WISSOTA NLRA Late Model recap, presented by RydellCars.com
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (August 21) - The WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series was back in action Friday night at River Cities Speedway in the form of the Northern Late Model Racing Association. A season high 31 Late Models were on hand for the World of Outlaw Sprint Car special, presented by Gerdau.
Bill Mooney and current NLRA point leader, Mike Balcaen, led the thunderous field of 24 to the green flag for their 25 lap A-main. Mooney grabbed the early lead and held it until the caution flag was displayed for Matt Aukland, who stuffed the Northwest Auto Body Special into the front stretch wall. Extensive right side damage to the #12A was the result of the incident, but Aukland was ok.
As the race resumed, Dustin Strand moved by Ricky Weiss for second and set his sights on the Lucas Oil #2M. A lap nine caution reset the field once again with Mooney leading Strand, Weiss, Balcaen and Shane Edginton. On the restart 11th place starter, Donny Schatz, moved into the fourth position and looked as though he had the Fastlane Car Wash #15 hooked up on the low side of the speedway. Balcaen, who picked up the NLRA feature win Thursday night at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, came back strong on the high side and pulled even with Schatz. The two veteran drivers then competed in a heated battle for the fourth position.
Meanwhile up front, Strand was reeling in Mooney with five laps remaining, but a yellow on lap 21 put Strand right on Mooney's tail. On the ensuing Evergreen Insurance restart, Mooney, Strand, and Weiss went three wide for the lead in turn one. Strand and Weiss made contact during the battle, which allowed Mooney to retain the point. Strand's great run ended in disappointment as a flat left rear tire resulted in a seventh place finish for the 2013 NLRA champion. Mooney went on to take the victory, his second at RCS this season, followed by defending WISSOTA Late Model champion, Weiss, Balcaen, Schatz and Joey Pederson.