Jason Irwin & Heather Hadley Sweep Weekend; Lemke & Rankin Split Bandos at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV : This past weekend the 2018-19 edition of the Silver State Championship road course series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway got underway with the first two rounds under perfect weather conditions for December.  A total of 57 race cars showed up on Saturday for the first round of action with 60 cars in the pit area for Sunday’s round two action.

Jason Irwin dominated both Legends Pro / Master feature races over the weekend / Jason Irwin Racing photo

In combined Legends Pro / Masters competition over the weekend it was Jason Irwin with the wins on both days as he continues to learn and score race victories with his new FZ09 engine.   Irwin dominated the features on Saturday and Sunday with a 12.629-second win over fellow Pro drivers Ryan Schartau and Jesse Love on Saturday.  If that differential wasn’t big enough for Irwin, he went out on Sunday and won the 10 lap feature by almost 15 seconds with Dezel West and Schartau left to battle for second at the finish.

Gary Scheurell finished in fourth overall in the 25 car field on Saturday to take the Masters division feature win as he finished five spots ahead of Columbia River Legends promoter Keith Van Dyne and Vegas regular Michael Anderson, who was in 13th at the checkered flag.

Van Dyne rebounded in Sunday’s finale with the class win as he finished fifth overall in the combined Legends Pro / Master feature race.  Jim Smith came back from a difficult day on Saturday to finsh sixth overall and second in class with Irwin’s teammate Gary Wegener third in the Masters class.

The Legends Semi-Pro and Young Lion racers were placed in their own 10 lap feature races for the first two rounds of the series with decent car counts on both days.

Californian racer Heather “The Heat” Hadley returned to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course after an impressive showing during the INEX Road Course World Finals in October over the weekend and scored two overall feature wins.  Hadley, a Semi-Pro driver, won the combined feature on Saturday by a mere 0.125-seconds over the 2018 Bullring track champion, and fellow Semi-Pro driver Jaron Giannini.  Ricky Gutierrez, also in the Semi-Pro class finished third overall in the feature.  John Holtger cruised home to a fifth place finish in the feature and first in the Young Lions class to take the division win.

Hadley figured Saturday’s race was a little too close so she went out on Sunday and put down fast laps over the 10 lap feature race to add her second victory of the weekend.  Hadley took the race victory some 11 seconds ahead of Braden Rogers and Gutierrez.  Jace Denmark-Gessel came across the line in fifth place, which was good enough to be classified as the Legends Young Lions feature winner.  Holtger backed up his Saturday win with a second in class, sixth overall with Michael Leach behind him for third place on the Young Lion podium.

The Bandolero Bandits and Outlaws combined to run 8 lap feature races on Saturday and Sunday on the short course.  Veteran Outlaw racer Adam Lemke took the race win by 2.251-seconds over Bandit winner Elvis Rankin.

Adam Lemke (#98) leads Elvis Rankin (#54) in a heated battle for the lead / Rob Street Racing Photography

Rankin rebounded on Sunday as he took the overall race win by just one second over RJ Smotherman, the Outlaw feature winner.  Lemke fell back to fourth on Sunday, third in the Outlaw class.  After a rough first Legends Pro race on Saturday, Lemke was able to come home in seventh in Sunday’s feature race.

Landon Gresser, who mathematically tied for the 2018 INEX Bandits National Championship had a difficult weekend in his first attempts as an Outlaw racer.  Gresser finished fifth on Saturday, but had a disappointing ninth place run on Sunday.

Only three Thunder Roadsters made the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend in a decline of the class in the area.  Chris Reber took the wins on both days.

The Silver State Championship takes the next two weekends off for the holidays, but is back on track the Saturday, January 5th and Sunday, January 6th with the third and fourth rounds.

Legends Nation - Brian Nagy - December 21, 2018