Terry Phillips Wins His Third IMCA Modified Duel in the Desert at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Terry Phillips Wins His Third IMCA Modified Duel in the Desert at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Terry Phillips
grabbed the lead from race leader Johnny Scott on the sixth lap and never relinquished the top spot in winning the 40-lap IMCA Modified Duel in the Desert Saturday night at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Pictured: Duel in the Desert winner Terry Phillips – Photo credit: Jeff Speer/Las Vegas Motor Speedway).

Phillips, who also recorded Duel wins in 2010 and 2011, earned $7,777.77 for the victory.

Duel in the Desert winner Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., celebrates his victory at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Duel in the Desert winner Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., celebrates his victory at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Photo credit: Jeff Speer/Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Phillips, of Springfield, Mo., started the race from the outside of the second row and moved into second place behind Scott on the fourth lap. Phillips made the pass for the lead between the third and fourth turns two laps later and wasted no time building a sizeable lead. Phillips led by half a straightaway 12 laps in and stretched that to a full straightaway before he hit lapped traffic on lap 15.

Jordan Grabouski, Phillips’ car owner, was the only serious challenger to Phillips in the second half of the race. While Phillips was dealing with lapped cars, Grabouski was able to move from his eighth starting position into second on lap 24 and pulled to within about four car lengths by lap 33. Grabouski continued to close on Phillips and pulled to his bumper on the closing lap, but could not pull off the race-winning pass.

“This feels good – especially to get a 1-2 (for the team),” Phillips said. “That was a fun race and I’m a little out of breath. I’d like to thank Jordan and everybody for giving me this opportunity.

“I thought I heard (Grabouski) there but I finally just kind of slowed down. I know I was where he needed to be so I just made sure I didn’t mess up. Those lapped cars really killed my momentum but there was one place to be on the race track and it’s their race, too. But it worked out for us and everything’s good.”

Grabouski, of Beatrice, Neb., finished second and was followed to the finish line by R.C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz., Scott of Shreveport, La., and Chris Brown of Cleveland, Texas. Mike Mullen (Suamico, Wisc.), Johnny Saathoff (Beatrice, Neb.), Jesse Sobbing (Glenwood, Iowa), Jeff Taylor (Cave City, Ark.) and Bobby Hogge IV (Salinas, Calif.) rounded out the top 10.

In the 25-lap SportMod main event, J.C. Howell of Mabank, Texas, led flag to flag and earned  the $1,777.77 first-place check. Robert Elliott of Clinton, Okla., was second and Gabe Tucker of Carbon, Texas, was third.

Like Phillips in the Modified main event, Howell ran away from the field, building a full straightaway led midway through the race. A late-race caution bunched the field on lap 22, but Howell picked up where he left off on the restart and won by half a straightaway.

“I didn’t know where anybody else was but it was sure a chore going through all the traffic,” Howell said. “I took a long shot for the setup and it eventually worked out.”

The 17th annual Duel in the Desert attracted a record field of 332 IMCA Modifieds and SportMods from 25 states and three Canadian provinces.

Results from Saturday’s Duel in the Desert at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

40-LAP, $7,777.77-TO-WIN IMCA MODIFIED A-FEATURE: 1. Terry Phillips (Springfield, Mo.); 2. Jordan Grabouski (Beatrice, Neb.); 3. R.C. Whitwell (Tucson, Ariz.); 4. Johnny Scott (Shreveport, La.); 5. Chris Brown (Cleveland, Texas); 6. Mike Mullen (Suamico, Wisc.); 7. Johnny Saathoff (Beatrice, Neb.); 8. Jesse Sobbing (Glenwood, Iowa); 9. Jeff Taylor (Cave City, Ark.); 10. Bobby Hogge IV (Salinas, Calif.); 11. Hunter Marriott (Brookfield, Mo.); 12. David Murray Jr. (Oberlin, Kansas); 13. Todd Shute (Kanawha, Iowa); 14. Chris Abelson (Sioux City, Iowa); 15. Ricky Alvarado (Delta, Colo.); 16. Brad Pounds (Bakersfield, Calif.); 17. Robby Sawyer (Bakersfield, Calif.); 18. Dustin Anderson (Omaha Neb.); 19. Troy Cordes (Dunkerton, Iowa); 20. Chad Anderson (Fort Calhoun, Neb.); 21. Cody Gearheart (Turpin, Okla.); 22. Travis Hagen (Williston, N.D.); 23. William Gould (Calera, Okla.); 24. Kyle Strickler (Mooresville, N.C.); 25. Jake O’Neil (Tucson, Ariz.); 26. Robert Hellebust (Minot, N.D.); 27. Ryan Ruter (Kanawha, Iowa); 28. Cody Laney (Torrance, Calif.).

25-lap SPORTMOD A-FEATURE: 1. J.C. Howell (Mabank, Texas); 2. Robert Elliott (Clinton, Okla.); 3. Gabe Tucker (Carbon, Texas); 4. Daniel Gottschalk (Ellis, Kansas); 5. Tyler Fain (Abilene, Texas); 6. Gary Dutton (Bakersfield, Calif.); 7. Jake Upchurch (Grand Prairie, Texas); 8. Kyle Griffith (Taft, Calif.); 9. Zack Forster (Bakersfield, Calif.); 10. Nick Sylvester (Bakersfield, Calif.); 11. Shawn Harker (Nebraska City, Neb.); 12. Jesse Baldwin (Farmington, N.M.); 13. Michael Maraschick (Midland, Texas); 14. Ethan Dotson (Bakersfield, Calif.); 15. Jared Timmerman (Norwalk, Iowa); 16. Randy Eitel (Farmington, N.M.); 17. Jeffrey Abbey (Comanche, Texas); 18. Michael Johnson (Bakersfield, Calif.); 19. Levi Kiefer (Bakersfield, Calif.); 20. Rick Childress Jr. (Bakersfield, Calif.); 21. Justin Shaw (Sweetwater, Texas); 22. Clay Money (Penokee, Kansas), 23. Shane Helton (Artesia, N.M.); 24. Nick Spainhoward (Bakersfield, Calif.).

  • First Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Dustin Anderson (Omaha, Neb.).
  • Second Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Cody Laney (Torrance, Calif.).
  • Third Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Ricky Alvarado (Delta, Colo.).
  • Fourth Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Chris Abelson (Sioux City, Iowa).
  • Fifth Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Bobby Hogge IV (Salinas, Calif.).
  • Sixth Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Travis Hagen (Williston, N.D.).
  • Seventh Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Brad Pounds (Bakersfield, Calif.).
  • Eighth Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Chad Anderson (Fort Calhoun, Neb.).
  • Ninth Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Robby Sawyer (Bakersfield, Calif.).
  • 10th Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Troy Cordes (Dunkerton, Iowa).
  • 11th Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Hunter Marriott (Brookfield, Mo.).
  • 12th Modified Last-Chance Race: 1. Cody Gearheart (Turpin, Okla.).
  • IMCA Modified Young Guns Race: 1. Ethan Dotson (Bakersfield, Calif.).
  • IMCA Modified Legends Race: 1. Lawrence O’Connor (Port Hardy, B.C.).
  • First SportMod Last-Chance Race: 1. Gary Dutton (Bakersfield, Calif.); 2. Ethan Dotson (Bakersfield, Calif.); 3. Zack Forster (Bakersfield, Calif.).
  • Second SportMod Last-Chance Race: 1. Levi Kiefer (Bakersfield, Calif.); 2. Nick Spainhoward (Bakersfield, Calif.); 3. Michael Johnson (Bakersfield, Calif.).
  • Third SportMod Last-Chance Race: 1. Jesse Baldwin (Farmington, N.M.); 2. Michael Maraschick (Midland, Texas); 3. Shane Helton (Artesia, N.M.).
  • Fourth SportMod Last-Chance Race: 1. Shawn Harker (Nebraska City, Neb.); 2. Jeffrey Abbey (Comanche, Texas); 3. Kyle Griffith (Taft, Calif.).