A heat race forms in front of the grandstand at Grand Rapids last season. Speedway Shots photo.
The NLRA season continues this week with two more races in Northern Minnesota. The first comes on Thursday night, June the 30th, the Grand Rapids Speedway in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and includes the second visit this season on Saturday, July 2nd, to the Greenbush race park in Greenbush, Minnesota.
Brody Troftgruben (14) and Blake Anderson (9A) in action earlier this season. Speedway Shots photo.
This Thursday night, May the 27th, the NLRA will head to the Grand Rapids Speedway in Grand Rapids, MN for the first time in nearly eleven years. This will be the second consecutive show that will be a return, and a second overall visit, as the series returned to the Sure Step I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN last Friday night.
On Saturday night, June the 11th, the NLRA storms into Jamestown to take on the quarter-mile bullring on the Stutzman County Fairgrounds for the 21st time in series history.
Two-time and defending series champion Dustin Strand, driver of the No. 71 Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium, was the only driver to emerge from a late model in victory lane at the speedway last season. Strand won the NLRA series race on August 1st, and the Late Model portion of the Jamestown Stampede last September. Strand's NLRA win last August was his second at the Speedway, his first coming in August of 2012.
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.
Friday night June the 20th at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND. The race, scheduled to be the 19th at the high-banked quarter-mile on the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds. The track serves as the home track for many of the NLRA's series regulars.
Joey Pederson, Donny Schatz, and Pat Doar were NLRA winners at the Speedway last season. Joey Pederson has three wins; Brad Seng has two wins, and Steve Anderson has one win.
Thursday - Doar Wins the Race; Strand Captures First NLRA Series Title
Pat Doar raced from eighth to second in his heat race, started fourth in the feature and was the leader by lap four. Brad Seng, driver of the No. 12S S&S Transport Mars MB Custom reeled Doar in late in the event, but fell just short by .0134 of a second at the finish. Wisconsin natives AJ Diemel, Adam Hensel, and Chad Mahder rounded out the top five. Brent Larson, Steve Laursen, Jake Redetzke, Jeff Wildung, and John Kaanta rounded out the top ten respectively. Redetzke finished fourth in his B Main, and charged from the 26th starting spot to finish in the eighth spot.
First on Thursday night, Kent Arment won his second career NLRA feature at the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN. The win was his first with the NLRA since June 26, 2004, when he won at the Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, SD during the series only visit to the speedway to this date. The main event got off to a rocky start with multiple cautions before a lap could be completed. Once action got underway, Dustin Strand, driver of the No. 71S Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium jumped out to the point and held the lead, including after restarts on laps seven, and twelve for Bill Mooney in the No. 2 freehearingtest.ca Rocket, and Brian Bernotas respectively.
Zach Johnson, and Joey Pederson each kept their strong seasons going with NLRA series victories last week. The action began on Wednesday Night at the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN. Zach Johnson of Kensington, MN moved up from the fourth starting spot in his heat race to pick up the victory that would lead to him drawing the pole for the main event. He never let that draw go to waste as he dominated the 30 lap main event, especially in the early going, as he lapped half of the races' 28 starters, before a caution on lap 22 bunched the field back up for an eight lap shootout.