LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Chris Clyne and Chuck Trickle are no strangers to victory lane. Both standouts in the Super Late Model division of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, they have spent a fair amount of time thanking their sponsors and crew for helping them win races.
This year has been a different story. Quality Motorsports has dominated the division, winning eight of the 11 races so far and holding on to the top two positions in the points race. Both Clyne and Trickle, the 2003 Super Late Model track champion, are the only Super Late Model drivers without a Quality Motorsports logo to bring home a victory this season. Trickle made his way back to the winners circle on June 26, the first time since May 31, 2003. Clyne has won two races so far this season, most recently the second of twin main events on June 19.
The season didn’t start out smooth for either driver, but getting back to victory lane was a much needed boost for the teams.
“It’s always big to win a race,” Clyne said. “It’s a big accomplishment for the team. We struggled at the beginning of the year, but we’ve got things going again.”
If Trickle hasn’t been working on a fender or bumper damaged from a wreck, he has found himself heading to the back of the pack after being spun out by another driver.
“There is a lot of luck involved in winning a race, and we used up a lot of luck last year,” Trickle said. “We’ve finally got our car straightened out. When the cars work, they work. When they don’t, they don’t.”
Quality Motorsports’ drivers, Mike Cofer (three wins), Mike Ray (three wins) and Justin Martz (two wins), have split the remaining eight victories fairly evenly amongst themselves. Ray currently leads all Super Late Model drivers in the championship points race, followed by Cofer. Quality Motorsports brings the advantage of a big-name sponsor backing and multiple race teams, which some believe is what has aided the successes of their drivers. Clyne and Trickle rely on smaller sponsors, their own money and the help of numerous friends and family. While the difference in budgets plays a role, both drivers agree it’s not the main factor in who goes home with the hardware each race.
“It’s not the money,” Trickle said. “Dollar for dollar we spend as much as they do. And it shows; we won the championship last year. We’re as fast as they are. Whoever wants to win, wins.”
Clyne believes the Quality Motorsports drivers have the best equipment money can buy, but a good race car driver and a skilled crew can make up the difference.
“It helps when you have good brains behind your car,” Clyne said. “I think I have the best guys on my team. That makes a difference.”
Without the support of his family, friends and fans who want him to win, Trickle knows it would be difficult be successful in this industry.
“I have four guys on my team,” Trickle said. “Brian Kaiser, Mike Daniels, Brian Alexander and Michael Miller want to win more than I do. You have to have the support of your wife, family, friends and those who want you to win.”
With all the different factors coming into play, once the cars hit the track no one can predict the final outcome.
Clyne sees only one thing happening this Friday night, “the number 14 car in victory lane doing big doughnuts.”
Trickle sees the finish a little differently, “we’ve got the car to win the race. It’s a 75-lap race. The longer we go, the better I get.”
Spectator gates open at 6 p.m. Qualifying is set for 5:50 p.m. with racing at 7:15. Fireworks, on-track driver autograph session, demolition derby and a jet-quad highlight the night.
General admission is $11 for adults, $9 for senior citizens/ military personnel and $4 for children 6-12. Children five and under are free. A Family Four Pack can be purchased for $24.
For more information, visit www.lvms.com or call 800-644-4444.