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16-Year-Old DeJong Tops Bristol Undercard

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Recently crowned Iowa state basketball champion Maguire DeJong won the Sport Mod feature to headline the undercard during Friday night’s Karl Kustoms Bristol Dirt Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He held off Brady Bjella, Jared Boumeester, Zack Take and Josh Most, who completed the top five.

“I don’t know many 16-year-olds that get this kind of opportunity,” Dejong said. “We went to the state basketball championship last week and got right in the car and drove here last Saturday for practice. I’ve got to thank my family, all the guys in the pits working on the car and getting it ready for every run out here. It’s Bristol, baby.”

Bakersfield, Calif., racer Kyle Heckman won the 20-lap modified feature. He held off Cory Davis and Ricky Thornton Jr. in a thrilling finish.

“Oh man, I couldn’t look,” Heckman said. “We were on the gas, I couldn’t see those last eight laps. It’s absolutely overwhelming and amazing to win here. A lot of hard work went into winning this one for sure. I’ve got to thank so many people, my family, just a lot of help and support from sponsors. The big dog was eating, with 750-horsepower. I haven’t driven anything like that in a long time. It was a lot of fun out there.”

There was a question about the MSD chip in Heckman’s engine during post-race inspection, but his car eventually passed and he was officially declared the winner.

Only eight cars finished a caution-filled 602 Late Model feature that included a massive 11-car pileup in turn three with eight laps to go took out a large chunk of the field. Cass Fowler led most of the race and in the final laps pulled away to take the easy victory in the 20-lap race, holding off Dustin Diem, Kevin Powell, Hayden Swaney and Jamie Maurice as the checkered flag waved.

Chris Ferguson won the late model feature.

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