By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (May 6) - Mike Balcaen is the second-most winningest driver in River Cities Speedway history, but the Canadian pilot hadn’t visited RydellCars.com Victory Lane since June 20, 2014. There has been several instances since then were Balcaen has put his Black Diamond #10 in position to pick up a win, but blown motors, late-race cautions, flat tires, and even a rock puncturing the radiator while leading has kept him out of the winners circle.
Balcaen’s night was off to a good start as he picked up the heat race win and drew the one pill for the Up North Financial WISSOTA Late Model 20-lap main event. With Bill Mooney to his outside, Balcaen took the lead on the opening lap as Mooney and Shane Edginton slid into third. At the halfway point, Balcaen found himself in lapped traffic, which allowed Mooney to close and place a bid for the lead.
After a few tense laps, Balcaen was able to fend off Mooney’s charge on the hammer down racing surface as the top two runners had now distanced themselves by over a straightaway from the rest of the field.
The lone caution flew with seven laps to go, giving Mooney another shot at the Sylmak #10. As the green flag waved, Edginton drove by Mooney for second as Balcaen set sail and opened up a comfortable advantage. Balcaen ran the rest of the event unchallenged as he came around to pick up his 36th career RCS win. Edginton and Mooney came home second and third, respectively to complete a Canadian sweep of the podium. Joey Pederson and Brad Seng rounded out the top five.
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River Cities Speedway
2300 Gateway Dr
Grand Forks ND 58203
216 4th St. NW
East Grand Forks, MN 56721