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MADERA, CALIF. (October 2, 2021) – Las Vegas’ Kyle Keller scored the biggest jackpot of his career, leading 148-laps of the 9th Annual Nut Up Short Track Shootout for the $10,000 victory. The season finale for the Pro Late Model Series saw Vancouver, Wash’s Jadan Walbridge win the championship at the one-third mile oval as well.


Keller started alongside Bakersfield’s Seth Wise for the 150-lap affair. The field of 26 starters was narrowed from 31 qualifiers through a 30-lap B-Main event.


Wise led the opening two circuits from the inside groove before Keller drove past on the outside to lead lap three. Walbridge and Matt Erickson were some of the few cars trying to make progress from the inside line in the early stages. Erickson eventually drifted from his fifth starting position to ninth. F


Fast-time qualifier Racin Vernon of Bakersfield drew the nine card in the redraw, but had advanced to fifth by lap 19. Keller and Wise ran nose-to-tail as they approached traffic on lap 21. Erickson tried to reload as he looked inside Jason Aguirre for seventh behind them.


Wise showed his nose to Keller before the first caution on lap 44 for Glen Cook spinning in turn three. Keller restarted outside of Wise, allowing Vernon to charge into second on the outside line as well. 14-year-old Ethan Nascimento of Manteca also looked outside Wise, but Wise successfully defended third.


Bakersfield’s Kercie Jung went up in sparks with a flat right front for a caution on lap 49 in turn three. The restart saw a mad scramble as Vernon went up the race track. Walbridge spun around backwards on the front stretch after contact from Howard Holden. Walbridge completed a 360-degree spin in front of the field yet was never contacted, dropping back to tenth position while the race remained green.


Carlos Vieira and Nascimento suffered a hard crash in turn three to end their evenings for the next caution flag on lap 74. The outside line was rolling on the restart, with Wise slipping back to fourth behind Keller, Howard Holden, and Erickson. $1,000 B-Main winner Brody Moore of Colorado emerged in fifth after starting 17th.


A caution for Cook spinning on lap 97 brought the race to its scheduled break three laps early with Keller leading Holden, Erickson, Wise, and Moore. Texan Barrett Polhemus spun on the restart after the break and collected Aguirre, ending both of their races with damage. Wise ended up sliding into the infield in turn one after jostling for position but rejoined the field at the tail of the order.


Erickson tried to pass Holden on several different occasions for second, allowing Keller to pull ahead by a large margin. Erickson cleared Holden in turn two on lap 117 with a 2.2 second gap to make up on the leader. Linny White collided with Vernon exiting turn four in a three-wide battle for third on lap 130 requiring a caution. The caution erased Keller’s advantage, giving Erickson a look inside on the restart. Erickson spun the tires however and fell to third behind Moore as the green flag flew.


Keller was never opposed again in the closing laps, taking the coveted $10,000 victory in the Nut Up Short Track Shootout. Moore finished second with Erickson third. Wise passed Holden for fourth with 11-to-go. A seventh-place finish clinched the championship for Jadan Walbridge as well.

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