NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader Christopher Bell and local NASCAR veteran Brendan Gaughan will compete in the Star Nursery 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 13 (Pictured: Christopher Bell – Photo credit: Icon Sportswire).
Bell, a four-time NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner in 2018, could be considered a favorite at the half-mile LVMS Dirt Track during the 100-lap race based on his second consecutive victory at the Chili Bowl at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Center in January. Bell, who won five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races last year en route to the series championship, will be making his third career K&N Pro Series West start.
“I love any opportunity I get to race on dirt, and I’m extremely excited to get back to grassroots racing and run in the K&N Pro Series West race at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” said Bell, who also will run in the DC Solar 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the superspeedway on Saturday, Sept. 15. “If the truck races at Eldora are any indication, this race will be an event that you truly can’t miss. It should be an action-packed day, and I’m looking forward to kicking off my weekend in Las Vegas at Dirt Track on Thursday.”
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire
Gaughan is a Las Vegas native who has competed in NASCAR since 1997. A two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner and eight-time NCWTS winner, Gaughan has eight K&N Pro Series West wins in 46 starts and won the series championship in 2001 and 2002.
He won the 2003 Las Vegas 350 NCWTS race and has one win in seven K&N Pro Series West starts at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, the 24-Hour Fitness 150 in 2001. Gaughan and his father – South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa owner Michael Gaughan – have both competed in desert racing in the Las Vegas Valley in the past, but this will be his first race at the LVMS Dirt Track.
“I can’t wait to hit the dirt, kick up some dust and get dirty at the LVMS Dirt Track,” said Gaughan, who will have the same car owner (Bill McAnally) and pit crew from his K&N championship seasons at the Star Nursery 100. “My family has a long history in dirt racing in the Las Vegas desert, and the Star Nursery 100 is going to be a thrill in September. It’s going to be an awesome race week in Las Vegas, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it with Bill McAnally and my old pit crew from our championship days.”
The Star Nursery 100 – the K&N Series West’s first race on dirt – begins at 8 p.m. and kicks off a full weekend of racing at America’s Racing Showplace. Bell and Gaughan will be part of a K&N drivers autograph session at the Dirt Track from 4:30-5:30 before the race.
Following the Dirt Track race, action will then shift to the superspeedway with the World of Westgate 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday, Sept. 14, the DC Solar 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday and the South Point 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series champion, will go for a Las Vegas sweep on Sunday as the South Point 400 kicks off the 2018 MENCS playoffs.
Star Nursery – which began its operation in 1983 and has seven of its 15 locations in Las Vegas – was title sponsor of the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series race at The Bullring in 2001. Southern Nevada’s premier garden center, Star Nursery also sponsored Las Vegas-born Kurt Busch during his NASCAR Southwest Tour Series championship season in 1999.
The addition of the 100-lap K&N Pro Series West event gives the LVMS Dirt Track a powerful trio of events for 2018, along with the World of Outlaws FVP Outlaw Showdown Feb. 28-March 1 and the 21st annual Duel in the Desert Nov. 7-10. Top-tier NASCAR drivers are expected to be among the entries in the 100-lap race, and race organizers expect to announce specifics in the coming weeks.
The K&N Pro Series West brought races to the 1.5-mile speedway from 1996-2001 and to The Bullring from 2001-03, but the Star Nursery 100 will mark the first K&N event at the LVMS Dirt Track. The evening will also include a 25-lap IMCA Western RaceSaver Sprint Series race as well.
Fans who have purchased 2018 annual passes to both LVMS NASCAR weekends and patrons who have bought weekend passes for either of the track’s tripleheaders are eligible for discounted Star Nursery 100 tickets for $25. Star Nursery 100 tickets are available to the general public for $35 apiece, and ticket prices will increase on Monday, Sept. 3.