Dustin Strand Scores Sixth River Cities Win with NLRA
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (August 26) - The NLRA Late Models were back at River Cities Speedway on Friday night for their second points-paying event of the season at the three-tenths mile bullring. Dustin Strand backed up his NLRA win from the previous night at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, MB and visited RydellCars.com Victory Lane in front of the capacity crowd at RCS.
After topping Donny Schatz in a thrilling door-to-door battle for the heat race win, Bill Mooney sat on the pole and led the field of 21 NLRA Late Models to the Sunrise Valley Properties green flag. Mooney grabbed the early lead in his OMG Chocolatey Clusters #2M as outside pole sitter, Joey Pederson, filed into second.
On lap three, Pederson was able to find a way around the Selkirk, MB driver and into the lead, bringing Strand with him into second. Peterson was only able to enjoy the lead for a few circuits as Strand took the point on lap seven. Pederson, who is still in search of his first win of the season at RCS, held tough in second until seven-time and defending World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series champion, Donny Schatz, came roaring up from the fifth starting spot.
Schatz got by Pederson with four laps to go and set his sights on Strand’s Q&Z Pluming #71. Both drivers were running the middle to low grooves of the speedway, but Schatz was closing in on the two-time and defending NLRA series champion. The split was down to a half second when the white flag flew and Schatz was still closing in. Coming off of turn four Strand had lapped car right in his groove with Schatz hot on his heels, but he was able to fend off Schatz and score the win by less then three-tenths of a second. Peterson, Mooney and Zach Naastad rounded out the top five.
Mike Balcaen was the race’s hard charger, advancing from 20th to round out the top 10.
WISSOTA NLRA Late Models:
Feature - Dustin Strand, Donny Schatz, Joey Pederson, Bill Money, Zach Naastad, Jeff Hapala, Jeff Massingill, Brad Seng, Cole Schill, Mike Balcaen, Shane Edginton, Ryan Corbett, Steve Anderson, Steffen Snare, Jacob Wilde, Terry Blacklance, Bryce Reimer, Josh Johnson, Adam Fischer, Tom Corcoran, Brandon Fuller
Heat 1 - Pederson, Snare, Corcoran, Massingill, Anderson, Balcaen, Corbett
Heat 2 - Mooney, Schatz, Naastad, Seng, Fuller, Schill, Edginton,
Heat 3 - Strand, Hapala, Fischer, Wilde, Johnson, Blacklance, Reimer