By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Rapid City, SD
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Rapid City, SD -- The winner of the 1999 WISSOTA West 100 and having tuned up for his 2004 season by racing the Early Thaw Speedweek in Arizona back in January, Lawrence County Highway Department worker John Bey from Deadwood SD opened a busy three race weekend for the NAPA-MDA Dirt Late Model Series by debuting his new Mastersbilt mount with an $800 win at Black Hills Speedway. Bey's mount uses a Komer Racing Engine and the 20 year racer fought off a challenge from college student Eddie Kirchoff for the win. Gillette WY's Kirchoff won $675 and Custer SD's Shad Karna ran a $550 third in his Warrior. The winner of the opener for the NAPA-MDA Series Nathan Kjerstad was fourth ahead of dirt modified star Eric Mass. Kjerstad wheels a Warrior and division rookie Mass a GRT.
A total of 18 cars checked in at the 3/8 mile clay oval that races the dirt late models on a weekly basis. Wyoming's Wes McKenney won heat 1 over Bey and Morris Oberle. Kjerstad and Mass ran 1-2 in heat 2 and Wyoming's Troy Leiker won heat 3 ahead of Black Hawk SD's Chris Larsen. All 18 cars survived to start the feature race. It was the debut race for Bey's new car and he outdueled Kirchoff for the win. Kirchoff pulled alongside Bey in traffic, but a caution forced Kirchoff to again restart behind Bey. Bey charged to the win with Kirchoff second ahead of Karna, Kjerstad, Mass, 2003 NAPA champion Steve Neumiller, Tim Richter and Mike Stadel.
The teams moved to Gillette WY and Sheridan WY to finish off the three race weekend.
Summary Heat 1-Wes McKenney, John Bey, Morris Oberle, Shad Karna, John Jager. Heat 2-Nathan Kjerstad, Eric Mass, Tom Sires, Eddie Kirchoff, Tim Richter. Heat 3-Troy Leiker, Chris Larsen, Neumiller, Chris Johnson, Brent Nielsen. Main-Bey, Kirchoff, Karna, Kjerstad, Mass, Neumiller, Richter, Mike Stadel, Sires, Jess Beckett, Johnson, Larsen, McKenney, Nielsen, Jager, Oberle, Jason Fritzsche, Leiker.