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First-timers win at Speedway championship

It was a huge Saturday night for the Decker family during the Southwest Speedway's season championship.

First, 18-year-old Justin Decker held off several cautions and accidents to finish sixth place in the Pure Stocks feature and win his first season championship.

"It feels really great," Decker said.

Then, in the final race of the night, Justin's father, Jeff Decker, won his first Modifieds feature of the season.

Jeff was in second place in the season standings, but even with the win, failed to catch Underwood driver Marlyn Seidler for the season championship.

Justin survived rub attempts and evaded accidents throughout the 15-lap feature to stay ahead in the points. Deen Brecht won the feature.

"I was really nervous today going in," Justin said. "I knew I just had to use my head. I didn't have to go out and win. I just had to be consistent."

Justin said he'll enter the Street Stocks next season after winning the Pure Stocks title in only his second season. He was the track's rookie of the year last season.

Jeff took the Modifieds feature in pure racer fashion. The 41-year-old veteran kept to the high side of the track and took his corners out of the way of his competitors, who were staying low.

"The high side seemed to work good for me, so I just kind of kept it there," Jeff said. "I just kept my line up high. Once you get the momentum going, usually nobody can get by you up there."

Seidler had the same race philosophy as Justin Decker and stayed toward the middle of the pack before sprinting in the final two laps to take third place.

"The leaders kind of got away," Seidler said. "It was just busy back there."

It was Seidler's first season championship at the Southwest Speedway, but not the first of his career.

In the Street Stocks, 32-year-old Randy Meyer of Bismarck won his first season championship after four years of racing at the Speedway.

Eric Paul and Bill Miller were each in contention for the championship, but needed a poor night from Meyer to move ahead in the points.

Don Kuntz won the feature while Meyer finished second, Miller took third and Paul was fifth, respectively.

"It was stressful," Meyer said. "We didn't push nothing, tried to stay out of trouble."

Brecht and Zach Frederick won the Pure Stocks heat races. T.C. Shelhamer and Travis Ulmer took the Street Stocks heats. Darrell Bauer, Troy Heupel and Fran Martin won the Modifieds heats.

In the trophy dashes, Jeremey Binstock won the Pure Stocks, Miller won the Street Stocks and Robert Hellebust took the Modifieds.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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