Jaskol winning while he waits

Matt Jaskol wonders what it will take for him to get a chance to compete in a major national racing series.

The 23-year-old has won national go-kart championships. He has won in a national developmental series for IndyCar drivers. And he earned top rookie honors in a West Coast truck series in 2005, winning the season championship in his first year of racing something with fenders.

Having switched to stock cars on a limited budget a couple of years ago, Jaskol also won three Super Late Models regular-season titles this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Bullring.

Now he can add the title of one of the most popular Super Late Models races in the west. Jaskol dominated Saturday night’s Fall Classic at the Bullring, a race included cars from five states and Canada.

“This was just unbelievable,” he said. “The car was flawless all weekend; have to give credit to my crew for that.”

Before a crowd of approximately 2,500, Jaskol took home the $5,000 winner’s check for the biggest one-day haul of his 15-year career. He also won the Night of Fire title July 3 in the Bullring’s best attended event for his first Super Late title.

Jaskol has focused on a professional racing career for half his life. But there’s a long line of young drivers trying to crack into a higher tax bracket by landing a plum job in NASCAR or IndyCar.

“I believe I’ve proven I can win in any type of race car. But unless you can carry a bundle of money to a team, it’s hard to get a ride,” said Jaskol, who led 130 of 150 laps in the feature after winning the pole on Friday.

“It might be my fault because I thought the best way to get a full-time driving job was to invest in proving that I can win races in everything from go-karts to open-wheel cars to sports cars and stock cars.

“I have done that, but I now need to work harder on marketing myself, selling myself,” he said.

Given Jaskol’s racing resume, it should not take a hard sell.

A couple of weeks ago, he ventured to Martinsville, Va., to race in the Bailey’s 300, a major Late Models event that attracted about 120 teams. Jaskol qualified 35th in the 43-car lineup and drove to an impressive ninth-place finish.

Jaskol said he might have to do something drastic to move up the national ladder.

“Maybe my dad and I just have to sell our Super Late Model stuff so I can take that money and go to an owner of a team in a bigger series and say, ‘Look, here’s all the money I have. Can I drive for you?’ ” he said.

Until then, Jaskol will drive a sports car in a California endurance race on a road course in December.

“I haven’t made many right turns in a while,” he joked.

Jaskol just hopes his career takes an upward turn soon.

In another feature at the Bullring, 16-year-old Dusty Davis — a former go-kart champ who lists Jaskol among his mentors — passed Daniel Hemric on the last lap to win.

Davis patiently followed Hemric, a national Legends Cars champion from Mooresville, N.C., for most of the 30 laps. He finally dropped low entering the second turn and made the pass for the lead.

Southern Californian Tim Huddleston held off Kevin Callahan of Bakersfield, Calif., to win the Late Models feature and $2,500 winner’s check for the second time.

Scott Winters of Tracy, Calif., won the 75-lap Modifieds feature for the second consecutive year.

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

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