LAS VEGAS — Jeremy Payne won the 2013 edition of the Duel in the Desert for IMCA Modifieds Saturday at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It was his second consecutive Duel victory and fourth overall. He collected $7,777.77 for his efforts.
Terry Phillips started the 40-lap feature from the pole, flanked by Dominic Ursetta. Phillips jumped out to an early lead as Jeremy Payne moved past Ursetta for second place. Payne caught Phillips on lap seven and the battle for the lead commenced as the pair pulled away from the pack. At the halfway point, Phillips continued his domination of the feature with Payne staying within striking distance.
With 10 laps remaining, the leader encountered heavy lapped traffic, allowing Payne to close the gap. Payne made his move in turn two and grabbed the lead from Phillips. Phillips refused to give up the fight and remained glued to Payne’s rear bumper as Jeff Taylor, in third place, was catching the leaders. Payne collected the checkered flag, followed by Phillips and Taylor.
“That car was awesome. It’s an awesome night,” said Payne. “You always want to be pretty close to the leader when he gets into lapped traffic. I could get some runs on him early, then he’d get away. I settled down and found a groove and it was awesome.”
The 16th annual Duel in the Desert attracted 246 modified entries from 21 states and three Canadian provinces. The Sport Mod class set a new Duel record for entries with 74.
The 25-lap Sport Mod feature was won by Dean Abbey.
“This feels great,” said Abbey. “We came out here last year with a new car and finished fourth. It feels good to come back out here and win a race. I figured he (Frye) was back there and I knew my motor was laying down. I was just gonna do the best I could and hold onto it and see what happened.”
Jeremy Payne, Terry Phillips, Jeff Taylor, Aaron Turnbull, Dominic Ursetta, Justin O’Brien, Benji LaCrosse, Dylan Smith, Dustin Boney, Jordan Grabouski, Tim Ward, Justin Yeager, Kyle Rohleder, Zane Devilbiss, Cody Gearhart, Jesse Stovall, Jared Hoefelman, Jay Marks, Jeremy Frenier, John Hansen, Will Brack, Jesse Sobbing, Paul Stone, Alex Stanford, Scott Drake, Bobby Hogge IV, Tommy Fain, Travis Sherfick.