Aaron McMorran thought his trip to the Winner’s Circle was so nice, he did it twice on Hometown Heroes Night at The Bullring on Saturday (Photo credit: Jeff Speer).
The 2015 NASCAR Bombers track champion pulled off a rare double at the 3/8-mile paved oval, winning both 25-lap features on a night dedicated to honoring the area’s first responders. The third annual Hometown Heroes Night included a multi-jurisdictional parade lap, static displays featuring police, fire and other first responders, as well as a special honor guard and pipe and drum band.
McMorran nipped Kyle Jacks at the line by just .069 of a second in the first Bombers race of the evening to kick things off. In the second Bombers feature, defending track champion Sam Jacks led through the midway point before succumbing to car trouble that forced him to the pits.
McMorran capitalized and crossed the line .377 of a second ahead of Kyle Jacks, who finished second in both races. McMorran was thrilled to earn his 17th and 18th career Bullring Saturday night victories at the special event.
“I’ve got to thank all of the hometown heroes in the house tonight; this whole deal is for you,” McMorran said. “The car was pretty strong tonight, but I wasn’t going to beat Sam Jacks (in the second race). He was gone, and the next thing I know, he’s waving his hand on the back stretch, so I guess he broke. I’m really impressed with those Jacks boys.
“Anything you do in life, you try to do to the best of your abilities, so when you race two races and win them both, you feel like you’ve achieved something.”
Reigning NASCAR Super Late Models track champion Justin Johnson was dominant in the division’s first 35-lap feature, powering his way to Bullring career win No. 51. Johnson, who is fourth all-time in Bullring victories, was happy to bring a new car to the Winner’s Circle for the first time.
“J&S Automotive built me a great engine,” Johnson said of the new car. “The car I raced last year was great, and Peyton (Saxton) is going to be a great fit for that car. Dennis Rock called me and said he wanted me to drive for him, and I want to go for a championship and he’s given me the right car to do it.”
Peyton Saxton passed Tyler Fabozzi with three laps remaining after the two made contact in Turn 4 and raced to the 19th Bullring victory of his career. Saxton, who won his first-ever Super Late Model race on Opening Night, is driving the car Johnson piloted to the track championship in 2016.
“Tyler and I raced Legends cars together, and now we’re racing Super Lates, so that’s pretty cool,” Saxton said. “I was there on his quarter-panel, and (the contact) was nothing intentional. We tried to get both of them tonight, but it was tough with J.J. in that first race because he was really fast.”
Mason Sargent passed Court Connell in Turn 4 of the final lap of the NASCAR Super Stocks feature to earn his first win in that division by .306 of a second. Sargent took over racing the car for his father, Don, who won the division’s track championship last year.
“Best night ever,” said Sargent, a seven-time USLCI Bandoleros race winner. “This year, we were just supposed to come out here and have fun. It’s not about if we win and get this trophy, but more about if we have a great time.”
Fabozzi made a late-race pass for the lead to earn his second career USLCI Legends feature win in the evening’s 25-lap Legends race.
Fabozzi picked up his first win since June 4 of last year after finishing .294 of a second ahead of his mentor, T.J. Clark.
“That was a really hectic race, even from the beginning,” Fabozzi said. “I didn’t expect to have to fight that hard in the last few laps, but once we got that second re-start, they were right on top of me. The car worked absolutely perfectly, so I’ve got to give credit to T.J. (Clark)”
In the 15-lap Thunder Cars feature, Ed Hohman made his first trip to the Winner’s Circle in nearly 10 years. Hohman, who last won at The Bullring on June 9, 2007, edged Opening Night winner Ron Reed to secure his fourth career win at the short track.
“I’ve got to thank the fans because, without them, I wouldn’t be here,” Hohman said. “We parked the car for about four years when things were tough, and we finally got it back together, but there were a lot of gremlins in it. I just love what I’m doing, and this is a blast.”
The USLCI Bandoleros races featured a pair of first-time winners, with Amilleo Thomson taking the 12-lap Bandits feature and Camden Larsen winning the 15-lap Outlaws race.
NEXT RACE: Racing returns to The Bullring on Saturday, April 22, for Big Rig Racing and Semi Truck Show. North American Big Rig Racing will be back from Canada, and the night’s racing action will be preceded by a truck show in The Bullring parking lot.
Hometown Heroes Night at The Bullring – Complete results
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature No. 1
1. Aaron McMorran; 2. Kyle Jacks (-.069 of a second); 3. Sam Jacks (-.231); 4. Pete Meyer (-2.749); 5. Nick Nuccitelli (-4.270); 6. Mark Skinner (-5.988); 7. Jim Merlino (-6.030); 8. Adam Simon (-6.990); 9. Kirk Hance (-9.743); 10. Bradley Thompson (-10.115); 11. Martin Sullins (-10.985); 12. Steve Danko (-12.086); 13. Anthony Mann (-45.868); 14. Zachery Nicholls (-1 lap); 15. Carl Duryee (-5 laps); 16. James Menasco (-8 laps); 17. Savannah Ertl (-15 laps); 18. J.J. Nunn (-23 laps).
NASCAR Super Late Models 35-lap feature No. 1
1. Justin Johnson; 2. Peyton Saxton (-2.844 seconds); 3. Scott Gafforini (-3.698); 4. David Anderson (-4.892); 5. Stan Mullis (-5.224); 6. Tyler Fabozzi (-5.505); 7. Warren Knipper (-7.276); 8. Kayli Barker (-8.700); 9. Chris Trickle (-9.189); 10. Steve Anderson (-10.942); 11. Cole Cabrera (-14.155); 12. Gary Clift (-26 laps).
USLCI Thunder Cars 15-lap feature
1. Ed Hohman; 2. Ron Reed (-.405 of a second); 3. Doug Germano (-2.886); 4. Darin Callaway (-2.983).
USLCI Bandolero Bandits 12-lap feature
1. Amilleo Thomson; 2. Braden Conner (-4.305 seconds); 3. Sabastian Lafia (-5.928); 4. Landon Gresser (-9.783); 5. Tuscan Nuccitelli (-10.560); 6. Eliana Danko (-2 laps); 7. Branch Danko (-3 laps).
USLCI Bandolero Outlaws 15-lap feature
1. Camden Larsen; 2. Ethan Deguevara (-4.545 seconds); 3. Jaron Giannini (-5.604); 4. Matthew Cunningham (-5.905); 5. Dezel West (-6.216); 6. R.J. Smotherman (-6.472); 7. Cody Brown (-8.775); 8. Kaden Crouch (-11.127); 9. Cameron Guy (-13.014).
NASCAR Super Stocks 25-lap feature
1. Mason Sargent; 2. Court Connell (-.306 of a second); 3. Johnny Spilotro (-.699); 4. Steve Smith (-.964); 5. Matt Larsen (-1.431); 6. Robert Negrete (-2.735); 7. Dylin Smotherman (-3.574); 8. Scott Larsen (-1 lap); 9. Justin Kiser (DQ).
USLCI Legends 25-lap feature
1. Tyler Fabozzi; 2. T.J. Clark (-.294 of a second); 3. Gary Scheurell (-1.384); 4. Robert Gayton (-1.713); 5. Devin Lane (-1.818); 6. Dylan Fabozzi (-4.074); 7. Brian Lane (-5.213); 8. Matthew Cunningham (-6.166); 9. Michael Anderson (-6.323); 10. Brian Williams (-1 lap); 11. Donna Gunther (-1 lap); 12. Jace Jones (-1 lap); 13. Michael Todd Glazier (-6 laps).
NASCAR Bombers 25-lap feature No. 2
1. Aaron McMorran; 2. Kyle Jacks (-.377 of a second); 3. Martin Sullins (-1.009); 4. Nick Nuccitelli (-1.218); 5. Pete Meyer (-1.751); 6. Anthony Mann (-2.794); 7. Mark Skinner (-3.375); 8. Kirk Hance (-3.742); 9. Adam Simon (-3.922); 10. Steve Danko (-4.076); 11. Zachery Nicholls (-1 lap); 12. Bradley Thompson (-3 laps); 13. James Menasco (-6 laps); 14. Jim Merlino (-9 laps); 15. Sam Jacks (-10 laps); 16. J.J. Nunn (-13 laps); 17. Savannah Ertl (-15 laps).
NASCAR Super Late Models 35-lap feature No. 2
1. Peyton Saxton; 2. Tyler Fabozzi (-.995 of a second); 3. David Anderson (-6.279); 4. Justin Johnson (-6.504); 5. Stan Mullis (-6.621); 6. Scott Gafforini (-6.712); 7. Kayli Barker (-10.044); 8. Warren Knipper (-10.393); 9. Cole Cabrera (-10.937); 10. Steve Anderson (-11.736).