LAS VEGAS – Night two of the Duel in the Desert took 10 hours and 6 minutes to complete from the scheduled 4 p.m. start time, and it came to a close with a last lap, last turn pass for a victory.
When Ethan Dotson used a last turn drive around the top of the The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to win the early morning finale, he joined Cody Laney and Joe Docekal in the winners’ group for the marathon show.
The IMCA Northern Sport Mods led off the three main events with a 20-lap run to move the top-six to the outside line for Saturday night’s finale, paying $1,777.77 to win. Cody Olsen led seven laps before wandering high in turn four to allow Tom Fraser to take over.
Fraser held the top spot for four laps before Joe Docekal drove under him in turn four to lead the final nine laps and earn the outside pole start for the finale. Joining Docekai in the outside line on Saturday were Kevin Johnson, Fraser, Cory Hemphill, Arie Schouten and Matthew Looft.
The first of a pair of 25-lap mains for IMCA modifieds had Tim Ward leading much of the way until Cody Laney ran the top of turns one and two to pass Ward after 18 laps.
Seventh starting Laney led the final six laps for the win with Ward, Jake O’Neil and Ricky Thornton Jr. joining him as transfers to Saturday’s $7,777.77-to-win championship race. Thornton started 21st and reached the final transfer spot as the race reached the 25-lap mark.
The final race of the long night was the most dramatic when Dotson used last turn drama to take a win from Jeff Taylor. Dotson moved to the top entering turn three, built up momentum, and won the race to the line at 2:06 am.
Taylor had led 24 laps before Dotson’s drive off of turn four and settled for second. Jason Hughes was third and Jeremy Payne took fourth for the final transfer spot.
Saturday will offer a set of last chance races with the winner only moving to the championship race, tagging the 16 pre-qualfified modified drivers or the 12 sport mod drivers already assigned to the grid.
The four preliminary main event winners in modifieds will redraw for the first two rows, second place finishers redraw for rows three and four, etc. Sport mods will race 25 laps and the modifieds will compete for 40 laps in their respective Duel in the Desert finale.