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Haase reaches Bullring winner’s circle for first time since 2006

Alex Haase needed a few seconds to remember the last time he won a Super Late Models stock-car race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“Wow. Hmmm. I’m guessing it was 2006 maybe?”

Haase was correct. His first and only other Super Late Models win at the Bullring came in October 2006 in the final points race of the year.

It’s understandable why he needed to jog his memory. He was a 16-year-old student at Centennial High School then.

A lot has happened in Haase’s racing life since then, but his victory Saturday in one of two Super Late Models features will be easier to remember.

“My dad (Greg) built this car a couple years ago and it always was fast,” Haase said.

The car set the Bullring qualifying record in March, “and now we can say it’s a winner, too,” he said.

The second feature was won by Scott Gafforini, 44, his second of the year.

“Yeah, I guess the old man out here can still drive,” said Gafforini, who was third in the opener. “Haase is always fast. We might have a small field out here (13 cars), but we have top-quality racers.”

Haase returned to Las Vegas last year after spending three years living near Charlotte, N.C., where he worked for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He resumed racing at the Bullring this year.

In early February he placed second at a major Super Late Models race in the All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif.

Haase drove for Busch in regional stock-car races in the East, but two years ago began spending less time driving race cars than working on them, which didn’t appeal to him. His role as a driver diminished after Busch began to focus on starting his NASCAR truck series team prior to the 2010 season.

The AlexHaase.com website notes it is “under construction,” and it appears so is his racing career.

Haase showed Saturday that his family-owned stock car can win, but without sufficient sponsorship he doesn’t plan to race again until July 3 at the Bullring.

“I’d love to race full time but it’s not realistic anymore,” said Haase, who would like to become a firefighter. “I wouldn’t say I’ve given up the dream of racing, but it’s hard to do it on your own.”

Other winners on Saturday were: James Wingard and Patrick O’Hanley, Chargers; Pete Meyer, Bombers; Justin Irwin, Legends Cars; Travis Boyle, Thunder Cars; Brodie Kostecki, USAC Focus Midgets; and Dan Pachella, demolition derby.

Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at jwolf@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0247.

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