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Saathoff hits jackpot at LVMS Duel In The Desert


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Saathoff hits jackpot with IMCA Modified checkers

at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Duel In The Desert


LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 14) – He’s had a lot of big wins during his

IMCA Modified career, but none of them paid better than the one on

Saturday night.


Johnny Saathoff passed Ricky Alvarado on the 36th of 40 laps Saturday

night at Las Vegas Motor Speed way, then held off Terry Phillps to

take the $7,777 Duel In The Desert checkers.


An event record 262 Modifieds, representing 23 states and three

Canadian provinces, were on hand for the IMCA season-ending special

at the half-mile dirt oval. Alvarado, Dominic Ursetta and Scott Drake

rounded out the top five.


Chris Abelson started on the pole but slid high and watched Alvarado

take the lead away on just the sec ond lap. Saathoff, the 2004 race

winner, was quickly in contention from his eight starting spot and

locked onto Alvarado’s back bumper in lap 15.


Bob Moore and Phillps did their best to stay in the chase, but

Alvarado and Saathoff made it a two-car race. The feature passed

midway before the first yellow came out, when Kellen Chadwick rolled

to a stop on lap 21, but the rest of the pack couldn’t take advantage

of the restart.


A spin by Steve Arpin with six to go resulted in a pile-up that

knocked out Brad Pounds, national champion Dylan Smith and Zane



Alvarado got out of line following the ensuing restart, giving both

Saathoff and Phillips the opportunity they were looking for to get

by. Saathoff crossed the stripe three car lengths ahead of Phillips.


Winners of 12 last chance races on Saturday joined top four finishers

from two qualifying features both Thursday and Friday in the 28-car

starting grid. The previous event record of 221 Modifieds had been

set last year.


Alvarado took charge on the third circuit and led to the finish of

the Wild West Shootout. That field included top 20 point drivers from

the EQ Cylinder Heads Wild West Northern Tour and Rotating Right Wild

West Southern Tour.


Paul Stone advanced nine spots but ran out of time to reel Alvarado

in and settled for second in the 20 lapper. Lance Mari ran in front

the first two circuits and ended in third. Tyrone Yazzie and Jimmy

Reeves rounded out the top five.


Two drivers kayoed by an early crash when the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars

made their first-ever appear ance at LVMS last year went at it again

Saturday, and a last-lap pass gave Trent Murphy the $777 win over

Kevin Opheim.


Robby Rosselli set the fast pace before giving way to Murphy

following a lap eight restart. Opheim buzzed by on the next lap and

ran at the front while Murphy, Rosselli, Joe Flory and Cary White

jostled back and forth.


Murphy finally got the best of the battle and caught Opheim on lap

19. Rosselli, Flory and White were scored in that order behind the

front pair.


Stephenville Starter Southern Region champion Rex Higgins was sixth.


Feature Results


1. Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, Neb.;

2. Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo.;

3. Ricky Alvarado, Delta, Colo.;

4. Dominic Ursetta, Arvada, Colo.;

5. Scott Drake, Webb City, Mo.;

6. Eddie Belec, Lakewood, Colo.;

7. Bobby Hogge IV, Salinas, Calif.;

8. Jeremy Mills, Garner, Iowa;

9. Paul Stone, Winton, Calif.;

10. Chris Abelson, Sioux City, Iowa;

11. Will Brack, Mead, Colo.;

12. Shane Stutzman, Milford, Neb.;

13. Darrick Klima, Belleville, Kan.;

14. Vern Jackson, Waterloo, Iowa;

15. Jason Brees, Strasburg, Colo.;

16. Brandon Carley, Farmington, N.M.;

17. Bob Moore, Sioux City, Iowa;

18. Steve Arpin, Cornelius, N.C.;

19. Brad Pounds, Bakersfield, Calif.;

20. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.;

21. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M.;

22. Sonny Wahl, Mohave Valley, Ariz.;

23. Jeremy Payne, Springfield, Mo.;

24. Jay Steffens, North Platte, Neb.;

25. Grant Junghans, Manhattan, Kan.;

26. Kellen Chadwick, Oakley, Calif.;

27. Justen Yeager, Green River, Wyo.;

28. Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa.


Stock Cars

1. Trent Murphy, Jefferson, Iowa;

2. Kevin Opheim, Mason City, Iowa;

3. Robby Rosselli, Minot, N.D.;

4. Joe Flory, Williston, N.D.;

5. Cary White, Lamesa, Texas;

6. Rex Higgins, Bloomfield, N.M.;

7. Duain Pritchett, Combine, Texas;

8. Michael Higgins, Bloomfield, N.M.;

9. Ron Hurt, Hanford, Calif.;

10. Rick Mitchell, Fernie, B.C.;

11. Douglas Kennemer, Boyd, Texas;

12. Steffan Carey, Bloomfield, N.M.;

13. Lee Moss, Flora Vista, N.M.;

14. Troy Patee, Hanford, Calif.;

15. Tom Randolph, Delta, Colo.;

16. Toby Miller, Boyd, Texas;

17. Kirk Martin, Weatherford, Texas;

18. Trevor Wadel, Garden City, Kan.;

19. Michael Wadel, Garden City, Kan.;

20. Jake Masters, Graettinger, Iowa.


Wild West Tour Shootout

1. Ricky Alvarado, Delta, Colo.;

2. Paul Stone, Winton, Calif.;

3. Lance Mari, El Centro, Calif.;

4. Tyrone Yazzie, Farmington, N.M.;

5. Jimmy Reeves, Hanford, Calif.;

6. Joshua Vogt, Santa Maria, Calif.;

7. Phil Penney, Percival, Iowa;

8. Richard Anderson, Shelley, Idaho;

9. Don Baisch, Rigby, Idaho;

10. Chase Hansen, Myton, Utah;

11. Mickey Stubbings, Helper, Utah;

12. Brad Boyer, Monument, Colo.;

13. Clay Daly, Bakersfield, Calif.;

14. Troy McElroy, Grand Junction, Colo.;

15. Zane DeVilbiss, Farmington, N.M.;

16. Justen Yeager, Green River, Wyo.;

17. Harvey Howard, Price, Utah;

18. Sonny Wahl, Mohave Valley, Ariz.;

19. Dan Fitzgerald, Las Vegas;

20. Robert Gallegos, Cory, Colo.



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