Jason Irwin could be the next top driver to come out of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring.
But the Bullring isn’t really his home track. Except that it is.
Irwin is a 16-year-old who lives in Albuquerque, N.M., but he has made so many trips to the Bullring and experienced enough success that he might as well declare it his local track.
He likes the track’s high banks and those involved in operating the facility, and Irwin also likes the convenience of traveling to Las Vegas and being able to stay with friends.
“It’s one of my favorite tracks,” he said.
That doesn’t mean Irwin’s so enamored that one day he will call this his permanent home, but there’s no arguing he’s found a place to not only feel comfortable, but to win.
Irwin is the points leader in two classes at the Bullring. He has 109 points for a 14-point lead in NASCAR Grand American Modified and 290 points for a 16-point advantage in U.S. Legend Cars International Pro Division. Irwin won his second straight Modified race last weekend, and he finished second in the Legend car.
In February, he also became the Silver State Road Course Series points champion in the Pro division, adding to the Night of Fire victory last July 4 in his Legend Car at the Bullring. He also won a season-high seven races last season in the USLCI Legend Cars at the LVMS track.
He spends so much in time in Las Vegas because the facility is much nicer than what’s back home, as is the depth of competition.
“I feel like it’s more exposure to race in Vegas,” Irwin said. “They post stuff on my website and they post results, and it’s easy to find. It’s more of a popular place than New Mexico or Texas or Oklahoma or wherever.”
Irwin also knows the Bullring is the place that produced brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch, both of whom have found tremendous success at NASCAR’s highest levels. And another is on the way in Nationwide Series driver Dylan Kwasniewski, as is perhaps Jay Beasley, who won the Super Late Model championship last season and is driving in K&N Pro Series East this year.
“I feel like I could be right there with them,” Irwin said.
Like those drivers, Irwin has a plan to try to get to the Sprint Cup Series.
First is the task of moving up the ladder regionally. He plans to drive in K&N East next season, while also returning to the Bullring for selected weekends to drive Super Late Model, Modified and Legend cars.
“I feel like at my age, still being young, we’re on the right track (for Sprint Cup), and we’re looking to do the right thing in the future,” Irwin said.
■ NOTE — More than 1,100 RV spaces were paved at LVMS for next year’s NASCAR weekend. Those who bring RVs to the track also will have access to free showers. “Each year, we try to enhance the experience for our race fans based on their feedback,” LVMS president Chris Powell said in a statement. “Our guests in motorhomes are some of our most loyal, and the paving of the Boulevard RV Lot and the advent of free showers for all RV’ers will be a real bonus for them.” Those who reserved RV spaces for this year’s races have until May 30 to lock in the same price for 2015.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.