said, “I raced against some very good competition. Nick Halen and Kaden Honeycutt are both really good drivers.” Camera said his teammate Peyton Saxton was behind him and he's looking forward to a tough season ahead, and hopefully a National Championship. Randy Beddow was the top Master's finisher coming in 6th. This is his 4th year racing in the Legends cars and missed the Master's championship last year by 2 points. Randy says he has to win more this season and hopefully the luck will go his way. 

 Next race up:  Saturday, March 26th NASCAR Super Late Models, Super Stocks, Bombers and Grand American Modifieds, USLCI Legends, Bandoleros ,Thunder Cars and Skid Plate Cars will all be in action at the Bullring!  I'm looking forward to a GREAT racing season!


1:  Chris Trickle
2:  Jacob Quartaro working on his car
3:  Random Picture
4:  Dennis Rock, Jr.
5:  Caden Carlin getting his car ready

making  dreams  reality  through  motorsports

As usual, I got to the track around 5:00pm.  Went to the media center, set up my laptop, pluggedeverything in that needed plugging in..  Got the camera ready, and set out to the pits.  Went up to Scott Gafforini, talked to him.  He got into racing at age 13, he got his start when his father brought him home a Go Kart.  That's where it all started.  He works on his own cars, he wanted to get into NASCAR, but, the money was never there.  He likes where he's at now though, so, he's happy with it!!  Then I was by where the drivers were getting ready for a drivers meeting, I was taking pictures of the drivers crowding together, and Dennis Rock Jr. (driver of the 61 Super Late Models car), and said hello to me!!  We chatted a bit, he started racing in 1996.  He said he always loved to go fast, so, when he was able to, he bought a car, and that's where it all started!  I walked back to the consession stands for yet, another bottle of water.  Sat down until it was time for qualifying.


 Walked back to the pits, where I stood and took pictures of the cars on the track.  On the way there, RJ Smotherman's dad said hello to me, stopped and chatted with him.  RJ has been racing for 3 years, and has done VERY well!  His dad started racing in 1989.  His sisterraces as well!  Truely a racing family, and they all win alot!  After qualifying, it was the walk back to the Media Center.  Once up there I sat down, turned on the computer, got it up and running.  Took notes after every race!!!!  Very busy up there


.Race 1:  Bandolero Bandits feature:  12 laps:  Winner:  RJ Smotherman #24:  He said thank you tohis dad, his grandfather, his sister, his sponsers:  RV Superstore, Affordable Auto.  He had a BLASTspraying silly string with Pit Boss!!!!  I think I had as much fun watching it, as he had doing it!!  Always a good thing to have fun!!!  Thanks for the laughs, RJ!! 

Race 2:  Bandolero Outlaws feature:  12 laps:  Winner:  McKenzie Eshelman #5, female racer, set a track record in qualifying.  Got the win!!!  Really awesome to see someone do well!!!!  Her uniform looks alot like Danica Patrick's!  Great job. McKenzie!!!  

Race 3:  Thunder Cars feature:  20 laps:  Winner:  Ian Anderson #21, never one to back down from a dance in victory circle, he didn't dissappoint!  Great job!!!  

Race 4:  Bombers feature:  30 laps:  Winner:  Court Connell #11, #22 Aaron McMorran gave Court a run for his money, so to speak......  He tried SO hard, all race long!!!!  In the end, it was Court coming away with the victory!   GREAT race, a fun one to watch for sure!!!!

Race 5:  Legends feature:  25 laps:  Winner:  Jordan Dean #15, wins on his birthday!!!!!  CameronMorga looked to have it handled, but, ended up blowing his engine.  Great job by him also!  Happy Birthday again, Jordan!Race 6:  Super Stocks feature:  25 laps:  Winner:  Ryan Vargas #23 car...  He drove it like he stole it!!  His car looked so much like a cop car!!!  He was really fast!!!!Race 7:  Super Late Models feature:  40 laps:  Winner:  David Anderson, a last lap win!!!  What a finish, had some not so happy drivers, for sure!!!!  A little confrontation in victory Circle.  It was an interesting race!!!!  Had our share of spinouts, accidents, a smashed car...  Scott Gafforini appeared to be coming on strong, until he blew his transmission......  As always, the races were fun to watch!!  I'll have to say, the hardest part about working in the media, is refraining from cheering!  I cheer in my head, but, remain nutral on the outside.  These races are always a blast, and never dissappoint!  If you haven;t been, I HIGHLY recommend checking out your local tracks, always a fun night out!!!  

Next races at the Bullring here will be September 5th and 6th.  Yup, 2 days of racing!!!!  I can;t wait!!!!


Day #1 in the media center  (At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bullring 5/2/15)

     My day as media started out by meeting Neal Reid, Media relations manager, followed by walking around in the pits.  Where I met this 14 year old Aiden Green.  He's from Ivins, Utah.  He started out in go carts, dirt bikes riding around when he was very young.  Then at age 10, he started racing go carts.  Then came to Vegas and started racing cars.  He is currently racing the #21 USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Outlaws Series. Car.  He wants to race Formula cars.  His favorite nascar track is Daytona.  His favorite track to race at is the Bullring here in vegas.  He likes it because it's a bigger track.  He also ended up winning his race!!!!  Then I proceeded to walk around pits to see what else was going on.  My job was to get interviews, and taking pictures, and in that process, I will get to learn a lot more about the sport, which will be exciting!  I realize I have a lot to learn about my new position, but, the more I do, the easier it will be!!  My 1st time was a total blast!!!!!

     Then after I was done down in pits, it was back to the media center to watch some racing.  I shared the media area with Neal Reid  (Media Relations Manager), Chris Walterman (Announcer), Pit Boss, and a few other people.  

     USLCI Thunder Cars winner was, Ian Anderson #21 , who passed on prom to race the Bullring, he did however throw in some great dancing in the winners circle!!!!!!  When asked why he chose racing over prom, stated "this is more fun" but did ask Hannah (the interviewer) to be his date, and even had flowers in his car for her. 

     Next up was USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Bandits:  R.J Smotherman driver of the #24 car won his race!!!!  After exiting, pulled a hat out of his car, then leaned on his car and let out a big sigh.... When asked what he was thinking about he said "I was thing about my lines, and how we could win.

     Next up was USLCI O'Hanley Bandolero Outlaws:  Aiden Green driver of the #21 car was the winner in his race....  2nd win of the season!  When asked what he was thinking about..... He said "I felt my bumper being hit, I knew it was time to go"

     Next up was NASCAR Bombers:  Aaron McMorran, driver of the #22 car, was the winner in his race, When asked about his decision to race instead of watching the fight he stated he  was just messing with his competitors. 

     Next up was USLCI Legends:  Jason Irwin, driver of the #9 car, was the winner in his race, when asked about a bump in with another driver he said "I hope he isn't mad, but, I think it's just racing"

     Next up was NASCAR Grand American Modifides:  Jason Irwin driver of the 9x car, won his 2nd race of the night in just a 30 minutes time....

     Final race of the evening was the NASCAR Super Late Models:  Scott Gafforini, driver of the 38 car, 2nd win in 2 weeks.  He thanked all the fans for coming out!!!  :-)

9/12/15   From the Bullring, Las Vegas

1.  Ryan Vargas' Helmet

2.  Ryan Vargas' Car

3.  Kayli Baker's Car

4.  Dennis Rock Jr. checking out

     a car

5.  Rick McNeil

By Shannon Kelly    Reporting from the Bullring, Las Vegas         

As usual, after getting all set up in the media center, I made my way to the pits.  Stopped and started chatting with the Security Guard about the weather (was cloudy, looked like it was going to rain).  Then Chris Trickle approached me, driving a cart.  Where I said "They're trusting you driving a cart?  You working on donuts in that cart?"  He laughed and replied "Of course!"  HA!!  Then he told me he ended up crashing into a wall during warmup laps, and I said "Now, you know your supposed to turn left, not right"  He laughed and said "I was going left, but, I just lost it"  Glad he has a good sence of humor!  I'm always up for making people laugh!  Went to the Trickle area, hugged and said hello to his father.  Who is a VERY sweet man.  He hugged me, I wished him, his crew, and his whole team luck on the upcoming race!  Then I was making my way to watch and shoot photos of qualifying.  On the way, Scott Gafforini waved to me, and made his way over to me, shook my hand, I asked him if his car issues were taken care of, and he said "Yep, it all looks good!"  I wished him luck, RJ's dad waved at me, so I went and chatted with him and RJ for a bit, RJ's father said "Alot of hard work went into getting this car ready to race, but, we got it done, and it's running just as good, if not better than before"  and boy, was he right on!!  Went off to watch qualifying, then when that was over, I was making my way back to the media center, not before wishing drivers good luck on my way out...


Race #1:  Winner #11 Court Connell (Bomber heat #1)

Race #2:  Winner #27 Michael Greve (Bomber heat #2)

Race #3:  Bandolero Outlaws feature (12 laps):  Winner #10 McKenzie Eshelman, broke a track record in qualifying tonight, so, what a night for Eshelman!  Great job, girl!!!!  Had a big lead all race long.  Her 2nd win at the Bull Ring, and won in great fashion!

Race #4 Bandolero Bandits feature (12 laps):  Winner #24 RJ Smotherman!  A wreck last week, a win this week, great job, RJ!!  Alot of hard work went to getting the car ready to race again.  His dad worked all week to get the car race ready,  and did an outstanding job!!!  Great driving as well!!!!  His 10th win at the Bull Ring this season.  He got alot of cheers from the fans in the stands.  He had a big lead all race long, as he always does.  He's a great driver, and his dad does a lot of work on the car, great job by the whole family!!!!

Race #4:  Thunder Cars feature (20 laps):  Winner:  #21 Ian Anderson  Pulling another double duty night!  Great Job, buddy!!!!!  As is the usual, he had his victory dance in victory lane!!!!  LOVE the victory dance.  He and Hannah always do a great job!!!  Next season he won't be doing double duty.  He won by a big margin!  It's always fun to watch him make his way through the field, and always comes away with a big win!!!  At this point of the night, all the drivers came out, some with their helmets full of Candy for the Candy Toss for the kids.  All the drivers walked up in the grand stands and tossed candy for the kids in the stands.  As I stood there trying to take pictures of this event (which was harder than I imagined), as it was very crowded.  Drivers passed me, and handed me candy, Dennis Rock Jr. said "Your not supposed to drop it, your worse than my kids!"  Made both him and I laugh!  RJ came by and handed me Candy, Chris came by and handed me Candy.  I walked up to Ian, wanting to congratulate him on his win, he handed me candy.  haha!  I think I got one good picture of the whole thing, it was crazy!  But, very fun!!!  Race #5:  NASCAR Super Stock feature(25 laps):  Winner:  #49 Jason Kiser, He won by a big margin.  He thanks all his family that came out, and his sponser, Starlight Collision.  He said winning the championship would be awesome to win back to back championships.  Good luck, Jason!!!!!

Race #6:  Legends feature:  (25 laps):  Winner #10 Peyton Saxton.  Great battle between him and Camera Morga.  Was a very close race between those two.  It was a VERY close race.  A tight battle with the #54 car Camera Morga.  Was a REALLY fun battle to watch, not knowing who was going to win until the very end was very fun...  That's my kind of racing!  Not knowing, nail biting kind of race!  

​Race #7:  Bombers feature (25 laps):  Winner #11 Court Connell.  Victory #4 for Court tonight.  Another great battle between him and #22 Aaron McMorran.  Court and Aaron are rivals, but, Court has alot of respect for Aaron.  Great, great race to watch between those two!  Race #8:  NASCAR Super Late Models (50 laps):   #70 Chris Trickle  AWESOME JOB!  Held off #8 Noah Gragson, and #61 Dennis Rock Jr.  GREAT racing!!!!!  On a night for the kids, this race was a battle of the teens.  Chris Trickle at 15 years old and driver of the #8 Noah Gragson at 17 years old really stole the show!!!!  It was great, great racing between, Chris, Dennis, and Noah!  A fun race to watch!!!!!  It was GREAT seeing the Trickle family celebrating in victory circle!  A proud moment for the Trickle family.  SUCH a great family!  After the races ended, I made my way back to the pits, stopped by the Trickle area to Congratulate Chris, his family, and crew!!!!  Chris gave me a HUGE hug...  He told me "He had a strong car, and he knew it"  They are a close knit family.  They stick together through thick and thin, which is how it should be.  I told him, it was VERY hard to hide my excitement when he won.  I was THRILLED!  He's come SO close the last 2 weekends, then does it!!  It was AMAZING! 

​As always, being in the box, you have to remain nutral, but, inside I was screaming and cheering! Amazing show by all racers involved!  I loved EVERY second of it!!  Racing is definatly a passion ofmine, I have a deep love for it..



Bullring, Las Vegas, 5/16/15


Talked with RJ Smotherman's father.  Learned that it's a family racing event.  RJ driver of the       #24 USLCI O'Hanley's Bandolero Car, he has won 5 of 6 races this season!  His father races dirt tracks in Pahrump, Nev, where he has won many races, and is in 1st in points.  While RJ's sister Dylin drives the 6x Bandolero Car.   RJ's favorite NASCAR drivers are Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch.  His Bandolero cars are Jeff Gordon paint Schemes, he is going to start racing dirt cars, already has a #41 dirt car, based after Kurt Busch. 
 
Had a swear in for the new Air Force Recruits.
 
First race of the night was:  Super Late Models Trophy dash (4 laps),  where Dennis Rock Jr. was your winner!  Last lap pass, and said it was good to go for next race!
 
2nd race of the night was:  Lucas Oil Modifieds B feature (25 laps):  Winner was #12 Will Guevara.
 
3rd race of the night was:  Bandolero Bandits Feature (12 laps):  Winner #24 RJ Smotherman, no stranger to the winners circle for sure!!!!  His father works on his car all day every day!  When his dad gets home from work, he's working on RJ's car...  RJ sometimes helps! 
 
4th race of the night was:  Bandolero Outlaws feature (12 laps):  Winner #21 Aiden Green 3 wins in a row!!!  He says this winning streak will help him to try to get more sponcers. 
 
5th race of the night was:  Super Stocks feature (30 laps):  #49 Jason Kiser.  Nice win!  Drivers revved their engines as the passed winners circle, very nice to see!!!  Matt Larsen was fast, and racing him was fun!!!
 
6th race of the night was:  Legends feature (30 laps):  Winner was #10 Peyton Saxton.  Had damage to his #10 car.  Had a great battle with Cameron Morga, said what a great racer he has became.  Said he wanted to put on a great show for the military and the families. 
 
7th race of the night was:  Super Late Models Feature (40 laps):  Winner #38 Scott Gafforini.  59th Saturday night win at the Bull Ring.  Sole leader in wins at the Bull Ring!!!!  Congrats to Scott!!!!!  Poured Lucas Oil on the car in celebration!  :-) 
 
8th and final race of the night was:  Lucas Oil Modifieds feature (75 laps):  Winner was #11 Dylan Cappello.  Said how great it was to race, and what a fun night it was!!! 
 
Fun night tonight!  Thank you all!!!!!! 
 
Congrats to all the winners!!!!!!!  Great job done by all!!!! 

mdr  motorsports