Two Pahrump racers are starting a new family tradition at the Las Vegas Bullring. Robert Smotherman and RJ Smotherman were the first family members to win Bullring championships in the same year.
For those unfamiliar with the Bullring, this asphalt track is .375 miles long and is part of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex.
“We made 24 trips into Las Vegas so that my son and daughter could race,” Smotherman said. “I went undefeated in seven races.”
Robert Smotherman (100 points) won the skid plate car division and his son, RJ Smotherman (245) won his second consecutive USLCI Bandolero Bandits title.
The season for the Bullring started in March and ended on Sept. 24. RJ Smotherman races the Bandolero Class and Late Models out at Madera. The Bandolero can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour and has a 30-horsepower engine in it.
“He not only was number one at the Bullring, but he was first in the state and number one nationally,” Robert Smotherman said.
“He could be doing Legends out in Las Vegas next year and the Late Models at Madera (California),” Jeri Patrick, his grandmother said. “He has a better attitude than his dad. He could end up going to NASCAR.”
The Legend car typically has a Yamaha four-cylinder engine producing 120 horsepower and capable of going 70 mph.
Patrick also races at the Pahrump Valley Speedway. She will most likely take third place in the Coupe Class this year.
Robert Smotherman just started racing skid plate racers this year after he converted his old mini-stock racer into one. A skid plate racer is when you remove the back tires and weld a steel plate on the bottom of the tire rim. There’s a lot of sparks on the asphalt when these cars are racing.
The other member of the Smotherman racing family is RJ’s older sister Dylin (148), who finished fourth in the NASCAR Super Stocks division.
“Dylin is also doing good,” Robert Smotherman said. She was the Mini Stock champion last year at the Pahrump Valley Speedway.
“This year was Dylin’s first year racing in the NASCAR Super Stocks,” Patrick said. “She has a little bit of me in her. She’s doing good. I am going to race less next year so I can watch both my grandson and granddaughter race more.”
Dylin Smotherman was rookie of the year. She has been racing since she was 13 and is now 20. The NASCAR Super Stock model resembles late American-built 1970s to mid-1980s coupes. Super Stocks run small-block Chevy and Ford engines that have around 375 horsepower.
Robert Smotherman said his daughter will continue with the NASCAR Super Stocks, and may return next year to the Pahrump Valley Speedway to race Modifieds. Robert Smotherman is having a blast racing his skid plate car and plans on building three more.