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MOTORSPORTS

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The 2021 Bemidji Speedway racing season officially came to an end on Dec. 18 at the Bemidji Eagles Club as the speedway held its end of the year awards banquet.
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Finishing second in the race and the championship was Martin Truex, Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing.
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Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. will compete Sunday at Phoenix (3 p.m., NBC) for a NASCAR Cup Series championship.
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Denny Hamlin finished 24th and in doing so still grabbed a berth in the championship-deciding race at Phoenix next weekend based on points. Also advancing to Championship 4 Sunday were Martin Truex, Jr., Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, who locked up his Championship 4 berth by winning two of the first three races in the Round of 8.

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The victory in the Round of 8 race was Larson's third in a row and his series-best ninth on the season.
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Bemidji-area racer Travis Olafson secured the Wissota Hornet national championship last weekend in Superior, Wis., during the final races of the season.
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Larson's victory at Texas handed him a berth in the season-ending, championship-deciding Round of 4 race at Phoenix Raceway in three weeks.
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The win was Larson's series best seventh of 2021. It was his third win of the year on a road course.
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He won in a car owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and current Cup driver Denny Hamlin.
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Bemidji Speedway was a hotbed of action again on Sept. 25-26 as the racetrack hosted the 42nd annual Paul Bunyan Stampede.

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The victory, which comes three weeks after he got his first win -- at Darlington -- gives Hamlin an automatic berth in the Playoffs' Round of 8, which begins in three weeks at Texas Motor Speedway.
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Michael Fullerton is a 12-year-old boy who has SATB2-associated syndrome. His love for racing has reached a new level thanks to a little help from the Bemidji Speedway community.
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The victory secures the Joe Gibbs Racing driver a berth in the second round of the Playoffs.

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