Ricky Weiss tops Brad Seng in the closing laps to win the NLRA season finale.
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (September 4) - An incredibly stout field of Wissota Late Models were signed in for the Prelude to the Johnny and the NLRA season championship Friday night at River Cities Speedway.
Two B-mains trimmed the 38 car field to the fastest 26 for the 30 lap feature. Don Shaw and Mike Balcaen took the green flag from the front row, but Brad Seng made a three wide maneuver and passed them both to lead the opening lap. By the 11th circuit Seng had opened up a full straightaway advantage, but a couple laps later the young Headingley, MB driver, Ricky Weiss, started to reel him in.
At the halfway point, Weiss had caught Seng and the two drivers battled three wide for the lead as they attempted to put Lance Mathees a lap down. Seng won the battle down the back chute and he slammed the door shut on Weiss on the low side of turn one. It took Weiss a few laps to regroup and recover, but once he did, he came back at Seng stronger than before.
With three laps remaining, Seng was hung up with seven lapped cars right in front of him which allowed Weiss to close in. As the leaders headed into turn three, Weiss found an opening and shot the inside. Weiss completed the pass off of turn four to take the lead and drove off to win the Prelude to the Johnny.
"I looked up at the lap board and thought, 'I got eight laps. I have plenty of time.' I was right there and didn't want to push it," said Weiss after his win. "(Seng) got away a little bit in lapped traffic when I got held up by one guy. But I didn't want to get off the bottom because I knew it was strong. I ended up getting forced off the bottom and the middle was a lot better than what I expected. I knew if I kept (Seng's) blue and white car in front of me I'd have a chance."
Seng's second place finish gave him his second career NLRA Late Model championship.
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River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks ND 58203
216 4th St. NW
East Grand Forks, MN 56721