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Gafforini restarts title defense as racing returns to Bullring

Racing returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring and Strip this weekend after a hiatus because of the hot weather.

Jay Beasley leads the Super Late Models class with 476 points as he tries to unseat four-time champion Scott Gafforini. Romain Thievin is second with 456 points, and Gafforini has 444 in what could be a close three-way battle to the end.

Kayli Barker leads the Super Stocks with 397 points as she tries to become the first female to win one of the three top classes at the Bullring. Defending champion James Wingard is second with 367 points, and he is followed by two more females — Barbara Borkowski (352 points) and Kolleen Dresser (286).

Pete Meyer, with 416 points, leads in his quest to repeat as champion in the Bombers class.

■ HONORING THE MEMORIES — Cassie Gannis will pay tribute to the 19 firefighters who died June 30 in Yarnell, Ariz., at the Bullring on Saturday.

The 22-year-old from Phoenix will drive the Prescott 19 memorial car in the Super Late Models race.

Retired firefighter Jack Carter sponsors the car, which supports three charities, including yarnellfallenfirefighters.com.

“Firefighters risk their lives every day, and I am thrilled that I am able to bring more awareness to the foundation by displaying the logo on the car,” Gannis said in a statement.

She received the Most Popular Driver Award last season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

■ BUSING TO THE STRIP — Shuttles will be available to and from the Strip at LVMS for the NHRA Toyota Nationals on Oct. 24 to 27.

Buses leave twice each morning from Bally’s, Excalibur and Golden Nugget.

For more information, go to racedayshuttles.com/NHRA.html.

■ TRUCKIN’ — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers will take part in a free autograph session Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the South Point. Las Vegan Brendan Gaughan is scheduled to take part, as are Ty Dillon, Todd Bodine, Joey Coulter and Max Gresham, among others. The Smith’s 350 is at LVMS is Sept. 28.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914. Follow him on Twitter: @markanderson65.

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