By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (August 19) - Without even looking at the date on the calendar, you can tell that the 10th annual John Seitz Memorial is fast approaching just by looking at the amount of cars and big names in the Late Model lineups. A season high 32 Up North Financial WISSOTA Late Models were signed in to battle, including seven-time and defending World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car champion, Donny Schatz, Ham Lake, MN driver Don Shaw, Lance Matthees and Pat Doar.
WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series wins went to Travis Robertson, Matt Schow, and Donny Schatz, while Wade Nygaard picked up the NOSA 410 Sprint Car feature win.
The fastest 24 Up North Financial Late Models made the starting grid for the 20-lap A-main. The field was led to the green flag by Jason Storbakken and Schatz, with Schatz taking the early lead. Storbakken ran in the runner-up position until he was surpassed by Steffen Snare. Snare then put Schatz in his crosshairs they battled for the lead.
At the halfway point, current River Cities Speedway point leader, Dustin Strand entered the fray from his sixth starting position. Strand moved into third with a pass on Storbakken, then got around Snare for the second spot. With five laps to go Strand did everything he could to reel in the Fastlane Carwash #15, but came up short at Schatz cruised to victory by a margin of 2.7 seconds.
Strand, Snare, Brad Seng and Don Shaw rounded out the top five. Bill Mooney was the hard charger of the race, advancing 11 spots to finish in eighth.
Defending Happy Harry’s Midwest Modified track champion, Matt Schow, found himself in RydellCars.com Victory Lane by night’s end. Schow wheeled his way from eighth to secure the lead with just four laps to go.
Jeremy Lizakowski was the race’s first leader and paced the field for the first five circuits until Darren Pfau took command. Lizakowski wasn’t done yet, however. Despite dropping back to third on lap eight, Lizakowski moved by Pfau and Lance Schill to regain the lead. Unfortunately for Lizakowski, his second stint up front was short lived as Schow charged into the top spot on lap 16 of 18. Schow went on to lead the final three laps and took the win by just over a half second. Lizakowski, Pfau, Schill, and Tim Kanten rounded out the top five.
Tommy Neihart and James Meagher led 24 Wells Concrete Street Stocks to the Sunrise Valley Properties green flag. Meagher took the lead on lap one, holding off Neihart and Nick Minske. On lap four, Minske found a way around the #7 of Meagher to grab the point. Charging through the field, however, was Travis Robertson. The season’s winningest driver in the Street Stocks sliced his way through the field from the ninth starting position and moved into second on lap eight. Three laps later he got by Minske to take the lead. Once out front, Robertson put the Tires Plus #10R on cruise control as he went on to take the win. Minske, Mike Anderson, Meagher, and Art Linert rounded out the top five. Dan McNamee was the race’s hard charger coming from 20th to 11th.
Wade Nygaard’s last win at River Cities Speedway came back in mid-May and it looked as through that winless streak was going to continue up until the final lap of the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car feature.
Trent Stengl led the opening lap from outside of the front row, but he was quickly surpassed by Mitch Mack and Jack Croaker. Croaker rode in the second spot until eighth-starting Nygaard made the pass on lap six. Nygaard then chased the FM Truck Sales/Joe Black’s Bar & Grill #92 of Mack for several circuits. The race was slow by two cautions, but on each Evergreen Insurance restart, Mack was able to fend of Nygaard and pull away.
In the closing laps Mack had build up a one-second advantage over the eight-time and defending NOSA champion, but as they came to the white flag the split between himself and Nygaard was down to a half second. As they charged into turn three for the final time, Mack ran the middle of the turn while Nygaard threw his right rear up on the cushion. Nygaard got a great run off of turn four, passed Mack and stole the win at the line. Shane Roemeling, Chris Ranten and Casey Mack finished in positions two through five.
Brandon Johnson came from seventh to win the NLSA Lightning Sprint feature. The Holt, MN driver beat Eric Johnson, Dexter Dvergsten, Presley Truedson, and Alan Truscinski for his first career River Cities Speedway. Wade Nygaard drove the Auto Finance Super Center #11M to a sixth place finish.