RydellCars.com Preview: 10th Annual John Seitz Memorial, presented by Simplot
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (September 8) - It’s time once again for one of the biggest, most prestigious Late Model races in the Midwest; the 10th annual John Seitz Memorial, presented by Simplot. So many storylines surround the Seitz Memorial this year, including the highly contested chase for the NLRA championship, which will conclude at the Prelude to the Johnny on Thursday (Sept. 8th) night.
It’ll come down to a pair of fan-favorite Grand Forks drivers, who will both be vying for their third NLRA series title. Brad Seng will bring a 16 point advantage over Dustin Strand into Thursday night. Seng has built up his point lead by being a model of consistency all season long. The driver of the S&S Transport MB Customs #12S has finished inside the top 10 in all but one NLRA race this season. In the one race he didn’t score a top 10 in, a drive shaft kept him from finishing the event when he was running fourth. On the other hand, Dustin Strand has been on an absolute tear lately, winning six of the last 10 NLRA shows and finishing second in three of those four races he didn’t win during that stretch.
The Thursday night program will also feature the fourth and final Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Back Row Challenge Qualifying night for the NOSA 410 Sprints as well as the Happy Harry’s Midwest Modifieds, and Wells Concrete Street Stocks.
Night number two of the Seitz Memorial will play host to the final Family Fun Night of the season as the Late Models, Modifieds, and Street Stocks hit the high banks of River Cities Speedway on Friday night. Late Models will be running their qualifying heat races along with the $920 Go Hard or Go Home pole dash. The NOSA Sprints will also be holding their biggest event of the season as Buffalo Wild Wings presents the $8,200-to-win Blazin’ Back Row Challenge. Click here for complete Blazin’ Challenge details.
On Saturday night the Seitz Memorial concludes with the $9,200-to-win 92-lap Late Model feature. The last two John Seitz Memorial main events have been won by a pair of Wisconsin drivers; Chad Mahder in 2015 and AJ Diemel in 2014. However, the man to beat just might be Grand Forks’ own Dustin Strand. As mentioned before, Strand has been on a roll lately and has scored seven of his 19 wins this season at home at River Cities. To go along with that, he just secured his second consecutive River Cities Speedway track championship last Friday night.
Don Shaw, of Ham Lake, MN, is also peaking at the right time too. The driver of the Shaw Trucking Victory by Moyer #42S swept NLRA action at Viking Speedway last weekend and has an NLRA win at River Cities to his credit this year. Shaw has been close to taking the checkers each of the last couple years at the Seitz, but is still looking for that coveted first win. During an interview at the 2014 Seitz, Shaw went as far as saying that the Seitz Memorial means so much to him that if he were to win it, he would hang up the helmet and call it a career.
So many other drivers share Shaw’s passion for this event.
In the 10 year history of the event, surprisingly only one driver can say he’s a two-time champion. That is Brad Seng. Will we add a new name to the Seitz Memorial wins list this year, or does a past champion join the elite company of Seng?
If you can't make it, watch all three nights LIVE on SpeedShiftTV.com/order.
John Seitz Memorial Late Model Champions:
2015: Chad Mähder
2014: AJ Diemel
2013: Brad Seng
2012: Brad Smith
2011: Brad Seng
2010: Cody Skyland
2009: Pat Doar
2008: Justin Fegers
2007: Mitch Johnson