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Daily Dirt 03/27/2023 15:32:51

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November 10
Las Vegas Motor Speedway,
Las Vegas, NV
Sanction: XR Super Series (Duel in the Desert) - $20,000
Information provided by: Kevin Kovac, series and track reports (last updated November 11, 11:42 am)
Pierce's flat tire propels Clanton to Vegas victory
Duel in the Desert
  1. Shane Clanton
  2. Tim McCreadie
  3. Jonathan Davenport
  4. Tanner English
  5. Brandon Overton
  6. Stormy Scott
  7. Billy Moyer
  8. Tyler Bruening
  9. Bobby Pierce
  10. Cade Dillard
  11. Rodney Sanders
  12. Cody Laney
  13. Blair Nothdurft
  14. Steve Stultz
  15. Ross Robinson
  16. Rob Mayea
  17. Chase Junghans
  18. Kyle Strickler
  19. Jeff Smith
  20. Collen Winebarger
  21. Amanda Robinson
  22. Jason Papich
  23. Justin Duty
  24. Jimmy Owens
presented by
Shane Clanton in victory lane after his $20,000 win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.
What won the race: Regaining command with three circuits remaining as Bobby Pierce slowed with a flat right-rear tire, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., emerged triumphant in Thursday night's 40-lap opener of the XR Super Series-sanctioned Duel in the Desert at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Clanton led laps 1-7 before ceding the top spot to Pierce and fell to third the ensuing lap, but he overtook Tim McCreadie for second on a lap-24 restart to position himself to take advantage of Pierce's misfortune and claim the $20,000 top prize.
Key notes: Making his first-ever start at the 4/10-mile Las Vegas oval, Clanton beat McCreadie by 5.132 seconds for his fourth XRSS win of 2022. ... Jonathan Davenport fell from third to sixth on a lap-one restart when he slid sideways off turn two, but he rallied to finish in the final podium spot. ... Tanner English placed fourth in his debut driving for Viper Motorsports. ... Pierce, who led laps 8-36, finished one lap down in ninth after slowing to a stop in turns one and two due to his flat on the final circuit. ... The race's two caution flags came on the first lap when Jimmy Owens slapped the turn-two wall and lap 24 when Chase Junghans slowed with a broken driveshaft. ... The checkered flag waved on the Late Model feature at 11:50 p.m. PT with three support division A-mains still left to run. ... The Duel in the Desert continues Friday with another $20,000-to-win event before concluding with Saturday's $40,000-to-win finale. ... Clanton is eligible for the Karl's Chevrolet bonus of $50,000 if he can sweep the tripleheader.
On the move: Steve Stultz of Peoria, Ariz., started 23rd and finished 14th.
Winner's sponsors: Clanton’s Skyline Motorsports Capital Race Car is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Skyline Materials, Bennett Explosives, Super K Express, Brown Heavy Equipment, Lucas Products, Truck County, Bruening Rock Products, Olson Explosives, Freeman Plumbing, Hoosier Racing Tire and VP Racing Fuels.
Points chase: After Vegas Thursday: 1. Jonathan Davenport (1,568); 2. Chris Madden (1,536); 3. Shane Clanton (1,360); 4. Kyle Strickler (1,256); 5. Brandon Overton (1,212); 6. Jimmy Owens (1,127); 7. Scott Bloomquist (938); 8. Tim McCreadie (921); 9. Ricky Weiss (920); 10. Chris Ferguson (912).
Current weather: Clear, 50°F
Car count: 42
Fast qualifier: Tanner English
Time: 17.042 seconds
Polesitter: Shane Clanton
Heat race winners: Shane Clanton, Bobby Pierce, Jonathan Davenport, Tim McCreadie
Consolation race winners: Rob Mayea, Cade Dillard
Provisional starters: Steve Stultz, Jason Papich
Next series race: November 11, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, NV) $20,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
Staff reports

LAS VEGAS — With seven laps to go on Thursday’s opening night of the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Shane Clanton trailed a dominant Bobby Pierce by nearly six seconds.

Pierce in control had been a familiar sight considering the Oakwood, Ill., driver banked a six-figure payday at the Sin City oval last fall, but Clanton — even as distant as he was — sensed he was about to turn the tide.

“He was up top abusing his stuff up there,” said Clanton, whose impression that Pierce’s tires wouldn’t go the 40-lap distance eventually proved to be the case.

The polesitting Clanton had been outclassed for much of the event, but he wasn’t about to be outsmarted, as the Zebulon, Ga., driver went onto the $20,000 victory — his fourth with the XR Super Series this season — by overtaking a faltering Pierce with three laps to go.

Pierce, who led laps eight through 36, spiraled down the running order to finish ninth while Clanton crossed the checkers 5.132 seconds ahead of runner-up Tim McCreadie.

“The top was dominant there. (Pierce) is always good on the cushion,” said Clanton, who led the first seven laps before Pierce got by. “When I started catching him there, I went to the bottom and it hooked harder. It started cleaning up and rubbering on the bottom there. If he didn’t have a flat tire, I think I would have gotten by him anyways. … I was trying to stay out of the cushion there and three and four, and out of the wall. We did it.”

Clanton is now the only driver eligible to win the $50,000 bonus courtesy of Karl Chevrolet at weeks’s end if he can find ways to win Friday’s $20,000 feature and Saturday’s $40,000 finale.

The race's two caution flags came on the first lap when Jimmy Owens slapped the turn-two wall and lap 24 when Chase Junghans slowed with a broken driveshaft. Both restarts were critical in Clanton’s path to victory, particularly the race’s final caution period for Junghans.

Clanton had backpedaled to third on lap nine when McCreadie moved into the runner-up spot and a full second behind Pierce. On the lap-24 restart, McCreadie regretted his lane choice of lining up behind Pierce along the top side, as Clanton used the bottom to size up a slide job to regain second.

“I thought Pierce would, like, not lay wide on the start and he did, and I just wasn’t good enough down the frontstretch so I was spinning all the way,” McCreadie said. “I knew it was gonna be tight but I wasn’t gonna go all the way up in there (between Pierce and the wall).

“I tried to lay on his door and stay beside him but I didn’t get into one good enough to do anything and he just slid me, which he had me cleared. If I had to do it again I would’ve taken the bottom (for the restart), but when we had that restart before I was on the bottom and J.D. beat me into one."

Davenport, meanwhile, filed suit behind Clanton and McCreadie to finish third. The Eldora Million champion almost soiled his podium run on a lap-one restart, though, when he lost third and shuffled back to sixth doing his all to keep his race car from hitting the turn-one wall.

“Obviously, that’s where Jimmy (Owens) hit the wall at (on lap one), and I just got up there a little bit and about caused a whole pileup behind me,” Davenport said. “I was just trying to keep it off the wall.”

Despite the half-mile oval taking rubber in the race’s decisive stages, McCreadie called the racetrack “fun” and is hoping series officials “get it a little more even and you’ll see better racing” in light of Thursday’s top-happy racing surface.

Davenport compared Thursday’s conditions at the Las Vegas dirt track to Florida’s All-Tech Raceway and East Bay Raceway Park because “nobody really knew where to go but at a really high rate of speed.”

“Obviously Bobby was the class of the field until it rubbered, and then Shane found it first on the bottom,” Davenport said. “But it was really weird. It was patchy rubber there for a while and we was just running all over it.

“It was a little rough off of four. We kind of blowed through the cushion and it got piled up again so we were running across it. In the mid stages of the race you really didn’t know where to be. You could run the bottom and kind of float to the top and you could run around the top. It’s one of those things, I don’t even know what to do to our car to make it any better because we run so many different lines.”

Notes: Clanton’s fourth XRSS win of 2022 came in his first-ever start at the Las Vegas oval. … Tanner English placed fourth in his debut driving for Viper Motorsports. … The checkered flag waved on the Late Model feature at 11:50 p.m. with three support division features remaining. ... The Duel in the Desert continues Friday with another $20,000-to-win event before concluding with Saturday's $40,000-to-win finale. … After failing the deck height rule multiple times in pre-race technical inspection, Brandon Overton of Evans, Ga., was allowed only one qualifying lap. ... Justin Duty of Molalla, Ore., suffered a flat right-front tire and failed to post a lap in qualifying.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Clanton, Davenport
Row 2: Pierce, McCreadie
Row 3: English, Bruening
Row 4: Moyer, Overton
Row 5: A. Robinson, Owens
Row 6: Junghans, Winebarger
Row 7: Sanders, S. Scott
Row 8: R. Robinson, Laney
Row 9: Mayea, Dillard
Row 10: Nothdurft, Strickler
Row 11: Ju. Duty, J. Smith
Row 12: Stultz, Papich

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