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Hard to believe there's only a few laps left in the 2010 local auto racing season.

But if you're a sprint car fan, you couldn't ask for a better scenario than Saturday's final points show at Eagle Raceway.

Fort Calhoun's John Klabunde, who won his only sprint car feature (and just second ever) June 26, has been a model of consistency and enters Saturday holding a two-point lead over Terry Holliman of Hamburg, Iowa.

Johnny Saathoff, the most accomplished IMCA modified racer this state has produced, has the Eagle title wrapped up, besting fellow Beatrice driver Jordan Grabouski and Osceola's Dylan Smith. What must be particularly satisfying to Saathoff is that Smith is the defending IMCA modified national champion (currently third in the standings), while Grabouski is fifth in national points.

Grabouski is going to take home-track bragging rights, though, as he tops Beatrice Speedway's standings entering Friday night's final points race.

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Beatrice still has its popular OctoberFest event Oct. 8-9, with the IMCA modified features worth $1,500 to the winner on both nights. But before then, it will host the Nebraska IMCA championship races Sept. 3. Previously, that event has been held at State Fair Park in Lincoln, but with the State Fair now in Grand Island, Saathoff, the promoter, opted to bring it to Beatrice.

Smith, who doesn't race at Beatrice, won last year's state championship, so it'll be interesting to see if he can go in and steal one from the locals.

There's another change in venues that sprint car fans need to be aware of. Junction Motor Speedway near McCool Junction is picking up the ASCS Midwest region race originally set for Sept. 11 at the now-closed Butler County Motorplex. The ASCS racers come to Eagle for the $5,000-to-win Nebraska Cup on Sept. 12.

The ASCS group also has two remaining dates at I-80 Speedway -- Sept. 3 and Sept 24. Its second I-80 date kicks off the three-day Cornhusker Classic. The MLRA/NCRA drivers race on the 25th, with super late models hitting the track on the 26th.

Reach Curt McKeever at cmckeever@journalstar.com or 402-473-7441.

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