Another John Seitz Memorial is in the books as the tenth running of the event took place at the River Cities Speedway last week. Thursday night was marred by rain delays, but produced a new track record holder in Wissota national point leader Dustin Strand, and a new three-time NLRA series champion in Brad Seng. Friday saw the original Seitz memorial pole sitter, Steve Laursen, earn the pole once again. Saturday saw Elk Mound, Wisconsin native AJ Diemel join Brad Seng as the only two-time champions in the events' history.
On Friday night, September the 8th, the NLRA will but a ribbon on its' 19th season with the sixth running of the 'Prelude to the Johnny' at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND. The event kicks off the three day, tenth annual John Seitz Memorial.
Last season, Elk Mound, Wisconsin's AJ Diemel, became the fourth native of the dairy state to win the Prelude in its' five years history. Adam Hensel of Barron, John Kaanta of Elk Mound, and Pat Doar on New Richmond, were winners of the event in 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively. Ricky Weiss became the first non-Wisconsinite to win the race in 2014.
Zach Naastad, driver of the Q&Z Plumbing & Heating No. Z17, won the NLRA season opener at the Jamestown Speedway in Jamestown, ND Saturday night. Naastad became the 50th different driver to win an NLRA series feature, and is the second first time series winner in a row, as AJ Diemel won last September's 'Prelude to the Johnny' at the River Cities Speedway. Naastad's win didn't come easy, as he had to defend his lead on a number of restarts, and regain the lead on other restarts, as multiple caution periods, three of which were multi-car pileups, that plagued the main event.
The weather may have been brutally cold here, but the action was hot down south as the 10th annual Wild West Shootout at the USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona came to an end last Sunday night. The series of six events in nine nights produced results that may not surprise most race fans, but also some controversial incidents involving racers from our area. Jonathan Davenport won three times, along with the overall series title, while Don O'Neal won two, and Darrell Lanigan made his new car owner, and NASCAR star Clint Bowyer happy winning one event. See how our own contingent of local talent fared against some of the biggest names in the sport.
The off season may be in full swing around our neck of the woods, but that isn't stopping some drivers that we are familiar with to make the long trip to the USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona for the 10th annual Wild West Shootout. Around fifty drivers from 19 states and 2 Canadian provinces are expected to compete during the series, which includes six races in nine nights, starting this Saturday, January the 9th. Some of the sports biggest names are expected to make the long tow to Arizona including Brandon Sheppard, Don O'Neal, Jimmy Owens, Billy Moyer, and WoO Champion Shane Clanton, just to name a few. The following is a roster of area drivers that are also expected to make the trek to the southwest.
Thursday: Diemel Wins The Race; Strand Wins Second Series Title
Defending Seitz Memorial champion AJ Diemel of Elk Mound, WI kicked off his title defense in style with a win Thursday night at the 'Prelude to the Johnny' at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND.
Diemel and Joey Pederson, driver of the No. 7P Dahlstrom Motors MB Custom, shared the front row at the start, in a rematch of last years' finale at the Seitz Memorial, as the pair was separated by just .114 seconds last September.
Defending Seitz Memorial champion AJ Diemel of Elk Mound, WI kicked off his title defense in style with a win Thursday night at the 'Prelude to the Johnny' at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND. Diemel and Joey Pederson shared the front row at the start, in a rematch of last years' finale at the Seitz Memorial, as the pair was separated by just .114 seconds last September. Diemel lead all 25 laps, and became the fourth different Wisconsin native to win the event in five races. The top five included four previous Seitz Memorial champions, as Diemel was followed home by 2009 champ Pat Doar, who finished second, 2010 champ Cody Skytland, who finished third, and two-time winner Brad Seng, who finished fourth. Dustin Strand rounded out the top five, and in doing so, secured his second NLRA series title in three years. Strand won by 32 points of last seasons' champion Brad Seng. An incredible 47 cars entered the show Thursday night, with drivers like Zach Johnson and Curt Gelling among some of the drivers rumored to show up for the rest of the weekend. Final Point standing and full Results can by found by clicking the highlighted words. Photos of Diemel (58) and Strand (71) are courtesy of Mike Spieker, and Traci Palya respectively.