LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Nov. 10) – Seven new drivers locked themselves into Karl Chevrolet Duel in the Desert championship features by way of qualifying feature victories on Wednesday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Winners of qualifying features receive automatic bids into Friday and Saturday night’s main events in four classes at the Duel in the Desert: IMCA Modified, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod, IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and IMCA STARS Mod Lite.
Chase Alves (SportMod), Dylan Van Wyk (SportMod), Arie Schouten (SportMod), Bubba Stafford Jr. (Stock Car), Zane DeVilbiss (Modified), Zack VanderBeek (Modified) and Ricky Alvarado (Modified) all earned places into their respective main events on Qualifying Night 2.
The three repeat winners – who earned victories on both Tuesday and Wednesday – were Dallon Murty (Stock Car), Ricky Thornton Jr. (Modified) and Zack Forster (Mod Lite).
Alves of Casa Grande, Ariz., took the lead on the second lap of the first Northern SportMod qualifier and went on to win by nearly 2.5 seconds over Logan Anderson.
Van Wyk of Oskaloosa, Iowa, held off a late charge from Kaylin Lopez to win the second SportMod qualifier. Van Wyk’s margin of victory was 0.75 seconds.
A late-race restart made for an exciting end to the third and final SportMod qualifier. Schouten of Omaha, Neb., had a 4.5-second lead erased with two laps remaining when a caution flew. Schouten held off Ryan Peery on the restart for the win.
Bubba Stafford Jr. of Wittmann, Ariz., won the first IMCA Stock Car qualifier over Mike Petersilie. It was Stafford’s first win in the division.
Murty of Chelsea, Iowa, won for the second consecutive night, as he picked up the victory in the second Stock Car qualifier. He was already locked into the Saturday main event via his Tuesday victory.
Forster of Bakersfield, Calif., led wire-to-wire and won the STARS Mod Lite qualifier over Collin Bender. Forster also won his qualifying feature on Tuesday night.
Thornton Jr., of Adel, Iowa, won the first IMCA Modified qualifier over Peyton Taylor. Thornton avoided disaster late in the race as another car spun to a stop in front of him and caused a caution. Thornton halted to avoid the spinning car and was awarded his spot back in the running order. He pulled away for the victory.
Thornton joined Murty and Forster as drivers who won their respective class qualifying events on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
DeVilbiss of Farmington, N.M., won the second Modified qualifier over Mike McKinney. DeVilbiss had a six-second lead disappear near the halfway point and had to hold off the hard-charging McKinney for the win.
VanderBeek of New Sharon, Iowa, won the third qualifier over Steven Whiteaker Jr., leading all 20 laps of the race.
Alvarado of Hotchkiss, Colo., won the fourth and final qualifier of the night over Kyle Brown. Brown stalked Alvarado throughout the race, but was unable to make the pass for the win.
Qualifying heats and features will continue Thursday night, with new feature winners locking themselves into Friday and Saturday night main events in all four classes. IMCA SportMod and STARS Mod Lite main events will be held Friday night and IMCA Stock Car and IMCA Modified main events running Saturday night.
Tickets and race information can be found at www.duelvegas.com.