A stretch of four races in four nights begins on Wednesday night June the 25th and continues on Thursday June the 26th at the Norman County Raceway in Ada, MN, as the NLRA races during the 119th Norman County Fair. Then the series heads south and makes its' debut at the I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN on Friday night June the 27th, before ending the weekend with its' third trip of the season at the Viking Speedway in Alexandria, MN.
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.
The Northern Late Model Racing Association is returning to the Greenbush Race Park in Greenbush, MN on Saturday night, June the 14th, after nearly three years away. The series continues on to the Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon, MN on Sunday night, June the 15th.
The event at Greenbush is scheduled to be the 21st appearance by the series at the track. Unfortunately the track, which opened in 1991, remained closed throughout the 2012 season. But weekly racing did return to the three-eighths mile dirt oval last season. The tracks' long straightaways and tight corners produce some of the closest racing on the NLRA calendar.
The Northern Late Model Racing Association kicks off its' 17th season of racing this weekend with a Memorial Day Double Header at the Viking Speedway in Alexandria, MN on Saturday May the 24th and Sunday May the 25th. The races are scheduled to be the series' 31st and 32nd appearances at the half-mile dirt oval on the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
In what has become a staple on the NLRA schedule every season since 2006, with the exception of the 2012 schedule, the Memorial day holiday weekend has brought the best late model drivers of the Red River valley south to Alexandria to clash with a stout contingent of local racers looking to defend their home turf.
Three-Time NLRA Series Champion Mike Balcaen suffered a heart attack over the weekend. Mike had angioplasty surgery after doctors found significant blockages in his arteries. The latest report from Mike's wife Kim had Mike recovering in intensive care. The NLRA would like to extend its' thoughts and prayers to Mike and his family and friends. Photo courtesy of Rick Rea.
Many NLRA series regulars have remained active since the the final NLRA series event at the River Cities Speedway on September 5th.
Many NLRA series regulars competed at the 42nd annual Stock Car Stampede at the Jamestown Speedway last weekend. Jeremy Keller of Mandan, ND drove his No. 11K to back-to-back victories at the Stampede. NLRA'ers that took part in the action at Jamestown included Brad Seng, driver of the No. 12S S&S Transport Mars MB Custom, who followed up his second John Seitz Memorial victory with a fourth place run at the Stampede.
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.
Dustin Strand won his first NLRA championship on Thursday night with a 12th place finish during the 'Night before the Johnny at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks. Strand, driver of the No. 71S Q&Z Plumbing & Heating Millenium, had to weather a near disaster in his heat race, making contact with two other cars, damaging the driver's side door. He failed to earn a transfer spot in the heat race, and had to come through one of the two B Main events. He easily won his B Main, but once again had to avoid a big crash in the main event. Four cars crashed on the front-stretch on lap 10, but he was able to come through that unscathed. Congratulations Dustin!
Pat Doar won his sixth career NLRA Feature Thursday night during the "Prelude to the Johnny" at the River Cities Speedway. The win ties him with Dale Skytland and Kevin Sexton on the NLRA's all time wins list. Doar drew a poor number at the pit gate and started last in his eight car heat race, but rallied to a second place finish. He started sixth, but motored to the lead on lap 4 of the 25 lap main event. Brad Seng put a strong bid for the lead late, but fell short to Doar by .134 of a second.
The 2013 NLRA series champion is set to be crowned Thursday night at the third annual 'Prelude to the Johnny' race.
The NLRA is set to make its' third and final appearance at the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND. The race is also the third annual 'Prelude to the Johnny' race, the first of three straight race nights where they will pay tribute to the John Seitz. The four time NLRA champion won 26 features with the series, which is still tops on the series' all time wins list.
Zach Johnson, driver of the No. 73 Midwest Grain Systems Pierce lead all 44 laps of the inaugural '4444' race at the Viking Speedway in Alexandria, MN. The win was his fourth with the series in 2013, and his 11th overall, giving him sole possession of the fifth spot on the all time wins list with the NLRA. Heavy rain that claimed the opening night of NLRA series action at the speedway the night before made racing conditions difficult for the drivers, with only 12 finishing the race, and only ten completing all 44 laps of the main event.