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November 15th, 2014 - Kates Motorsports Compete in Duel in the Desert
1Ben and the Kates Motorsports team made the long haul to The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, Nevada) over the weekend for the 17th Annual Duel in the Desert. Tyler Hagen Photo

Well over 200 IMCA Open Wheel Modifieds registered for the event, which posted a $7,777 top prize for the IMCA season finale. Thursday night's preliminary event started out strong for Kates as he charged to a heat race win from the sixth starting position, earning him a spot in the redraw for the feature where he received the seventh spot on the starting grid. Ben quickly made his way into the top five at the start of the 25 lap, preliminary feature. Unfortunately, mechanical issues while running third would cause him to slip to a sixth place finish in the closing laps.

On Friday night Ben drew the sixth starting spot for his heat race and raced to a second place finish, which once again earn him a spot in the redraw. Kates received the sixteenth starting spot on the grid for the 25 lap, preliminary feature. He battled around mid-pack for much of the event before settling to a 20th place finish in the final rundown.

Kates' preliminary performances positioned him starting on the pole of a b-main for Saturday night's main event. When the race went green, Ben jumped out to the early lead but Ricky Alvarado would take control on the fifth circuit. The duo swapped the position several times throughout the last chance event unfortunately, Kates would settle for a second place finish at the checkered flag.

Despite falling one spot short of locking into the 40 lap finale, Kates took part in the Young Guns Shootout which was made up of competitors who are age nineteen and younger. Ben assumed the point at the onset of the event and sail out to a comfortable advantage over the field. However, his night came to an early end when car spun and collected Kates in the mix. He was credited with a tenth place finish.

Complete results from the event are available at