Desert Duel Goes To Phillips
LAS VEGAS — Terry Phillips overcame more than 230 of the nation’s top IMCA modified drivers to win the 13th annual Duel in the Desert at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Jordan Grabouski started the 40-lap feature from the pole, flanked by Bobby Hogge with David Murray, Jr. (2003 and 2008 event winner) in third.
Murray shot to the inside of the lead pair on the start to create a three-wide drag race into the first turn, with Hogge exiting turn two with the lead. With Hogge leading comfortably by lap 10, it was Phillips who was charging through the field.
At the halfway point it was Hogge in the lead, followed by Murray, Phillips, Grabouski and Terry Belcher. Phillips, still running the top of the track, grabbed second place on lap 22 as Hogge navigated the bottom of the oval.
By lap 25, the rim-riding Phillips was filling Hogge’s rear-view mirror. With 10 laps remaining, Phillips turned up the heat and made repeated challenges as the pair navigated lapped traffic. Phillips managed to wrestle the lead from Hogge with a handful of laps remaining and
sped off to claim the $7,777 winner’s share.
“You know, I had a few doubts, but the track was excellent,” said Phillips. “You could race all over it. The holes made it even better. That way, people mess up, not drive as smooth and follow the leader. It gave the track character and it had a little cushion at the top. I thought I’d give it a
try and kept working at it and working at it. Before long, we started passing cars. The crew put together a heck of a car at the last minute. I enjoy coming out here and I guess it worked out pretty good for us.”
Grabouski was second, followed by Hogge, Terry Belcher, Jr. and Todd Shute.